Ode to a Nightingale‘ is one of the best ode of John Keats, a great romantic poet. He is probably the only poet apart from the Blake whose present rank is higher than it was in the 19th century. Keats died when he was barely 26 years old. However his poems and letters form an extraordinary record of his rapid progress. Keats’ poetic art and mind reached its perfection. True his odes are enough to establish his poetic genius. Keats was a great sensuous poet. His poems are rich with sensuous details.

Keats composed this immortal ode when his heart was full of grief at the death of his brother. The poet is a spell bound to listen to the songs of the Nightingale. The song unleashed magical effect on his heart and mind. The poet’s heart aches and he feels drowsiness and his senses are numbed. Further the poet feels as if he was taken some drugs. The poet addresses his heart felt felling to the Nightingale. He makes it clear to the Nightingale that his heart aches is not because he is jealous of the happy lot of the Nightingale rather he feels excessive joy in the happiness of the Nightingale. The poet addresses the Nightingale as the nymph of the tree, who lives in the shadows numberless. The poet is so much so fed up with this world of weariness, fever and fret that he wants to leave this world and he is very eager to go to the world of Nightingale. Where there is no grief, no pain, no frustration. The poet desires to go to the land of Nightingale by taking a special type of wine that is associated with song, mirth and dance. But very soon he drops this idea and decides to go to the world of Nightingale sitting on the wings of poesy.

The poet presents a great contrast between the world of the Nightingale and the human world. He list the catalogue of sufferings, Misery and melancholy which human beings have to face in their day to day in life. In this world there is weariness, fever and Fret, and aged man is a patient of paralysis and young man looks pale and spectre thin. In this world beauty cannot keep its brightness and to think is to be full of sorrow. What is more in this world no love Pines beyond tomorrow, where as the Nightingale does not know death and decay, pains and sufferings, Misery and melancholy of this world. Nightingale’s world is sans sufferings and sans all the worldly pains and pangs. It is a world full of joy and happiness.

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The poet has come to the world of Nightingale with the help of imagination. The poet is now enjoying the sensuous pleasure of the embalmed darkness. Although the poet is not able to see the different flowers in the darkness yet he can guess these flowers because of their exotic fragrance. The poet is so much overjoyed to listen to the song of Nightingale that he wants to die a painless death. Many a time the poet has invoked death to take away his breath. And this moment while he is listening to the song of Nightingale, he considers this moment to be a grand one.

In the last but one stanza the poet forcefully says that the Nightingale is an immortal bird. It knows no death and decay. Further the poet highlights the magical effect of the sweet, soothing and melodious song of the Nightingale. The song of the Nightingale has charmed the emperor as well as the clown. It removed the sad feelings and sorrowful feelings of Ruth, a widow sick for her home. The song of the Nightingale has also charmed the magicians whose magic casements open on the foam of the perilous sees and in the faery forlorn. The very word forlorn seems the poet back from the world of Nightingale to his own self. He realises that imagination cannot cheat a man so well. He wakes up and he no more fears the music of the Nightingale. However the poet is still in confusion and he questions do I wake or sleep?

Ode to a Nightingale is reckoned (consider) to be one of the best ode of John Keats. This ode is full of sensuous description.



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