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To My Brother George Analysis

Author: poem of John Keats Type: poem Views: 7

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Many the wonders I this day have seen:

The sun, when first he kissed away the tears

That filled the eyes of Morn;—the laurelled peers

Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;—

The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,

Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,

Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears

Must think on what will be, and what has been.

E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,

Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping

So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,

And she her half-discovered revels keeping.

But what, without the social thought of thee,

Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?


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Keats initially, through the speaker, describes the “wonders” he had seen “this day” (lines 1-8). The speaker describes the coming of the sun, the ocean and its many “wonders”- “ships”, “rocks”, and the like.
After the Volta the speaker turns the thoughts of his “dear George”. He describes “Cynthia”, looking out “from her silken curtains” Cynthia was one of the many names the Greeks had for the moon, and knowing Keat’s fascination and constant reference to Greek mythology, one can assume that it is the moon he refers to here. “From her silken curtains peeping” gives the image of a woman tentatively stepping out from between curtains, “silken” gives the image of something fine, something insubstantial, implying the moon is gradually emerging from light clouds-cover. “so scanty” suggests a crescent moon, waxing or waning.
The last two lines of the sonnet speak of the speaker’s desire to share his day with George, and hints at the wonders not meaning much to him without being able to share them with his brother.
The Adjectives used by Keats, such as “silken”, “feathery”, “mysterious” and “golden” to create a sense of ease. The light hearted tone of the octet continues into the sestet, and upon the last two lines turns slightly melancholy – George has not seen the wondrous things the speaker has.

| Posted on 2010-05-05 | by a guest

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