John Keats: Permanance vs Temporality

Topics: John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale, Death Pages: 3 (980 words) Published: July 28, 2007
It seems that a recurring theme in writer John Keats' odes is the idea of permanence versus temporality. They investigate the relationships, or barriers to relationship, between always changing human beings and the eternal, static and unalterable forces superior to humans. In John Keats' poems, "Ode to a Nightingale" and "To Autumn" Keats longs for the immortality of the beauty of the season and of the song of the nightingale but deep down he knows he can not obtain it.

In the ode "To Autumn" author John Keats longs to have everlasting cyclic life such as that of the season, but he knows when he dies he can never come back. Firstly Keats praises Autumn for its beauty describing its abundance and its intimacy with the sun, with whom Autumn ripens fruits and causes the late flowers to bloom. Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness

Close bosom- friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit…
To swell the gourd and plump the hazel shells…
And still more, later flowers for the bees…
Keats knows the same beauty he is observing is the same one generation before him observed and generations after him will observe because the unique beauty of each season will forever be the same. Secondly, the speaker describes the figure of Autumn as a female goddess, often seen sitting on the granary floor, her hair "soft-lifted" by the wind, and often seen sleeping in the fields or watching a cider-press squeezing the juice from apples. Keats personifies Autumn in an attempt to make it more human but, even on a human level Autumn is still the most beautiful thing in the world. "Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? / Think not of them, thou hast thy music too." The persona tells Autumn not to wonder where the songs of spring have gone, but instead to listen to her own music. At twilight, the "small gnats" hum above the shallows of the river, and "full-grown lambs" bleat from the hills. Crickets sing, robins whistle from the...
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