John keats (1795 – 1821)

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John keats (1795 – 1821)

  1. 1. Week Ten John Keats ‘Ode on Melancholy’
  2. 2. Ode on Melancholy <ul><li>1 </li></ul><ul><li>No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist </li></ul><ul><li> Wolfsbane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine; </li></ul><ul><li>Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed </li></ul><ul><li> By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine; </li></ul><ul><li>5 Make not your rosary of yew-berries, </li></ul><ul><li> Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be </li></ul><ul><li> Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl </li></ul><ul><li>A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries; </li></ul><ul><li> For shade to shade will come too drowsily, </li></ul><ul><li>10 And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Ode on Melancholy <ul><li>2 </li></ul><ul><li>But when the melancholy fit shall fall </li></ul><ul><li> Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud, </li></ul><ul><li>That fosters the droop-headed flowers all, </li></ul><ul><li> And hides the green hill in an April shroud; </li></ul><ul><li>15 Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, </li></ul><ul><li> Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave, </li></ul><ul><li> Or on the wealth of glob èd peonies; </li></ul><ul><li>Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, </li></ul><ul><li> Imprison her soft hand, and let her rave, </li></ul><ul><li>20 And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ode on Melancholy <ul><li>3 </li></ul><ul><li>She dwells with Beauty – Beauty that must die </li></ul><ul><li> And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips </li></ul><ul><li>Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, </li></ul><ul><li> Turning to Poison while the bee-mouth sips: </li></ul><ul><li>25 Aye in the very temple of Delight </li></ul><ul><li> Veiled Melancholy has her sov’reign shrine, </li></ul><ul><li> Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue </li></ul><ul><li> Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine; </li></ul><ul><li>His soul shall taste the sadness of her might, </li></ul><ul><li>30 And be among her cloudy trophies hung. </li></ul>
  5. 5. ‘ If by dull rhymes our English must be chained…’ <ul><li>By 1819, bored of the sonnet form and influenced by the odes of Wordsworth (‘Ode to Duty’ and ‘Ode on Intimations of Mortality’) and Coleridge (‘Dejection: an Ode’), Keats sought to construct: </li></ul><ul><li>Sandals more interwoven and complete </li></ul><ul><li>To fit the naked foot of Poesy. </li></ul>Which two traditional stanza forms does Keats combine for his odes ‘On Melancholy’, ‘To a Nightingale’, and with a minor deviation, ‘On a Grecian Urn’?
  6. 6. ‘ O for a life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts!’ Negative Capability: ‘that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.’ (Letter to George and Tom Keats, 1817)
  7. 7. Task One <ul><li>In his ‘The Nightingale: a Conversation Poem’, Coleridge subverted the traditional image of the eponymous songbird as, in Milton’s words, ‘most musical, most melancholy’ by claiming that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Nature there is nothing melancholy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And that all of nature seemed: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always full of love / And joyance. </li></ul></ul>Argue the case that Keats’ ‘negative capability’ allows him to find a more rich and subtle middle ground in regard to melancholy.
  8. 8. Task Two <ul><li>In March of 1819, Keats wrote: </li></ul><ul><li>This is the world – thus we cannot expect to give way many hours to pleasure – While we are laughing the seed of some trouble is put into the wide arable land of events – while we are laughing it sprouts, grows and suddenly bears a poison fruit which we must pluck. </li></ul>How does this sentiment correlate with and differ from the sentiments explored in ‘Ode on Melancholy’?
  9. 9. Task Three Look for parallels between ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and other poems we have studied this term, with specific attention to the philosophies espoused by each of the poets.
  10. 10. Tasks Argue the case that Keats’ ‘negative capability’ allows him to find a more rich and subtle middle ground in regard to melancholy. This is the world – thus we cannot expect to give way many hours to pleasure – While we are laughing the seed of some trouble is put into the wide arable land of events – while we are laughing it sprouts, grows and suddenly bears a poison fruit which we must pluck. (Correlate with and differ from ‘Ode on Melancholy’) Look for parallels between ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and other poems we have studied this term, with specific attention to the philosophies espoused by each of the poets.

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