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Transcript of To Sleep
by: John Keats Theme To Sleep BAD DAYS Techniques Sleep helps us to escape the woes in reality..
Keats had many hard times in his lifetime, he suffered through illnesses, and expressed his need for humanity to escape the bad things in life through unconsciousness and letting go, often writing about things as a metaphor fo death. But in this poem, it's an ode to sleep and how it helps us in life. The images that appear throughout the poem
include images of poppies (opium-producing
flowers that lull to sleep), lullabies being sung,
moles burrowing to represent the darkness
covering him, and images pertaining to death:
"embalmer", "hushed casket". The Flaming Lips O Soft embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O Soothest sleep! If so it please thee, close,
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed casket of my soul. The mole burrowing: Diction: Words used like "embalmer"
(mortician that treats corpses), "soft", "careful", "benign" (nice) put emphasis on the immense peace the writer feels when asleep and shuts out the world.
Rhyme scheme: ababcdcd fgfg
Syllable order: Goes back and forth from 10 to 11. Line 11 starts the 11-syllable change. Then line 12, and ends on a 10-syllable line.
The use of "thine" and "thee" to refer to a metaphor for a person or being lulling him to sleep/personifying sleep. Lyrics:
You're sort of stuck where you are
But in your dreams you can buy
expensive cars, or live on Mars and have it your way
You have to sleep late when you can
And all your bad days will end. Poppies: Bed: Pillow: Lines 1-4 "O Soft embalmer of the still midnight..." Keats is proclaiming the healing power of sleep, and that the lulling power is comparable to medicine, or a doctor with "careful fingers" putting one in the state of bliss. The end of that stanza, "Our gloom-pleased eyes" refers to the state of our eyes, weary from the day, finally being able to shut and recoup.
Lines 5-8 "O Soothest sleep..." shows the author being lulled to sleep by a hymn of sorts, a lullaby, and the image of poppies appear. Poppies contain opium, a natural sleeping mist, so Keats was alluding to the blissful state they lull people to.
Lines 9-12 "Then save me..."
Means that the author is begging sleep to overtake him so he can begin letting go of the stress from the day through unconsciousness. The "pass'ed day's" woes will plague his mind if he stays awake. To "turn the key" is to seal up his mind so he doesn't have to worry anymore. Read the poem "To Sleep" and analyze ways in which Keats uses language, images, and sentence structure in order to create a meaning of importance for the process of sleep. Prompt: Embalmer: Casket: To Sleep Presentation by Travis, Allyson, and Emily Thesis:
In Keats' To Sleep, he uses expressive diction, macabre imagery, and interesting sentence structure that aligns the poem in a way pertaining to one's feeling of euphoria whilst asleep.