Posted at 07.10.2018
In his essay "A defense of poetry, " Percy Bysshe Shelley summarizes the role of the poet: "A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with lovely audio (Shelley, "A Protection of Poetry"). Reference to parrots is quite common in the works of Intimate writers, whereby the image stands for heights unachievable to the human being condition, for transcendence. Encouraged by the world of excellence that parrots inhabit, the Romantic poet tries to escape his earthly living, to "soar" to unseen heights only to realize the impossibility of his mission. The voyage of the poet can take the form of any pilgrimage, which leads the traveler back to his original point in earthly existence. This theme is developed in similar, yet different ways, by two Charming poets - Percy Bysshe Shelley in his "Into a Sky-lark" and John Keats in "Ode to a Nightingale. "
Both Shelley and Keats use a parrot as their muse and since a universal icon for the human experience. The general topic of the two poems is quite similar - awareness leaves humans restless in their seek out the perfect that never comes. The lyric speaker knows circumstances of unattainable efficiency and therefore could never totally appreciate the joys of life. The bird, in this sense, assists as the embodiment of the unreachable. The attitude towards it, however, is markedly different in the two works. Shelley is awed by the sky-lark and shows clean admiration, while Keats is envious of the traveling creature and its own state of perfection. Thus, the feelings of the two lyric loudspeakers also vary - the build of Shelley's poem is elevated, motivated, urging, while Keats' emotions wander on the sinuous slope from languor, to reverence, and end in despair. Aspirations on the image of the parrot differ too - Keats and Shelley have diverging goals in their invocations. For Keats, the nightingale is a means for accomplishment of 100 % pure transcendence, for Shelley the sky-lark is an expressive "device" that will deliver the author's emails to the earth. Both of these poems, however, share the similarity of taking a look at the mysteries and majesty of nature to try to understand the life of mankind. In this particular sense, both texts are resplendent with vivid imagery, created by using numerous stylistic devices.
The nightingale and the sky-lark are attended to as immortal symbols of poetic motivation in both poems. They are both unseen and, therefore, unattainable. The only way that leads to the birds is their melodious tune, which manages to encourage and touch Shelley, but leaves Keats in melancholy. This phenomenon is probably due to the different objectives and visions of the particular wild birds that the poets maintain - "the skylark is conceived in a public and intellectual vein, and the nightingale in an cosmetic and sensuous vein (Jalal Khan, pp. 13). " It really is indeed more challenging to attain the simply abstract, cosmetic ideal of beauty and eternity that Keats represents through the image of his nightingale. Shelley, on the other hands, supplicates the sky-lark to provide him something tangible - a way to spread his revolutionary chants of liberty, equality as opposed to tyranny and oppression. Thus, hope for achievement still continues for one of the poets - "The world should hear then, as I am listening now (Shelley, To a Sky-lark, line 105). " - and is very lost for the other.
The moods in the very beginning of the two poems are in stark distinction - Shelley addresses the sky-lark with "Hail" and the attribution "blithe spirit, " showing awe and admiration. Alternatively, we see Keats - gothic and somber in his self-pity. The poet starts off by responding to the aches and pains of life - his dreary senses, as if numbed by an opiate, are identified in the expanded simile: "One minute past, and Lethe-wards got sunk (Keats, Ode to a Nightingale, line 4). " The first stanza is like the onset of an awakening, the start of a journey that, later on, will realize its elevated climax only to end back again where it commenced. The movement is from a sense of diminished life ("numb", "sunk", "dull", "drowsy") to that of full life ("light-winged", "happy", "green", "full-throated ease"). In the next stanza, Keats, exploiting a well-known Charming image - wine beverages, tries to attain his intended flight to transcendence. Within the next passages, the author makes use of rich figurative terms to illustrate the levels to which his spirit (poetic enthusiasm) flies.
It is definitely remarkable how Romantic poets use images from aspect to demonstrate their point. Personal references to natural objects and phenomena are exquisitely carved to provide a higher purpose - in them, the poet looks for answers to unanswerable questions. Both "Ode to a Nightingale" and "Into a Sky-lark" celebrate an element of nature, an increased order of lifetime that the poet comes even close to man's limited life on the earth (Percy Byssche Shelley Group on e-notes. com). In Shelley, allusion to mother nature happens through the use of parallel constructions and prolonged similes, while metaphors of the natural world and personification of real human emotions are more prevalent in Keats.
Another common Charming idea underlies the poems of both Keats and Shelley - consciousness is the foe of sheer enjoyment, the faculty of reason inhibits us from obtaining transcendence. This is exactly what Shelley refers to when he describes the track of the sky-lark as an "unpremeditated artwork. " The exact same thought is indicated by Keats in the phrase: "Though the boring brain perplexes and retards (Keats, Ode to a Nightingale, lines 34). " In stark compare with their predecessors - the poets of the Enlightenment - Romantics renounce reason as the greatest faculty of human being mind. For the contrary, they condemn it as an obstacle to efficiency. It really is indeed reason that reminds Keats of the actual fact he can never be too happy and brings him back to earth from his condition of semi-elevated happiness - he becomes a "sod" again. Relating to Leavis, the Ode is "an extremely subtle and assorted interplay of movements, directed now favorably, now adversely (Leavis, pp. 74). " In Shelley there is absolutely no agonizing realization of humankind's incapacity to attain an ideal state of mind, but the poet does communicate his regret of not being able to soar in the skies and in my opinion get his concept across. Thus, Shelley is avoided from speaking and Keats - from sense.
Keats's "Ode to a Nightingale" impresses with rich detail, complex form of writing, and various emotions. While more standard however you like and structure, Shelley's "To some Sky-lark" poses the same eternal question - why is human excellence unachievable? Both poets give the same answer: consciousness - humankinds' biggest surprise - is also its most significant curse. Both Keats and Shelley are aware they'll never attain desired transcendence, although they view it in some other manner. Keats views achieving the state as a means to feel natural visual pleasure; for Shelley this can be a nexus of idealism and his own radical thought. Yet another, and serious, difference between your two poems can be observed towards their end - Shelley converts to the near future, to a potential for an enhanced being attentive of a new songs; Keats seems hopelessly jammed in the bare present. Inevitably, in the reader's brain, the authors stay who they really were - a "sad genius who attempted to live a happy life (Global Poet, Jan 2001), " and a "man sidetracked from the awareness of his own mortality by the regular spectacle of the fatality of others (Paul deMan, pp. 190). "