Ode to a Nightingale- Explanation
My heart aches,……….and Lethe-wards had sunk;
Context and Explanation- This extract has been taken from the poem “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by John Keats. Here the poet describes the effect of a nightingale’s sweet song upon himself. He implies that a nightingale is singing charmingly. He is listening to the song. And there has begun a sweet pain in his heart because of excessive. He says that there is a continued sweet rain in his heart. A sleep-like state is taking hold of his mind, as if he took a dose of hemlock or that of some sleep-inducing opiated drug, to the last drops, one minute ago. And therefore, he fell into the present state of sleepiness in which he is losing consciousness.
N.B. : Lethe, according to Greek mythology, is a river of the underworld. It water, causes forgetfulness of the pst to the souls of the dead. The word “Leathe-wards” makes a reference to Greek mythology. It is a great example of Keat’s Hellenism.
Tis not through envy……….summer in full-throated ease
Context and Explanation- This passage has been taken from the poem “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by John Keats. In the forgoing lines he tells the nightingale that its song has excited a continued pain in his heart. Here he tells the bird that the pain is due to excessive joy. He says that the ached in his heart has not been caused by intense jealously of its happy lot. Far from it, the pain is due to the ecstasy caused by its sweet song. He tells the nightingale that it is singing of the pleasure of summer. And it is singing spontaneously at the highest pitch of its voice, in its nest of green beechen leaves. The sweetness of its song creates the illusion that it is a light-winged wood nymph singing heartily hidden behind countless shadows of the leaves.
N.B. : A Dryad is a wood nymph, according to Greek mythology. The use of the word “Dryad” is an example of Keats Hellenism.
O for a draught of…………..and sunburnt mirth!
Context and Explanation- This extract has been taken from the poem “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by John Keats. Here the poet expresses his wish for a dose of grapy wine to help him escape to the world of the nightingale. He wishes that he had a peg of the wine produced from grapes and kept buried in a deep cellar for a long time. It should be such wine that its effect may excite in his mind the visions of the ancient Romans celebrating in the green countryside the May-Day festival called “Floria” in honour of Flora, their goddess of Spring and flowers. It should also excite visions of the winemakers of Provence, France, singing and dancing on the beaches under the burning sun. By these references the poet means that the wine should be of such a quality that it may take his mind away into the worlds of merry making, singing and dancing.
O for a breaker full of………away into the forest dim.
Context and Explanation- This passage has been taken from the poem “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by John Keats. Here the poet express his wish for some grapy wine full of poetic inspiration. He tensely wishes that he had a beaker full of the grapy wine produced in the southern, warm, part of France. It should be red and full of such head-like bubbles that may invite a man to drink that wine up. It should also stain a man’s lips purpole when he drinks of it, and should inspire him to drink more of it. It should also be endowed with such real poetic inspiration that was present in the water of the fountain called “Hippocrene” situated on Mount Helicon, according to Greek mythology. And the poet wants to have such wine so that he may drink of it, forget his own world of miseries, and escape to the happy world of the nightingale singing on a tree at night.
Fade for away, dissolve………and spectre-thin, and dies;
Context and Explanation- These lines have been taken from the poem “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by John Keats. Here the poet explains why he wants to take peg of strong wine, he says that he wants to have wine in order to attain a complete imaginary escape from his own world. He wants to escape from the extreme fatigue of life, the fever of hopes and fears, and the peevishness born of despairs. The nightingale has never experienced these things. So the poet wishes to escape to the nightingale’s world from his own where people groan under the weight of sufferings. Here, in the human world, youngmen fall a prey to consumption and turn pale. Then they are reduced to a mere skele, and ultimately they die. Only a few are lucky to live upto old age, in which sadness overpowers them and old age paralysis shakes their limbs.
Away! away! for I will fly………perplexes and retards:
Context and Explanation- This passage has been extracted from the “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by John Keats. Here the poet tells the nightingale that he will fly to its world by means of poetic fancy. He rejects the idea of escaping to the nightingale’s happy world through grapy wine. He adds that he will now rise to the happiness of the nightingale on the wings of his poetic imagination. He means that he will now imagine that he is sitting beside the nightingale in the tree, although his sad mind is embarrassed with sorrows, and therefore, keeps him back from poetic flights these days.
Already with thee! ………………………… glooms and winding mossy ways.
Context and Explanation- The extract has been taken from the poem “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by John Keats. Here the poet imagines that he is with the nightingale in the tree. He says that he is already beside it by virtue of his poetic imagination. Then he begins to describe atmosphere around him. The night is sweet. Incidentally the moon and the stars are shining in the sky. But there is no light at the place where he is sitting with the nightingale. Ye every now and then beams of the moonlight enter the place through the dark shadows of green leaves and the meandering ways of the moss-covered branches, when the light winds flutter the leaves of the tree.
N.B. : The passage contains a very pretty word-picture. The poet has represented the moon as the Queen of night sitting on her throne and surrounded by the fairies called the stars.
Perhaps the self-same………..in fiery lands forlom
Context and Explanation— This passage has bene taken from the poem “Ode To A Nightingale” composed by the John Keats. Here the poet implies that the sweet song of the nightingale has always charmed the people from the ancient times upto this day, he says that probably the very song of the nightingale, which has thrilled him with great joy, also soothed the heart of Ruth mentioned in the Bible. It solaced her sad heart, when she was sick for home; and stood weeping in the corn-field of another man. And this very song also comforted the forlorn princesses imprisoned in magic castles, when those ladies stood in the magic windows which opened on the foamy stormy, ocean in fairylands.
N.B.: According to the Book of Ruth in the Bible, Ruth was a widow. She then married a man called Boaz for whom she worked on the fields. But she was home-sick and often unhappy.
English Literature— Important links
- “Ode To a Nightingale” By John Keats- Stanza wise Summary
- “Ode to the West Wind”- Introduction & Complete Explanation
- Tintern Abbey- Line by Line Explanation (1 to 10 Context Stanza-wise)
- Tintern Abbey Stanza-wise Explanation (11 to 16 Context)
- Tintern Abbey Summary in Hindi | (कविता का सारांश)
- The World is Too Much With Us- Summary & Stanza-wise Explanation
- Nurse’s Song by William Blake | Summary & Complete Explanation
- Explanations of Absalom and Achitophel (Line by line analysis)
- Critical appreciation of “The False Achitophel” by John Dryden
- “PARADISE LOST” as an Epic- By John Milton
- “The Canonization” by John Donne- Summary & Line by line Explanation
- Sonnet 29- When, in disgrace with fortune (William Shakespeare)
- SONNET 138- When my love swears (Analysis and Explanation)
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