Who doesn’t know the name of John Keats as a young romantic poet? But, his poetic journey was not so long since his journey of life was short like most of the romantic poets. But, in this short span of life what he has created is priceless. Because of this reason, his poetry deals with love and death as they are closely connected. His Odes play an important role in the history of English and they have a sensuous variety of human experience. They typically deal with the themes of love, beauty, happiness, nature, music and the mortality of human life. According to him, poetry should be more indirect so that it can connect with the readers through its images and symbols. In this article, we are going to discuss his famous Odes. So, let’s look into them in detail –
Ode on a Grecian Urn (1820)
For Keats, art is something immortal and spiritual as it never fades. In this ode, he talks about an Urn as not just a physical object but a work of art which will be immortal because of its beauty. The aestheticism that the Urn has, represents the power of the artist to immortalize human activity. Pointing out the beauty of the Urn, he says, ‘Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.
Ode to Melancholy
This poem gives a practical message that pain and happiness are closely connected with each other. The poet basically tries to express his view regarding how to deal with misery. Life is beautiful as it has contradictions like good and evil. So, they both are essential. Keats refers to the mythologies to make it more rational that the sufferer should neither forget nor become obsessed about his misery.
Ode to Psyche
In this poem, Keats pays tribute to the Goddess Psyche. According to the mythology, Aphrodite, the Goddess of beauty is jealous of Psyche because of her beauty and charm. So, she sends Cupid, the God of love to attract Psyche, but it happened just the opposite and Cupid fell in love with her. Then Cupid requested Zeus’ blessing for Psyche so that she can become superhuman and they can be united. Overall, this poem is a beautiful blend of mortal and the immortal, imagination and reality.
Lastly, we want to end the discussion with few of his lines –
‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness.