Assignment Paper : EC-201
Ø Topic : Synesthetic imageries in John Keats
o Student’s Name : Gandhi Pooja S.
Ø Roll No : 09
· URL : gandhipooja151011.blogspot.com
Ø Semester : 2
o Batch : 2010-11
Mr. Jay Mehta
Department of English
v Synesthetic imaginaries in John Keats:
John Keats was born in 1795, in his short life, he wrote some beautiful poems. His sequence of lyric odes, written between March and September 1819. He died after finishing the ode “To Autumn” in February 1821.
“None but the master shall praise us;
and none but the master shall blame.”
This might be written on the fly leaf of Keats’s poetry. Keats never achieved extensive acknowledgement for his work in his own life so he request for his tombstone:
“Here lies one whose name was writ on water.”
But many ideas and themes of Romanticism are clears in Keats’s great odes: beauty of nature, the relation between imagination and creativity, etc. we can interpret his odes at any point and still prove the same reward to read.
v Keats’s other works:
· First volume of ‘poems’(1817)
· Second volume, ‘Endymion’(1818)
· Last volume, ‘Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of st.
Agnes and other poems.’(1820)
v What is Synesthesia?
Synesthesia, the word come from the ancient Greek means “together” and “sensation”. Sometimes it is called ‘sense analogy’. Synesthesia is the experience of two or more kinds of sensation when only one sense is being inspired. In literature, the term is applied to images of one kind of sensation in terms of another; color is qualified to sounds, smell to colors, sound to smell and so on.
A complex literary example of synesthesia is, some lines from Keats’s poem “Ode to a Nightingale” (1819) in which he calls for a draught of wine
“Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sun burnt mirth!”
That is, he calls for a drink tasting of sight, color, motion, sound and heat. And also the passage from Shelley’s “The Sensitive Plant” (1820)
“And the hyacinth purple………… within the sense.”
Bell shaped flowers of the hyacinth send out a peal of music which appeals a sensation.
There are five forms of Synesthesia that are:
1) Grapheme – color synesthesia
2) Sound – color synesthesia
3) Number form synesthesia
5) Lexical – gustatory synesthesia
v Synesthetic imageries in Keats’s poems:
‘Ode to a Nightingale’
The poem opens with a statement of the narrator’s own sadness. The first three words, ‘aches’, ‘drowsy numbness’ and ‘pains’ are autobiographical element. The poet’s heart hurts and feels sleepy without feelings like he has just drunken poison. Then sudden change arrives, the poet says within a moment he ‘sink’ into forgetfulness. The poet mentions about ‘poison’ in most of his odes, so he confess that he is an opium- eater. He is not jealous but happy with the happiness of the bird. He performs the duty of friend with Nightingale. The poet calls it ‘light- winged’, means the bird is not large and flies easily. Through that the poet says that Nightingale’s voice is so soft that he would like to listen to it. The bird sings “full- throated ease.”
In the second stanza, the poet wants to drink the wine, often store in the underground room. Through that he says that the earth is store-room. Wine tastes like dancing, happiness, song. He wants to drink something very blushful means wine. The poet gets motivation from wine because he can easily leave the ‘world’ and ‘fade’’ into dark forest with Nightingale’s ‘world’ means he wants to leave the worldly life.
The poet wants to ‘fading’ out the world and forgets about the things and says,
“What thou among the leaves hast never known.” Then the poet describes the appearance of ‘world’. The world is full of tiredness, sickness, and immense stress where we have to face old age; youth of present generation grows ‘pale’. Through that ‘Time’ is the enemy of the poet.
‘Where but to think is to be full of sorrow’ because ignorance is bliss. Beauty loses its lustrous eyes.
In the fourth stanza, the poet produces an escape plan. He wants to fly away with Nightingale but the effect of the poison is not going to take him. He is going to fly by his own poetry. In this imagination, he is with Nightingale in night which is ‘tender’. Moon is hidden behind the trees. Darkness is caused by paints getting in the way of the Moon.
Within light, the poet cannot see the flowers that create the smell; he has to guess what ‘sweet’ flowers smell. He starts listing the things which he can hear. So poet experiences solitude.
Now, he hears the darkness and says that experience of being alone is like Death. Death is another way to free from the problems of life. He called the death with soft rhyme just like the poet rhymes the poem. He thinks he would be “rich to die” but richness is associated with good things and opposite of Death. So Life is worse than death. He ‘ceases’ his existence. The bird is lost in ‘ecstasy’. After the death the bird would keep singing but the human being would not.
