Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? Three main thoughts stand out in the ode. The poem is Keats in the act of sharing with the reader an experience he is having rather than recalling an experience. The central idea The poet, on hearing the song of the nightingale, feels enthralled and desperately wishes to fly away with it. Written in 1819 two years before Keats' death , 'Ode to a Nightingale' explores the themes of mortality, transcendence, and impermanence. The second main thought and the main theme of the poem is Keats' wish that he might die and be rid of life altogether, providing he could die as easily and painlessly as he could fall asleep. Essentially, Romantic poetry explores how the natural world and the inner, emotional world of the poet come together.
Bacchus is the Roman god of wine called Dionysius by the Greeks , who was often depicted as riding in a chariot drawn by leopards or 'pards,' as Keats called them. But the nightingale can't die. . He is even uncertain whether he is asleep or awake. When he mentions flowers and the moon, he can only imagine them and cannot see them. Born in 1795, John Keats was a key member of the Romantic movement in English literature.
As the stanza winds to its conclusion, we learn that the reason behind the speaker's trance-like state is the nightingale's song, which makes the speaker so happy that he can't focus on anything else. Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! The last lines in these stanzas are sad. These words give the onomatopoeic effect of the bees buzzing around. O for a beaker full of the warm South! You can recall his earlier description of a state of numbness in stanza I. Keats' mood is one of drugged languor and has been occasioned by his empathic response to the happiness of the bird. Fled is that music:- Do I wake or sleep? His family life was shattered by the departure of one brother to America and the death from tuberculosis of the other. Although the poem is regular in form, it leaves the impression of being a kind of rhapsody; Keats is allowing his thoughts and emotions free expression.
Stanza I describes the poet's excitement as he listens to the song of a nightingale. He feels abandoned and disappointed that his imagination is not strong enough to create its own reality. The poem ends with a question about the validity of such a heightened experience when it leaves him with a sense of loss and depression. Of course, Keats immortalizes the bird by thinking of the race of it as the symbol of universal and undying musical voice, which is the voice of nature, and also of ideal romantic poetry, of the world of art and spirit. And this makes life and experience more complete. O for a draught of vintage! The poetic fancy leads him to the bird in its perch up among the treetops where he can see the moon and the stars.
Keats begins by urging for poison and wine, and then desires for poetic and imaginative experience. But, ultimately one has to return to the real world and must accept the reality. The poem Ode to a nightingale thus maintains the dramatic debate between two voices of the poet. His brother, Tom had died of tuberculosis and his affair with his neighbor Fanny Brawne was also not going smoothly. The thoughts of sickness, old age and death make him seek an alternative to wine in his search for a supporting aid towing him to the happy sojourn of the nightingale. Summary Keats is in a state of uncomfortable drowsiness.
Rhyme Scheme: ababcdecde Meter: iambic pentameter Rhythm: Keats uses Anglo-Saxon derivatives to create a choppy rhythm. But, he also feels an acute pain because he is conscious of his mortality and suffering. The escapist idealism forces the poet to leave the painful realism and enter into ideal life of nightingale. The speaker admits that his vision is failing him either due to his altered mental state or simply because it's dark , but this only makes his sense of smell stronger. Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? It can pertain to the genuineness of that thrilling experience which the song had given him.
The poet is longing for the imaginative experience of an imaginatively perfect world. The voice of the nightingale is made immune first to history, and then to geography. To sum up, Keats soars high with his 'wings of poesy' into the world of ideas and perfect happiness. Bereft of vision, the poet employs his olfactory senses to give a full-fledged portrayal of the flowers and the grass that touch his feet. Lines 5-10 explains what had given rise to these strange, morbid feelings in the poet. In Greek mythology, the Lethe is a river in the underworld, whose waters will erase the memories of anyone who drinks them. After describing his plight, Keats acknowledges, rather than envy the bird's 'happy lot' and participates in its permanent happiness.
Such a conception may be just idle whimsies on his part. John Keats is one of the most celebrated English romantic poets. One is Keats' evaluation of life; life is a vale of tears and frustration. At this moment, Keats must also have been conscious that the very bird, which he had idealized and immortalized, existed in the real world, mortal and vulnerable to change and suffering like himself. In the seventh stanza the contrast is sharpened: the immortal bird, representing natural beauty as well as poetry, is set against the 'hungry generations' of mankind. Imaginative minds can have a momentary flight into the fanciful world. However this urn still captures the essence of this ancient yet golden age.