John Keats

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Synonyms for John Keats

Englishman and romantic poet (1795-1821)


References in periodicals archive ?
Ode on Melancholy is ultimately a mortality ode--a genre shadowed by its housing in the same volume as Keats's last romance, Lamia, where a young man's fatal enchantment by a lady who vanishes (perhaps was never gettable) takes a cue from The Anatomy of Melancholy.
However, the comparison between the admonitory passage from 'Clifton Grove' and the final stanza of the 'Ode on Melancholy' is instructive.
Byron underlines that my focus on the "Ode on Melancholy" is over-determined by the peculiar space the poem occupies: a sea-shore topos where a dialogic between island and world, I and alterity, "Man" and "Nature," me-ship and Ocean, is at work and in play.
The "Ode on Melancholy" is situated on this shore where the poet "inter-views" Iland and Other--to use the verb Byron felicitously inscribes to conflate a constructed vision and a dialogical discourse of disruption.
Yet if it is true that the "Ode on Melancholy" embodies a deconstructive play of letters, as O'Rourke goes on to argue ("The language of the poem becomes literally unparaphrasable through its exploitation of pronouns as shifters"; i.e., the ambiguous referent of "She" in stanza three, among other indeterminacies O'Rourke analyzes, for example, "I" and "We"), these ever-shifting letters threaten to wash away the possibility of a historicist meaning for the poem unless they are concretely related to a border-line figuration of Keats's nationalist life-world (O'Rourke 133; my emphasis).
This is a one-sided reading of Bate that I will complicate in due course, since it thrives in both Bloom and Vendler ("'Keats's intoxication will never again, after the repudiation of wine in Nightingale, be that of any earthly drink"; Vendler 180), as well as in Anya Taylor's recent reading of the "Ode on Melancholy" as a sublimation of the mundane exotica that line 2 of the Ode calls "poisonous wine" into nothing less than a totalized episteme (Keatsian apocrypha records that the poet laced his mouth with cayenne to make claret more spicy): "The agitation and fullness of knowledge pours into him like a wine." (29)
Without the Ode on Melancholy, Keats would not have found his way to the rich embodiments of the autumn ode (Vendler 168-69, 182-83; my emphasis) (57)
A parodic "Ay" does, however, haunt both texts ("To Autumn" 23; (60) "Ode on Melancholy" 25), thereby emptying out the redolent "I" of the lyrical "eye"--that is, the rosary of "[e]ye," "yew," and "you" that Keats wants to tell to himself in an endless dia-logos.
James O'Rourke's chapter on the "Ode on Melancholy," "The Agency of the Pronoun," begins by focusing on a perennial problem in criticism of the Ode: the indeterminacy of the "She" at the beginning of stanza three.
The third chapter muses on the oddity that while Ode on Melancholy has just as many ambiguities and indeterminacies as Nightingale and Grecian Urn, critics have been much more certain in their interpretations of this considerably shorter ode.
O'Rourke devotes considerable space to the poem's conclusion and the question (as with Ode on Melancholy) whether we are to read it as funereal or forward-looking--mournful with the gnats or twittering with the swallows.