Warren Jones

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Fox, Arnold B.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Keats; John; 1795-1821


Many scholars and critics of Keats believe that the lyric form which was most congenial of all to him was the ode, for in the ode he surpassed his predecessors so much and was so individual that he cannot be said to have had a master. "He stands without a rival," writes Ernest do Selincourt, "as the poet of the richly meditative Ode. . . . In the Odes he has no master, and their indefinable beauty is so direct and so distinctive an effluence of his soul that he can have no disciple."1 In Keats's five great odes——"Ode to Psyche," "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode on Melancholy,” "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and "Ode on Indolence” —-he utters strong personal feelings. He writes about his delight in the loveliness of autumn and the song of the nightingale, his melancholy over the evanescence of beautiful things, and his enthusiasm in achieving a new and immortal life in art and literature. In these odes which Keats composed at the end of April and in May in 1819, he expresses the inadequacy and the futility of all romantic and idealistic attempts to escape from the disagree­ able facts of real life; they are realistic interpretations of Keats's personal experience with good and evil in the universe.2 1 . Ernest de Selincourt, ed., The Poems of John Keats (New York, 1921), pp. lix-lx . 2. Thorpe, however, contends that the odes were written in a state of philosophic calm and resignation induced by the fact D. Thorpe, The Mind of John Keats (New York, 1926), pp. 87-88.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 49-52)


52 pages




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