“Romantic poetry explores human existence and emotional engagement” Discuss this statement with reference to at least two of Keats poems set for study. With great references too many of Keats poems but in particular Ode to a Nightingale and Ode on a Grecian Urn, this quote is reinforced and explored in great depth. The ideologies of human existence and emotional engagement are discovered with powerful relationships between man and women and humans and the environment. These connections create a sense of perspective however Keats most powerful messages revolve around love and compassion between two individuals. The quote reinforces this idea also. Keats focuses his writings around deep, intimate emotions and connections most prominently demonstrated between man and women due to its ability to be relatable to the reader and create the strongest emotional connections. Ode to a Nightingale gives direct meaning of nature, love and mortality, which encompass human existence and emotional engagement. Keats often drew upon legends to write his poems and this was no exception. In classical legend the nightingale was a beautiful maiden whom the gods turned into a bird after she had been raped and had her tongue cut out by her attacker. Given this rather tragic tale, the nightingale is often associated with melancholy and sadness. However some romantic poets altered this tradition and rather than the melancholy nightingale they described the song of the nightingale as something joyous. This is the view Keats tends to adopt. The nightingale and its song inspire the poets to write verse and to explore nature, love and morality. In the poem the nightingale represents a symbol of beauty, immortality, poetic inspiration and freedom, from the worlds troubles in comparison to the human condition reinforcing the quote “Romantic poetry explores human existence……….”. A strong sense of human condition is presented through the attempt to reconcile beauty and permanence through the symbol of the nightingale. The human condition represent the constant change and growth yet as humans we attempt to freeze small items and objects and notice the beauty within. Ode on a Grecian Urn portrays his attempt to engage with the static immobility of sculpture. The Grecian Urn, passed down centuries to the time of the speakers viewing, exists outside of time I the human sense, it does not age, it does not die and indeed it is alien to all such concepts. During the speaker’s meditation this creates an intriguing paradox for the human figures carved into the side of the urn, “they are free from time, but they are simultaneously frozen in time”. They do not possess the comfort of ageing and death, their love is “forever young” but neither can they have experience, “the youth can never kiss the maiden; the figures in the march can never return to their homes. The poem explores emotional engagement between generations of life. We have emotional connections to the figures on the urn whom stood centuries ago. This concept creates a sense that memory stand forever however we only experience life once. This contrast creates an intimate relationship of life and death. Ode to a Nightingale and Ode to a Grecian Urn contain powerful ideologies of human experience and emotional engagement. The Nightingale as a symbol of beauty, love and morality reinforces concepts of human experience, of life and the never-ending plead for constant beauty in a rapidly changing environment. Ode on a Grecian Urn highlights ideas of human experience and the sense of memory yet with the contrast of birth and death and the frozen sensation of life itself. These deep ideas that Keats includes in his writing creates an intimate experience for the reader. Romantic poetry explores human existence and emotional engagement particularly with symbolism. The nightingale and the urn symbolise both human experience and emotional engagement. Romanticism encompasses intimate concepts and explores them.