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Romanticism - The poetry of John Keats

Odes, lyric poetry

Julie Bain

on 15 May 2012

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Transcript of Romanticism - The poetry of John Keats

What is an ode?
A succinct definition is that an ode is a long lyric poem that is
serious in subject
elevated in style
elaborate in its stanzaic structure.
They are poems written to praise and glorify.
Romantic poets perfected the personal ode description
passionate mediation
stimulated by an aspect of the outer scene turns on the attempt to solve either a personal emotional problem or a generally human one.

This ode contains the most discussed two lines in all of Keats' poetry - '"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.' The exact meaning of those lines is disputed by everyone; no less a critic than TS Eliot considered them a blight upon an otherwise beautiful poem. Scholars have been unable to agree to whom the last thirteen lines of the poem are addressed.
implicitly affirms the sufficiency of human intellect
explicitly affirms the equation of beauty and truth
pronounces this knowledge entirely sufficient to create the elegant geometry of such superb art as the urn
the authenticity of art, when personalised, makes the shapes (characters) intelligible

The poem explores the 'paradoxical dilemma as mortals who exist in finite time."

Source: 'Some Quotations in Keats's Poetry' by Dennis R. Dean. From the Philological Quarterly. Volume: 76. Issue: 1, 1997.
Ode to a Nightingale
perception of the conflicted nature of human life
the interconnection or mixture of pain/joy
intensity of feeling/numbness or lack of feeling
life/death, mortal/immortal, the actual/the ideal
focuses on immediate, concrete sensations and emotions
from which the reader can draw a conclusion or abstraction.
a real bird
the bird becomes a symbol
pure or unmixed joy
the artist - with the bird's voice being self expression or the song being poetry
the music (beauties) of nature
the ideal
Lethe: a river in Hades (the underworld). Souls about to be reincarnated drank from it to forget their past lives.
Dryad: a wood nymph or nymph of the trees. Dryads or nymphs were female personifications of natural features, like mountains and rivers; they were young, beautiful, long-lived and liked music and dance. A Dryad was connected to a specific tree and died when the tree died.
Hippocrene: a spring sacred to the Muses, located on Mt.Helicon. Drinking its waters inspired poets. (The nine muses were associated with different arts, such as epic poetry, sacred song, and dancing.)
Bacchus: Roman god of wine.
pards: leopards, which drew Bacchus's chariot.
Poesy: poetry in general or, depending n how you read this ode,a specific kind of poetry: visionary poetry poetry or fantasy.
Ruth: Boaz saw Ruth, the Moabite, working in the fields, fell in love with her and married her; David is one of her descendents. A book in the Bible is named after her. She is frequently alluded to by poets for her devotion to her mother-in-law Naomi or as a stranger in a strange land. In a sense she has achieved immortality.
(1)a hymn of joy or praise, patriotism, or devotion;
(2) a sacred choral song generally based on words from the Bible.
Reference: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/nighting_voc.html#I
Just read along with the poem (listening) the video has little to do with the poem, the last section is from the film Bright Star - not related to the poem.
La Belle Dame sans Merci
Levels of meaning within the poem
1. Narrative level
2. Mythical/magical (allusion) level
Juxtaposes - realistic/familiar in the form of a folktale with the unearthly/strange - dream sequence

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