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Ode on Melancholy Analysis

Author: Poetry of John Keats Type: Poetry Views: 1740

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No, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist

Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;

Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed

By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;

Make not your rosary of yew-berries,

Nor let the beetle nor the death-moth be

Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl

A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;

For shade to shade will come too drowsily,

And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,

That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

And hides the green hill in an April shroud;

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,

Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,

Or on the wealth of globed peonies;

Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,

Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty -- Beauty that must die;

And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips

Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips;

Ay, in the very temple of delight

Veiled Melancholy has her sovran shrine,

Though seen of none save him whose strenuous


Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;

His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,

And be among her cloudy trophies hung.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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poem seems more genuine because it expresses feelings that are experienced by Keats in his life.he gives us ways to feel the true melancholy.according to him it is not the thing to be avoided.he is in fact celebrating melancholy here.

| Posted on 2011-04-07 | by a guest

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i love the idea that it is the contrast that is drawn between pain and pleasure that makes both so recognisable as human emotions. The poem, to me, is all about how accepting the bad can lead to you really appreciating the good, in life.

| Posted on 2010-06-16 | by a guest

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the first post seems to be taken from another web page. PLAGARISM.

| Posted on 2009-10-22 | by a guest

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“Ode on Melancholy”: An Analysis
John Keats is one of the greatest poets of the 19th century. This is quite remarkable since he only lived to be 25. In one famous poem that he wrote, “Ode on Melancholy,” Keats raises many questions for the reader. What is melancholy? Why does Keats decide on an ode? How does Keats react to melancholy?
Keats urges his reader to not think about suicide when melancholy is about. He warns them not to take poisons such as Wolf’s-bane, nightshade, and yew berries. He believes that such things will ameliorate melancholy, and melancholy is not an emotion that should be ameliorated. Instead, when one is melancholic one should “glut thy sorrow” on the beauty of a rose or the rainbow of salt and sea. It is interesting that Keats uses these objects to represent beauty, for they are short-lived. Roses are beautiful for only a short period of time, and then they wilt or fade away. When one thinks about the rainbow of salt and sea, they envision a beach were the tide brings in what appears to be oil stained water, wherein, a rainbow appears, but then is swept away again by the receding tide. The rainbow, like the rose, holds only temporary beauty. Perhaps by using these images, Keats is implying that what makes these things all the more beautiful is that man can not grasp their beauty for long.
Keats uses an “objective correlative” in which he created a situation that made the reader feel what he wanted him to feel rather than simply telling the reader the emotion directly. T.S. Eliot coined the term “objective correlative” in order to express the idea that a writer, in order to express an emotion, must use events or objects that form a “formula for that particular emotion.” He does this by drawing the reader into the poem, since everyone has at some point experienced melancholy. He draws upon the reader’s own personal experience with melancholy in order to express his emotion. He does this in quotes such as, “and drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.”
An ode is a poem of celebration or praise. In an “Ode on Melancholy,” Keats is praising melancholy instead of viewing instead of viewing it as a burden. In this poem, Keats uses contrast as the key to pleasure. Melancholy is not the moment for death, but an opportunity for a new experience. It is the fine balance between pain and pleasure that is ideal. The final stanza emphasizes this idea: Beauty is always ephemeral; joy is always about to leave, but these are man’s most intense moments. With the realization that beauty is indeed fleeting comes intense melancholy, which Keats defines as the “wakeful anguish of the soul.”
Keats does not suggest that one should avoid melancholy, or should one try to cheer themselves up. He urges them instead to balance their pain with tremendous pleasure and relish the contrast.

| Posted on 2009-05-04 | by a guest

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really i appreciate the guest who analyse this ode, he simplify it and..
thank you so much

| Posted on 2009-03-08 | by a guest

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First stanza: speaker is telling us what not to do when we are sad. Lethe is the river of forgetfulness, so he is telling us not to forget our sadness. The poisonous wine suggests that the speaker is telling us not to commit suicide. He then refers to death through symbols and imagery, telling us also not to become obsessed with objects of death and misery. In the last two lines of the stanza, he tells us that we need to be alert and awake.
The first word in the second stanza suggests contrast between the two stanzas; in his second stanza he tells us what TO do. He says to overwhelm sorrow with natural beauty or in the eyes of a beloved.
In the third stanza, when he says "Beauty that must die" he implies that pleasure and pain are related. The shrine of melancholy is inside the "temple of Delight" but it is only visible if one overwhelms himself with joy.

| Posted on 2009-01-17 | by a guest

.: get lost :.

just wanted to say that this web site iss just too cool to be analytical about well that was a good way to end ok i have other thibgs to do

| Posted on 2008-05-14 | by a guest

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