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Keats gains inspiration from many sources, the most important of which is the natural world. Explore the varied poetic uses Keats makes of nature in the 'Ode on Melancholy' and 'Ode to Autumn'

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Introduction

Nicola White Keats gains inspiration from many sources, the most important of which is the natural world. Explore the varied poetic uses Keats makes of nature in the 'Ode on Melancholy' and 'Ode to Autumn' Keats refers to nature in many of his poems. The natural world and the human world are inspiring to him and he portrays both these ideas in the poem 'Ode on Melancholy.' He describes nature and its beauty through descriptive language in this ode. In this ode nature present the joys in life as well its melancholic ways. Keats uses themes of mutability, nature and its course and synaesthesia. These inspirations Keats uses enable him to be a universally renowned poet as the themes give his poems individuality. Keats wrote during the Romantic period and observations and description of the natural world were very typical of writers in the period. Nature is shown in several forms throughout 'Ode on Melancholy' and 'Ode to Autumn' as Keats learns to accept the truth of life and all of its qualities and nature helps discover and highlight this. 'Ode to Melancholy' begins with the descriptions of nature through the idea of suffering. Negative images are displayed, "No, no" telling you not to reject melancholy but learn to accept it. ...read more.

Middle

It is meant to be temporary, as life has many emotions through the human world as well as the natural world. Keats's equates pain with pleasure here. In 'Ode on Melancholy', beauty must die; joy bids adieu; pleasure turns to poison; "aching pleasure" is a Keatsian oxymoron showing melancholy will be experienced at times. Reference to the human world is significant because it helps emphasise the importance of the natural world. There are references to mythological creatures such as Prosperine and Psyche, even though these goddesses were beautiful and somewhat joyous they still had to face times of sorrow and depression in order to truly live. Psyche represents the human soul, to love and lose. Prosperine was the goddess of the underworld, spending six months of every year in the underworld with Hades. Melancholy is also personified in stanza three, as a goddess to show the opposition of joy and sorrow. Beauty, Joy and Pleasure show Keats' emotions and feelings. These are the positive aspects of life. He is explaining at times everyone will feel like this, you can't be sad and emotional all the time but you also can't be "Beautiful" and "Joyous" no matter how hard you try as this does not follow nature's course. Both of these odes show nature to be some what perfect at peak times. ...read more.

Conclusion

Keats uses language such as, "plump", "swell" and "budding" to show abundance but also has made the stanzas of the ode eleven lines long rather than ten which creates the idea of overflowing, blossoming and maturing nature. His use of structure is able to give the poem more creative meaning. The mutability is autumn is shown throughout this ode within the process of time. The second stanza of the poem focuses on high autumn while in the final stanza autumn is coming to a close and winter is being introduced. It is obvious by Keats' expression that he does not have the same deep feelings for winter as he has for autumn. Autumn is personified as a harvester in this ode; nature seems to gain personal qualities here instead of remaining an abstraction. It creates a strong feeling of aliveness within the season itself. Keats is exemplifying maturity, resolutions, perfection and unification of this season and himself as a poet within this time. The powerful descriptions of the season mirror his feelings as a writer. Nature is able to bring out happiness in the form of the season of autumn as Keats is able to enjoy himself. Autumn begins to slow down its cycle by the end of stanza two; there is "the last oozings" the onomatopoeia used here is also able to slow the pace of the poem down as well as showing nature's beauty disappearing. ...read more.

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