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brad pollick

on 23 April 2010

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READ KING LEAR ONCE AGAIN By John Keats Line 1: O golden tongued Romance, with serene lute! Line 2: Fair plumed Syren, Queen of far-away! Line 3: Leave melodizing on this wintry day, Line 4: Shut up thine olden pages, and be mute: Line 5: Adieu! for once again the fierce dispute, Line 6: Betwixt damnation and impassion'd clay
Line 7: Must I burn through; once more humbly assay Line 8: The bitter-sweet of this Shakespearian fruit Line 9: Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion, Line 10: Begetters of our deep eternal theme, Line 11: When through the old oak forest I am gone, Line 12: Let me not wander in a barren dream, Line 13: But when I am consumed in the fire, Line 14: Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire.
Sirens were in Greek mythology and were sea nymphs that played tunes to lure sailors in shortly after bringing them to their death. We have also seen sirens in the story of Odysseus where he was sailing by them and had to block his men's ears with wax to prevent them from being lured in. Keats talks about Sirens to introduce beauty into the sonnet. This poem is about Keats struggle with
an unidentified romance, life, death and immortality Elizabethan Sonnet This line gives the image of winter and he says to leave
"melodizing" which is a happy/harmonious attitude which
doesn't fit the melencholy tone at hand. Keats talks about his romance in this line and demands it to stop or 'shut up'. He is distracted by this romance and is trying to hush it so that he can focus more on the matter at hand; his fear of death. Keats is saying 'goodbye' in french (Adieu) to his Romance and it is obvious
that he can't keep his mind off of this 'romance' as he wrote about
saying "goodbye" to it, telling it to "shut up", etc Betwixt (between) damnation and clay. These are very serious words and I see a change in tone
from the lines before it talking about romance and love now switching to a tone about death and
becoming damned. Keats talking about 'burning through' which helps restate that he is mortal. He's talking about the theme of life and death again here. Keats is calling his own death bitter-sweet. Bitter because death is impending on all of us and we will all die but sweet? He thinks of himself of immortal so he feels that part is "sweet" and refers to immortality in the sonnet when he later compares himself to a phoenix. Albion is what Great Britain was known as in the old, celtic times. Keat's hometown
was Britain and the story referred to in the title,King Lear, is also set in celtic Britain. Here the "eternal theme" he is reffering to is England where he will remain eternally because it is his hometown. Keats uses imagery to describe his journey through life. Keats uses 'barren dream' to contrast death and afterlife. He doesn't want to wander around in his afterlife. This line basically means "But when I die" Very powerful line of this sonnet, sort of wraps things up. He is comparing himself to a phoenix which is the bird that consumes itself in fire and rises up from it's ashes. Keats is implanting the idea of immortality with this line. He's asking for wings to fly at his desire, asking to be possibly brought back from the dead at his desire. SOURCES:

"Sirens." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online.<http://www.pantheon.org/articles/s/sirens.html> [Accessed April 21, 2010].

"On Sitting Down To Read KING LEAR Once Again" By John Keats." Web. <http://resurrectionjoe.tripod.com/keats.html>

Dickstein, Morris. Keats and His Poetry; a Study in Development. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1971. Print..

"Earthly love", says Endymion, summing up his important speech on happiness," has power to make/Men's being mortal, immortal" (I,843-44). This shows that Keats precursor story, Endymion, he also spoke of themes of immortality, life and death. He shows reoccuring themes throughout his works. (Morris 3)
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