Stanza Analysis

In our Literature class, with Ceci Lasa, after giving our presentation and analysisng alltogether these 3 poems: «To the Evening Star», «Ode on Melancholy» and «Soldier, Rest» wa had to..

Task: Choose a stanza or a set of lines of one of the Romantic poems which YOUR GROUP HAS NOT DELIVERED A PRESENTATION OF. Copy it and paste it here and show its connection with the hypothesis the class has harboured: «The poems share a criticism to the industrial, urban, rational and bellicose society of the 18th century».

I chose the following stanza from the poem «Ode on Melancholy» by John Keats:

«No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
       Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;
       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. «
This stanza explains what we shouldn’t do when feeling melancholic. This fragment of the poem starts with negativity: «No, no». This means we don’t need to forget the past to feel better. This idea continues when the writer alludes to Lethe that is the river of forgetfullness (in ancient mythology) and tells us we shouldn’t «go to Lethe» meaning we shouldn’t forget our problems, troubles or sorrows.
It is full of allusions such as «Lethe», «Proserpine», «beetle», «Psyche». All these allusions reference different goddess or mythological symbols of the ancient greek mythology. Allusions are words that reference something without explaining it directly. In this case, allusions made reference to Pantheism that is the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults or the toleration of worship of all gods which was a very important characteristics of the Romantic Era. Allusions are a Romantic tool to recreate the past which are, as in this poem, related to melancholy; and also are a Romantic tool of mysthicism and trascendence (belief in beyond what we can see).
The last 2 lines («For shade to shade will come too drowsily, And drown the wakefuñ anguish of the soul.») depict symbols of death («wakeful anguish»; «shade»; «drown»). Romantics believed we could find inspiration in feelings, for example in our suffering, such as through death. We shouldn’t escape from pain, we must dal with it.
So, it is made clear that Romantics were not concerned about the present but yes about the past which came along melancholy .

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