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To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent By: John Keats

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Kelsey Maguire

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent By: John Keats

To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent
By: John Keats
To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.

1 Stanza
Rhyme Scheme
Structure
14 Lines
ABBAABBACDCDCD
Why?
-The singular stanza forms a cohesive train of thought
-The change in the rhyme scheme from ABBAABBA to CDCDCD signals the transition from city to home within the poem.
Syntax
Commas
Within lines
At the end of lines
End of Line 1:
"To one who has been long in city pent," (1)

-Commas used within lines force the reader to pause.
-They form a broken structure, and help to create a tone of contemplation.
-The comma forces the reader to pause at the end of this line, creating the feeling of a letter.
-The speaker is addressing someone.
Lines 5-6:
"Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,/ Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair" (5-6)
Ending Punctuation
Commas and Periods
Question Mark
Colon
-Commas, at the end of lines, are used to lead into, or open up a thought
-Periods, at the end of lines, then function as means of closing a thought
-The question mark at the end of line 8, signifies a transition in the tone of the poem, "And gentle tale of love and languishment?"
-Transition:
-City --> home
-Happy reminiscing --> sorrowful longing
Caesura
-Lines 2-4: "'Tis very sweet to look into the fair/And open face of heaven,-to breathe a prayer/full in the smile of the blue firmament."
-Lines 9-11: "Returning home at evening, with an ear/ catching the notes of Philomel,-an eye/ Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,"
Effect
-The caesuras located in lines 3 and 10 create a break in the middle of each of these lines.
-The line that follows acts as a continuation of the previous thought or even a clarification
Line 12: "He mourns that day so soon has glided by:"
-The colon at the end of the line leads into a metaphor in the following, final two lines
-These next two lines (lines 11-12) act as a metaphor to line 10.
-The day glides by as quickly and easily as "an angel's tear that falls through the clear ether" (11-12).

Tone
1st Half: happy reminiscing
2nd Half: sorrowful longing
Imagery
Nature Imagery:
-"face of heaven" (3)
-"blue firmament" (4)
-blue heavens/sky
-"wavy grass" (7)
-"sailing cloudlet's" (11)
-"clear ether" (14)
-clear sky
Diction
Effect
-All of the imagery throughout the poem depicts a form of nature (heaven, the sky, grass)
-The nature imagery contrasts the setting within a city
-Keats' use of nature imagery conveys the longing that the speaker has to be among nature
-"look into the
fair
/And open face of heaven" (2-3): looking longingly upon heaven
-"
smile
of the blue firmament" (4): depicting the sky with a smile leads the reader to feel positively about it
-"happy" "content" (5)
-"gentle tale" (8)
Happy Reminiscing
Sorrowful Longing
-"city pent" (1): depicts a sense of being trapped within the city
-"mourns" (12)
-"so soon has
glided
by" (12)
-"clear ether
silently
" (14)
Meaning?
-Keats uses particular diction in the 1st part of the stanza that carries a positive connotation. The words smile, happy, and content, used when referencing nature suggest that the speaker is looking back upon this alternate setting positively.
Meaning?
-Keats' use of diction in the second half of the poem creates a tone of sorrowful longing. Mourn is often used in association with death. The use of the word causes readers to generate a feeling of sadness.
-The word glided in line 12 suggests that the day easily slipped away. It's as if by being in the city, he did not have to chance to enjoy nature.
-The word silently in line 14 portrays the day in a light of evasiveness.
-Keats' diction suggests that the speaker longs to grasp onto, and keep the beauty of the day.
Analysis
Structure
Syntax
Tone
Conclusion
John Keats' poem "To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent" addresses a longing to be in nature. The word "pent" in the title suggests that the one addressed has been kept in the city for too long. The speaker then addresses the beauty in nature, and how he longs to hold onto it as recognizes that the day can glide by quickly, so quickly one can miss it.
The End
Full transcript