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"Ode to Psyche" by John Keats
Transcript of "Ode to Psyche" by John Keats
by John Keats
O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
Even into thine own soft-conched ear:
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes?
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,
And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side
In deepest grass, beneath the whisp'ring roof
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
A brooklet, scarce espied:
Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
They lay calm-breathing, on the bedded grass;
Their arms embraced, and their pinions too;
Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu,
As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:
The winged boy I knew;
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove?
His Psyche true!
O latest born and loveliest vision far
Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy!
Fairer than Phoebe's sapphire-region'd star,
Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky;
Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
Nor altar heap'd with flowers;
Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
Upon the midnight hours;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
From chain-swung censer teeming;
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
O brightest! though too late for antique vows,
Too, too late for the fond believing lyre,
When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
Holy the air, the water, and the fire;
Yet even in these days so far retir'd
From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,
Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspir'd.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan
Upon the midnight hours;
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
From swinged censer teeming;
Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat
Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
affectionate diction and loving words showing the speaker's respect and love for Psyche
beautiful and caring like his love
natural depiction of the love scene of Cupid and Psyche shows the human soul's natural desire for love
question structure makes it seem as if the speaker is wandering or discovering something
matches context which describes the speaker wandering through the forest
speaker is wandering through the forest and discovers Cupid and Psyche in the grass
speaker has found love and a soul through falling in love
seems like an ordinary scene of the forest at first, but as he explores deeper, he realizes he has found Cupid and Psyche -> a person seems simple and ordinary until love is found and then the person becomes god-like
* In stanza one, the speaker adresses Psyche and tells the story of his discovery og her. He finds her uexpectedly while wondering through the woods, like the suddeness of falling in love. He then prepares to proclaim his respect and affection for her.
peaceful diction shows the happiness of Cupid and Psyche and the happiness and serenity of the human soul with love
blooming words like the blooming of love between Cupid and Psyche and the speaker and Psyche
nature diction shows Psyche's natural beauty
nature imagery shows the natural peacefulness of being in love
like the nature of flowers blooming, the humans soul naturally desires to find love and finds happiness in love
deatils show how the speaker is carefully observing Psyche and Cupid with interest and curiousity
affectionate motions depict the love between Cupid and Psyche
most gods are shown people's love and respect for them through temples or worship, but Cupid and the speaker express their love for Psyche through action: Cupid embraces her, while the speaker builds her an internal temple
repition of questions shows that the speaker is still watching and observing Cupid and Psyche, wodering and curious
later in the poem, the speaker moves from simply observing Psyche to becoming emotionally connected to her and singing her praises
when the speaker sees the couple of gods in the forest, he instantly recognizes Cupid, an old an well-known god. However, at first he does not realize the female is Psyche and then suddenly sees it is her.
the speaker's surprise emphasizes the youth of Psyche
Psyche is recent and young god, so many people do not know about her and there are few temples and monuments built in her honor
* The speaker focuses on the relationship between Cupid and Psyche in Stanza 2. As he watched their affectionate actions, he recongnizes Psyche. After falling in love in Stanza 1, the speaker recognizes his feelings like he suddenly realizes the female is Psyche.
exclamation point puncutation shows the speaker's enthusiastic feelings towards Psyche
gives the poem a worshipping theme
here the speaker is saying that while Psyche is the youngest god, she is also the most beautiful
the speaker compares Psyche's beauty with the beauty of other gods, Phoebe and Vesper
he says that Psyche is more beautiful than the other gods who are worshipped by many and have many temples and monuments built in their honor
this shows where the true beauty of a person lies: within, not in their material and external goods
the speaker uses imagery to describe the beauty of the other gods
however, he affirms that Psyche is more beautiful than both of them
the speaker uses the astrological imagery to show the age of the other gods
while they, like stars, are ancient and have been in existence much longer than Psyche, she is still more beautiful
the repition of negative phrases shows all the qualities Psyche does not have
she does not have temples built in her name, music dedicated to her, sacrifices made to her, or a huge following
despite all that she does not have, the speaker recongnizes her beauty
she is beautiful even without the normal things a god would have
because Psyche is the god of the human soul, this repition shows the beautiful simplicity of the soul
the soul does not need wordly good or extravagant materials for beauty
the speaker uses extravagant diction to show the usual treatment of the gods
the god are usually regarded as kings and are given many goods and praises
unlike the rest of the gods, however, Psyche is simple and does not receive the same material or spiritual praise
* In Stanza 3, the speaker focuses on the simplistic beauty of Psyche compared to other gods. Because of her youth, she has not been worshipped like the others. In this stanza, Psyche is like a young women experiencing her first love. She has never been adored by someone before, and the speaker finds joy in being one of the few to show his affection for her.
exclamatory puncuation structure continutes the speaker's worship from Stanza 3
even though Psyche has less materialistically, he still respects and worships her
repitition of "too" makes it seem as if the speaker is almost mourning the fact that Psyche does not have the temples and worship that the other gods have
the speaker sees the worth in her and cannot understand why not many other people can
this repition is nearly exactly repeated from Stanza 3
while in Stanza 3 the speaker focuses on what Psyche does not have, in Stanza 4 the speaker says he will be her temple and her worshipper
the speaker wants to be Psyche's music and worshipper
even though the world does not show its appreciation for her, the speaker sees her beauty and wants to express his love for her
the speaker wants to be there for her like a woman he is in love with
In Stanza 4, the speaker focuses on his relationship with Psyche. When the rest of the world is not, he want to be there for her and show his love and respect for her. Because Psyche is too young, she is not treated like the other gods. However, the speaker recognizes this and takes it upon himself to be her source of love.
Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
In some untrodden region of my mind,
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees
Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep;
And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain,
With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,
Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same:
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
That shadowy thought can win,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
To let the warm Love in!
Time & Space
the speaker uses the concept of space to describe the place in which he will build a temple for Psyche
while her temple may not exist in ther material world, it exists within in his mind and heart
because the region is "untrodden" the speaker shows he has never felt like this for someone before
the speaker is comparing the physical world to his mental world in which he will build Psyche a temple
this also shows aconnection between one's thoughts and one's soul because Psyche is the god of the soul
the soul flourishes in thought, not in the physical world
using nature imagery, the speaker makes a connection between nature and the human mind
because Psyche is the god of the human soul, the human mind sings her praises and expresses its love for her
this imagery also shows the natural relationship between the soul and love
the speaker uses the repition of "with" to show his eagerness to express his love appreciation for Psyche
like an extravagant temple, he is decorating his mind to honor and praise her
the speaker uses exclamatory structure to end the ode in praise of Psyche
while many others pay less attention to her, the speaker admires her natural and beautiful simplicity
* In Stanza 5, the speaker concludes the ode by extending his offer and desire to be her source of praise and worship because the rest of the world does not give her whart she deserves. He offers to build the lovely god a temple within his own mind and treat her with love and respect.