Discuss the proposal that Keat’s poems are characterized by an inner tension between opposites that the poet fails to reconcile.
The proposal that Keat’s poems are characterized by an inner tension between opposites
the poet fails to reconcile is true in some of his poems. Keat’s as a poet had many conflicts and fears that were going on within him. His fear of an early death, his philosophy on life and his yearning to escape the real world being a few of the serious conflicts that he expressed through his poetry. Keat’s used his poetry as a form of outlet to find a resolution to the inner tension that he was facing.
In his letter to Benjamin Bailey in 1817, Keats expressed what kind of life he really wanted, that is “ O for a life of Sensations rather than Thoughts!”. Through this statement, we learn that Keats didn’t want to live a life that is full of thinking, but rather a life that indulges his senses, sense of sight,sound,touch,smell and taste. Even in another letter to Hamilton Reynolds, when he compares the human life to a “large mansion with many apartments….” And further explains the progress from the first chamber to the third chamber. In the first chamber, we do not think and we progress from that state to a state where we are exposed to realities of this world by thinking in the third chamber that is the chamber of Maiden-Thought. This tension between wanting to live a life of senses rather than of thoughts is not only expressed in his poetry but also in his letters. In his poem Ode to a Nightingale, this philosophy of Keats is captured. In this ode, Keats escapes for a brief moment to the world of the Nightingale and has his senses consumed by the sights, sounds and smells of this other world. He is transported into a land where he is able to “fade far away,dissolve, and quite forget ….” the tragedies of the real world which he explains in the third stanza. He escapes a world “ where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin and dies, where but to...