Compare and Contrast Ode to the West Wind and Ode to a Nightingale

Topics: Poetry, Poetic form, Romanticism Pages: 2 (475 words) Published: May 18, 2013
COMPARE AND CONTRAST “ODE TO THE WEST WIND” AND “ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE” “Ode to the West wind” and “Ode to a Nightingale” are two of the main representative poems of the second generation of the Romantic period. Even though Shelley and Keats literary works are both lyric poems they portray some similarities as well as differences. To begin with, both poems share a similar genre, form and theme. First, it can be mentioned that both are odes since they are short lyric poems that have a complicated formal structure. This ancient form of poetry was extremely popular among the Romantic poets such as Keats and Shelley. Another similarity is that both odes are written in iambic pentameter. Iambic pentameter is the most common meter used among English writers. Keats does an excellent job of keeping the meter fairly regularly through the poem, without making it sound awkward or strained. “Ode to a Nightingale” has eight separate stanzas of ten lines each, and the meter of each line, except for the eighth, is iambic pentameter. The eight lines are written in iambic trimeter, which means it has only six syllables per line instead of ten. In the same way, most of the lines in Shelley’s poem are in iambic pentameter, although some of the pentameter lines have an extra syllable known as catalexis. Next, the romantic engagement with nature is another distinctive common feature. The natural world in both poems is apostrophized by the persona, the wind in Shelleys’ poem and the Nightingale in Keats’. Furthermore, these natural objects are addressed as human beings. So, the use of personification in the poems is a common device used by the poets. Among the differences, the tone and mood of the two images – patterns of the poems are completely different. In Shelley’s poem, the central motif is the power of nature and it is elevated to a mythical level. The persona evokes the wind magically, describing its power and its role as both “destroyer and preserver”. The tone of the...
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