Lyric Moment Of Beautiful Sadness In Keats Ode To Melancholy

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Keats' Ode to Melancholy focuses on the lyric moment of beautiful sadness. Keats describes finding beauty in the sad and temporary. Keats understands that in order to enjoy positive feelings one must also experience the beauty in the negative as well. Through the poem, Keats balances surrendering to depression with embracing the human range of feeling as a combination of fleeting emotions.
In the first stanza, Keats describes multiple poisons to stay away from. He is both reflecting on their danger and the resurrection myth hidden in them. He describes the river Lethe, a mythic river of forgetfulness also associated with the ancient Greek path to reincarnation. The death-moth is named for the skull like coloring on the back of its head.
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He starts describing moments of melancholy. Keats describes a "weeping cloud,/ that fosters the droop-headed flowers all, / And hides the green hill in an April shroud;" (12-14). These lines evoke the memory of a cloudy day in a beautiful place. The droop-headed flowers only bloom in the rain and fade quickly in the sun. Keats is encouraging us to experience the sad moments, rather than only focusing on getting to the joyful moments. He continues his point with the next three examples; "Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, /Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave, /Or on the wealth of globed peonies" (15-17). Each of these images holds a piece of Keats' lyric style. Morning roses and globed peonies, like the flowers mentioned earlier, fade very quickly. The rainbows made of spray on the beach also fade when the light changes even the slightest. Keats wants us to focus on fading beauty. It is the next image that is the most surprising; "Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,/ Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave, / And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes" (18-20). Keats is encouraging his audience to let their lover become frustrated with them. He wants us to find the beauty in that anger as a well, hopefully for its temporary …show more content…
"Ay, in the very temple of Delight / Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine," (25-26). Even in a joyful moment can a person experience depression. Even though melancholy is veiled, or hidden from view, sadness can find its way to make even the most joyful taste sour, not only literally but to their soul (28-29). Keats seems to be describing clinic depression. He highly stresses the importance of not surrendering to the gloomy appearance of the world. He focuses on the sadness of the lyric moments of beauty as the growth of character and food for the

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