Keats' Romantic Eco-Poetics

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Ecocritics work to develop and demonstrate the connection between nature and humanity by expressing how places are connected to the people that live in them. Likewise, those places, or nature, affect the people that live within them and vise versa.

John Keats’ eco-poetics often convey a Romantic adoration for nature by means of a self-conscious, philosophical imagination’s connection to nature. His enthusiasm for the philosophical as well as the corporeal scopes of nature plays an obvious fundamental role in his theory of consciousness and aesthetics. Keats has specific qualifications for truth and beauty. Truth is all inclusive, combining all experiences with nature in one’s life, whether they are affirmative or undesirable experiences, into one functional vision. However, Keats separates his poetry from nature in dominating way. He does not believe that nature only funds the aesthetics of his poetry, but rather that his poetry forces readers to recognize a deeper meaning to existence.

‘Ode to a Nightingale’ is an excellent example of Keats’ use of nature in developing the poet’s assumptions of consciousness and philosophy. The initial use of a bird singing, in its poetic aesthetics sense, portrays the beauty and concord within nature. Keats embraces the thought of a painless death only while listening to the nightingale’s song. This is because of the bird’s ability to be free, which wills Keats’ to want a similar freedom, apart from the suffering and pain within human life. He even speaks as though the nightingale is immortal and incapable of the sorrow of death. Within the same stanza, which can be found below, Keats speaks of a magic this nightingale holds. It is as if Keats firmly believes in the nightingale’s ability to transcend the natural world, into a world free of cares and lacking death. My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute...
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