Keats is a Poet of both Sensuousness and Thoughts

Keats is a Poet of both Sensuousness and Thoughts

Keats is a Poet of both Sensuousness and Thoughts : Sensuousness is that quality in poetry which is derived from and affects the sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Sensuous poetry would have an appeal to our eyes by presenting beautiful word- pictures, to our ear by its metrical music, to our nose by arousing our sense of smell, and so on.

Keats is a Poet of both Sensuousness and Thoughts

Ode On a Grecian Urn is replete with sensuous pictures. In the poem we find the sensuous pictures of passionate men who madly persuaded the bashful maidens and the maidens were desperately trying to escape embraces of the men. There are pictures of pipers piping melodious song and a handsome young lover is advancing to kiss his beloved. The sensuous love is depicted in the following lines:-

 More happy love! more happy, happy love!

Forever warm and still to be enjoyed

Forever panting and forever young.”

 In Ode To a Nightingalethe poet describes his feelings on hearing the Nightingale’s song. The poem contains lines expressing an intense desire for sweet wine, lines containing a magnificent picture of the moon shining in the sky with the stars around her, and lines offering mingled perfume of many flowers:

“White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;

Fast fading violets covered up in leaves;

And mid-May’s eldest child,

The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine.”

 Ode to Autumn is a remarkable example of Keats’s sensuousness. In the poem autumn is described in sensuous terms. There is nothing in the poem about autumn being the prelude to dreary winter; autumn to Keats is all ripe fruits and ripe grains. Autumn also has music that appeals to the ear. We smell something of the sort of sex when we read that autumn is conspiring with sun:

“How to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch eves run-And fill and fruit with ripeness to the core.”

 The very words “load and bless “have a connotation of the physical (sexual) with them. Keats also talks of “ripeness to the core” But the dramatic value of this Ode lay in its contrast between the sensuous joy of the world of nature and the hard facts of the world of man. The summer that has helped trees “bend with apples” shall soon be replaced by autumn and then winter will set in’ and this involves the natural cycle of seasons. This cycle likened to the cycle of joys and pains in the life of man leads an essentially realistic character to the Ode of Keats.

In Ode On Melancholywe have a delight fully sensuous picture of the mistress showing” some rich anger” and raving while the lover holds her hands in his tight grip and feeds deep upon her peerless eyes. But in this Odethe theme of transience and permanence and the poets conflicting attitudes are open and central. True melancholy, says the poet, can be tasted only by him who has a capacity for experiencing the keenest pleasures. The poet personifies Melancholy as a goddess who dwells with the goddess of Beauty.

Beauty by its very nature is short lived. It is this fact which gives birth to melancholy in man’s mind. He feels sad because he can enjoy beauty for a short time only. Thus he allies melancholy to beauty. Again the goddess of Melancholy and the god of Joy are the dwellers in the same temple. The god of Joy always keeps his finger on his lips to bid farewell to his worshipers. This shows the transitory of joy. While a man is steeped in joy, he does not forget this fact. This makes him melancholy.

Under the light of above discussion it is crystal like clear to us that with all his preoccupation with sensuousness, Keats is a poet of the realities of life. He is always alive to the stark realities of life. His feet are firmly rooted on the hard realities of life. He relishes the sensuous joys but at the same time his mind is wide open to Man, and the pains and worries of Man. This makes his poems very interesting in the sensuous, intellectual and spiritual, in sense of perception.

Read it also:  Consider Doctor Faustus’ as a Morality Play

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