Ode to a Nightingale, by John Keats

Ode to a Nightingale Important Points

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1- Ode to Nightingale was composed in 1819, by John Keats

2- It was composed when John Keats was staying with Charles Brown, his friend.

3- Some people said that the ode is written in the garden of the Spaniards Inn, Hampstead in London

4- According to John Keats’ friend Charles Armitage Brown, Keats wrote the ode under the plum tree in the garden of his house at Wentworth Place.

5- John Keats wrote the ode in one day.

6- This poem was first published in Annals of the Fine Arts in July 1819.

7- John Keats saw a nightingale in Charles Brown’s garden in the spring of 1819.

8- It had built its nest in a plum tree in the garden. Every day, it sang sweetly.

9- John Keats felt a tranquil and joy in its song.

10 – One day John Keats took his breakfast chair and sat for 2 or 3 hours under the plum tree to see the nightingale and to listen its melodious song.

11 – After 3 hours he returned into house with some scraps of paper in his hand, he quietly thrust it behind the books.

12 – Those scrap papers were 4 or 5 in number.

13- John Keats had composed his poetic feelings about the beautiful nightingale and about its sweet song.

14- It is a personal poem which describes Keats’ journey into the state of Negative Capability.

15- In this Ode, we realize that the tone of John Keats’ pleasure and his optimistic nature was changed. He feels gloomy and pessimistic in the ode.

16- Here John Keats tells that pleasure can’t last and death is an inevitable part of life.

17- Ode to a Nightingale has 80 lines. It is the longest ode by John Keats. “Ode to a Nightingale” is arranged into eight different stanzas, each of ten lines.

18- It includes ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ and ‘Ode on Melancholy’.

19- This poem starts with a speaker standing in a dark forest. The speaker was listening to the beautiful song of a nightingale.

20- The poem draws attention to time, death, beauty, nature and human sufferings (the speaker wants to escape from these and he is trying to find comfort).

21- He listened the song of the nightingale and find comfort in the nightingale’s song.

22- Listening the song of the nightingale, he felt himself isolated figure.

23- He felt that poetry will make a closer relation to nightingale and to its song.

24- After some time the nightingale flew away, the speaker unsure about this real experience of the song of the nightingale. He asked himself whether the vision was real or a daydream?

25- In the beginning the speaker declared his heartache. His heart aches with the joy and numbs his senses like a drug.

26- He felt like he had drunk from the poisonous hemlock plant or like he had just taken some kind of opiate drug and fallen into the waters of Lethe. (Greek Mythological river that makes a man forget everything.)

27- In this poem the poet expresses his own feelings rising in his heart at the hearing of the melodious song of the bird.

28- He is filled with a desire to escape from the world of caring to the world of beautiful place of the bird.

29- The poem presents the tragic picture of human life. It depicts pessimism and dejection of Keats’ life.

30- When John Keats wrote this piece of poetry, his heart was full of sorrow, because-

  1. Tom Keats, his brother had died.
  2. His brother Robert Keats had gone abroad.
  3. John Keats was suffering under the suspense and agony caused by his beloved Fanny Browne.

31- The song of the nightingale kindles his desire for a draught of wine, greenery and country dances.

32- He longs to disappear into the dim forest with the nightingale and fade away.

33- He wants to forget about the afflictions of the world-miseries, worries, disease and old age.

34- The poet talks to the nightingale, he tells her to fly away so that he could follow her. He tells that he will fly with his viewless wings of imagination and poetic talent.

35- He identifies the bird with dryad (The Greek Goddess of the tree). The poet immortalizes the bird by thinking of the bird as the symbol of the universal voice of nature and an undying musical voice.

36- The poet presents the voice of the nightingale as the medicine of the discomfort, tension, miseries and pain.

37- The poet forgets the outside world, himself and his pains, due to his imagination about the bird and its sweet voice.

38- In the last part of the poem, the poet realises that the nightingale and its sweet song are immortal. These were in the long past and will in the future. The peasants and the emperors have enjoyed it in the past.

39- In the last, the poet realises that he can’t escape himself from the world miseries and the pains with the help of his imagination.

40- In the last the speaker once again was unsure about his experience whether it was true experience or it was day dream.

41- Thus we can say that Ode to a Nightingale is a symbol of art and outlasts mortal life.

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