This poem is from the Romantic era period. Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that began in Europe through a return to nature, medievalist, and a fascination with folk art and folklore. The Romantics stressed individualism over traditional rules of aesthetics and expected emotional response from the audience. Romanticism is known for its emphasis on ‘the sublime’ and emotions. The poem begins with a contemporary nightingale, who sings upon a blooming rose outside John Keats’ window in May of 1819.
The poem was written by John Keats so he could be inside his room and think about the bird’s song while it happened outside his window. The poem itself is an ode, which is different from most poems because it includes musical devices such as rhythm and rhyme scheme to reflect the sound of the nightingale’s song. In this ode, each stanza contains three quatrain’s that have a rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.
The poem is structured into the various parts of a bird’s song with iambic pentameter, which are five beats per line in each verse. John Keats uses personification to give the nightingale human characteristics so he can compare his emotions and the bird’s song. He used this poem as an analogy of what poets feel when they write poems for their audience. He also used allusion by mentioning Philomel, who was raped and had her tongue cut out by Tereus.
The nightingale represents the poet because it is small, delicate, has no equal among other birds, and has enchanting songs that bring harmony to around them. This poem adds to the Romanticism period because Keats uses nature as a metaphorical poem to make sense of human emotions. Today, Ode to a Nightingale is read in high school and college classrooms worldwide. This poem has been anthologized countless times which has made it one of John Keats’ most famous poems that many people know today.
In John Keats’s poem Ode to a Nightingale, he writes about his pain and suffering from his love for Fanny Brawne. He seems to have been going through some sort of depression or sickness as he moved from doctor to doctor in a quest for a cure. The poem is narrated by the nightingale itself. It begins with the bird talking about how it used to be happy and carefree but now has become very melancholy because it does not understand why everything around it is so sorrowful. John Keats stated that this poem was written because his friend Charles Armitage Brown brought up the subject of death, something that greatly troubled the poet.
In the poem, John Keats uses images of pain and darkness to express the reader about his deep sense of loss while he was loved by Fanny Brawne. He used images of darkness to create a tone that is full of desolation, thinking about how everything around him was so sorrowful. Some readers believe that John Keats may have actually died from this sickness because some words in poem are not very cheerful which leads them to think that this poem may have been written just after his death.
On the contrary, some also believed that the poem Ode to a Nightingale was written before John’s death because there are even more depressing poems that were written before he passed away. The poem reflects John Keats’s thoughts and his emotions of that time making the poem more personal. John Keats used some formal poem structures to express his pain, mainly an ode which is a poem where he can freely express his own feelings with no restrictions. This poem is written in first person point of view because it makes the poem more sincere and real as if he was talking directly to the reader.
The use of iambic pentameter also makes this poem very rhythmic adding on more intensity to what he wants to express. He ended each stanza with an ABAB rhyme scheme creating assonance throughout the poem making it easier for readers to understand or relate with what John Keats feels at that moment. John Keats Ode to a Nightingale poem is divided into three sections. The first section talks about how the nightingale used to be happy but now it has become very melancholy, asking why everything around him is sorrowful.
He also had this image of haunting darkness that comes every night adding some images of sadness and emptiness. John Keats’ poem Ode to a Nightingale starts with some haunting lines talking about his despair on what was happening in his life at the moment: “Darkling I listen; and for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death” (Lines 1-2) The poem first started with darkness and melancholy which most readers believed that the poem was written after John’s death because of some words he used such as easeful death which made the poem more depressing than usual.
However, some readers think that this poem was written before his death because there are even gloomy poems written by John Keats before he actually died. The poem starts with a nightingale talking about how it was once happy and carefree during its natural state in the wild but now it has transformed into something that is very melancholy and thoughtful wondering why everything around him is so sorrowful: “He [the nightingale] never seems to sing for me; Perhaps my friend composes mentally. ” (Lines 3-5)