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KEATS's sensuousness in Ode to a Nightingale
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| Words: 1301 | Submitted: 23-Aug-2011
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DescriptionMy essay is about Keats sensuous appeal in Ode to a Nightingale.
KEATS’S SENSUOUSNESS IN ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE
Sensuousness is that quality which is derived from, or which effects, the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. By the term, “sensuous poetry” is meant poetry, which is devoted not to a mere idea or a philosophical thought, but mainly to the task of affording delight to the senses. Sensuousness in poetry would therefore have an appeal to the by presenting delightful word-pictures, to the ear by its musical and metrical sounds, to the nose by arousing the senses of smell, and so on. The poet devoted to the element of sensuousness employs techniques, which simultaneously exploit the sensuous use of language such as rhythm, and rhyme, alliteration, transferred epithets etc.
It would perhaps be correct to state that all poetry proceeds originally from sense-impressions and that most poets are more or less sensuous. Impressions of the senses are in fact, the starting point of the poetic process, for it is what the poet sees and hears that excites his imagination and emotions, and it is his reactions to the sense- impressions that generate the poetry. In the realm of English poetry, Keats remains unparallel for the sensuous impact of his verse and what creates his supremacy, as a poet is the sheer abundance of his sensuousness. “It was a temper in Keats, of unmuffled pleasure, sensitive pleasure in beauty and in the consolation of beauty to the soul. He flies from one object of Nature to another in a butterfly fashion, tasting and sipping honey, and little caring to settle upon any one. He is thus completely and frankly sensuous in his attitude to Nature.” (Brooke) Keats’s friend Hayden also bears testimony to the sharpness of his sense perceptions: “The humming of a bee, the sight of a flower, the glitter of the sun seemed to make his nature tremble; then his eyes flashed, his cheeks glowed and his mouth quivered.”
More than even his fellow- Romantic poets, Keats reveled in the sensuous pleasures of life. In Wordsworth, the dominant sense is sight, in Shelley sight and sound predominates, but he cannot be called a purely sensuous poet because he makes his poetry the instrument of social reform. It goes to the credit of Keats alone that he enchantingly makes use of all the senses in his poetry. “O for a life of sensations, rather than of thought” is ...
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