In this stanza, the poet thinks that Nightingale is immortal because it is not followed by the ‘hungry’ future generations, who are happy to take place of their parents. But Nightingale’s voice is immortal. Through the voice the poet refers to old human civilizations which are the references of Nightingale’s voice.
In the last stanza, the word ‘forlorn’ is the free to come back in himself for the poet. Now, the Nightingale cannot cheat the poet and the poet says well – bye twice means for ‘long time’. That means ‘the poet has no go. No escape’. Now, the bird’s voice is “plaintive” for him because it flies. The poet attems to escape reality into the realm of imagination as he finds in tolerable.
Therefore, we have to face the problems of life because we cannot live on imagination for long time we have to come to reality. And pleasure of life is transitory but better than imagination world. In this poem, Keats refers to Greek myths and Legends.
Ø Synesthetic imagery:
1) Sense of motion:
Heart, drains, deep-delved, winking, mouth, leave, fade-away, grow, think, fly, born, tread, abroad
2) Sense of sadness:
Aches, shadow, numbness, pains, sorrow, pine, away night, glooms, sit and groan, die, in vain, death, tears, sick, forlorn, plaintive
3) Sense of taste:
Hemlock, tasting, drink, dewy wine
4) Sense if sight:
Light-winged, dance, beaker, sun burnt, charioted, flowers, pouring requiem, sod, vision
5) Sense of color:
Flora, country - green, gray, beauty, white, violet, Fancy, meadows
6) Sense of sound:
Melodious, song, sing, bird, voice, bell, music
7) Sense of touch:
Cool’d, breezes blown, thatch- eves, soft
8) Sense of imagination:
Beaded bubbled, purple- stained, leaded- eye, dream
9) Sense of happiness:
Happy, mirth, rich, ecstasy, easeful, glades
10) Sense of heat:
Summer, sun, burnt
“Ode on a Grecian Urn”
In this poem, the poet describes the beauty of art. He is waking into a room of a museum ad seeing a young man. He addresses to urn as if it were a beautiful woman because he calls the urn as “unravished bride of quietness” he probably means that this urn is buried in some Greeek ruin, but hasn’t suffered any major damage. He also addressed it as “sylvan- historian”. ‘Sylvan’ the word derived from Latin that refers to ‘wood’ and ‘hisory’derived from the word, ‘story’ that means the urn is storyteller than the poet.
The ‘legend’ on the urn is ‘leaf- fringed’ which builds on the idea of the “sylvan” historian. This ‘legend’ sounds like a ghost story. This is pun because ‘haunt’ can just mean to exist in a certain place, but it has that obvious connection to the dead. So, maybe he characters are dead now. Through that, the poet wants to convey that the music is being played on pipes is like primitive version of a flute. He says that melodies “we don’t heard are sweeter” than those we heard.”
Then he maybe, addresses the young boy sitting under the tree and his pipe was probably made of wood. But the characters are frozen in time and the world of the urn never changes means the boy, sitting under the tree will always be playing with the same song. But for the poet, it probably good because the seasons changes, atmosphere will be nice, but the branches of the trees never lose their leaves. The leaves of tree are always remaining green means permanent spring is there. Now, the poet wants to imagine a world in which nothing changes and good things never come to end. Then the poet tells that he cannot kiss his beloved because he is motionless in time. He uses the word ‘adieu’ means ‘goodbye’, but for the tree branches, they never to say good-bye to spring.
“More happy love! More happy, happy love!”
At first we thinks that the poet starts to go off on his own world. But in this case, we had not noticed, that he likes sweet things. He thinks the music and “love” go hand in hand, so more music means more love. He is happy that love of the boy and girl will like immortal love.
Now, probably the poet is looking at the new scene on the urn, which depicts an animal sacrifice. In stanza 1, he asked “what” and now he asks “who”? In this picture, there is a priest, a cow, a green altar, and a crowd of people following behind in anticipation of the sacrifice. The poet surmises that this crowd must have come from, “little-town”, but the town isn’t depicted, so he has to imagine what it must look like. And he says, the town is may be on mountain. Everyone is outside, enjoying the weather and looking forward to the ritual. The town is “emptied” because it is a “pious” morning. He perhaps tell to town that, streets will always be ‘silent’ and ‘desolate’ of people and there is “not a soul, to tell” the reason for the holy day.
The poet suddenly gets excited. He starts yelling about the beautiful appearance of the urn. He says the urn is so mysterious and baffling that it is impossible to think about. The poet uses the word “tease” which has at least two meanings. The first is mockery and the second is to separate or unscramble. The second meaning is primary one here. The poet has been setting up the comparison between the world and eternity for the entire poem. He says that the world of the urn, where things never change. It has always same advice to everyone throughout history.
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty”
The poet thinks “Beauty” refers to more than just pretty pictures and writings. “Truth” is not something that can be “thought”. It is too remote and complicated, like the idea of eternity.
v Synesthetic imagery:
1) Sense of motion:
Slow, shape, dales, fade, adieu, burning, parching, river, return, trodden, generation, earth, weed
2) Sense of imagination:
Tale, legend, deities, spirit
3) Sense of calmness:
Silence, tree, peaceful, silent, cold
4) Sense of sadness:
Haunt, grieve, cloyed, sacrifice, emptied, morn, desolate.
5) Sense of happiness:
Bliss, spring, enjoy
6) Sense of sound:
Pipes and tumbrels, melodies, tone, song, panting, folk,
7) Sense of color:
Flowery, green, skies, garlands, forest, branches, beauty
8) Sense of touch:
Sylvan, silken, marble
In this poem, the poet probably describes the season and immediately jumps into personification, suggestion that autumn and the sun re old pls. “mists” often accompany chill weather “Mellow fruitfulness” sounds like something people would say at a wine tasting. The word “mellow”, meaning “low-key” or “subdued” is a good fit for autumn. And it’s also the season when many fruits and other crops are harvested, making autumn fruit-full. The poet mentioned that autumn is the bosom- friend of maturing sun “maturing” could be a polite way of saying “getting old”. And perhaps, the poet describes that autumn is conspiring with sun and planning how to make fruit grow on the vines that curl around the eves of thatched cottages. The images highlight the weight of the fruit as it “loads”, down the vines.
Now, probably Keats uses the pun with images of weight and ripeness. The apples “bend” down the braches of mossy trees with their weight. The trees belong to the simple cottages of country folk, the ripeness penetrates deep o the ripeness expands like a baboon to abstract the gourds. The opposition of this motion helps us visualize the process “Gourds” include especially, pumpkin and “hazel” is a plant that produces the nuts that add delicious flavor. He nut is the “sweet kernel” that the people can eat. The “budding” that the poet describes is the future, he has been describing the “kernels” or seeds that drop to the ground when nuts fall from trees. These seeds will “later” turn into plans and flowers when spring comes again.
Autumn is not just a time of things dying off, falling to the ground. It also sets the stage for the return of growth in the spring. From nature’s perspective, fruit is the melanchanism for painting new seeds.
Perhaps, the poet goes on a little imaginative trip into a next spring and summer, where the bees take advantage of the flowers that began as a small seed in autumn. At this point, the poet also says that, summer is like a sweet liquid that threatens to spill over the brim of a glass.
Probably, Keas returns to the personification of spring. The pot adds that the word “store” suggests the abundance of crops, and we might think of a barn or a grain tower filled with the most recent harvest means the period after the granary where harvested grains are kept. The work f this season is done. He addresses autumn as a woman because here, season has soft hair.
The poet, claims that autumn is basically drunk on the smell of the poppy flowers that she was going to harvest; she lays on the furrow white the “hook” that she uses to cut the flowers lies unused. She hasn’t gotten to the next “swatch” of flowers, so they are saved. Autumn is compared to a “gleaner”. Her head is “laden” or heavy-yet another image of weight. After searching all those other places, we might try the “cider-press”, where she is totally mesmerized watching the fruit get squeezed into a thick, sugary juice.
The poet notes that the music of spring is a distant memory, but that autumn’s music is pretty cool, too. The poet describes the erratic clouds, between which scrap of sky can be seen as “barred”. These clouds appear to be in “bloom” like flowers, as they light up with the colors sunset. The use of “bloom” is a direct challenge, again, to springtime. The day is “dying” at sunset, but it is not a tragic or violent-death. It is “soft” and gentle. The reddish colors of the sunlight “touch” the field gently. The fields have been harvested, so all that is left is flat “stubble” of crop.
v Synesthetic imagery:
1) Sense of motion:
Season, maturing, conspiring, vines, oozing, cloud
2) Sense of color:
Moss’d, cottage-trees, flowers, granary
3) Sense of taste:
Fruitfulness, fruit, apples
4) Sense of sadness:
Bloom, willful, mourn
5) Sense of sight:
6) Sense of heat:
7) Sense of earring:
Sound, music, whistles, twitter