“The language and structure of poetry may be elaborate, but the ideas are essentially simple.” Discuss this view
John Keats and William Blake.
The view that that poetry presents simple ideas in an intricate fashion is certainly descriptive of John Keats poem The Human Seasons, where the poet reflects on the life of man using the seasons metaphorically to describe simply, the “mind of man.” The first stage of the life of man is compared to the season of Spring, described by the Keats with a semantic field of youth, with words such as “clear”, “lusty” and “beauty” which serve to highlight the mans youth in the spring of his life.This hidden simplicity throughout poetry can also be found in the poetry of William Blake. My Pretty Rose Tree can be seen as a rather ambiguous poem, as the speaker describes a flower being offered to him, as well as him tending to a rose tree. . Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty, and Blake describes this flower as being “Such a flower as May never bore” perhaps speaking of May’s symbolic flower, the lily, often assoiated with humility and modesty. With these comparisons of flowers it could present Blake’s poem as simply a metaphorical description of being offered to commit adultery with the “rose”, somebody passionate and romantic compared to the conservatice lily described earlier. But it is apparent he rejects this opposition when he passes “the sweet flower o’er” for his own “pretty rose tree.” Critic Malcom Hebron writes of this particular poem that “Blake writes in short, stabbing lines and tight phrases as if expressing an extraordinarily mental experience.” This interpretation could also highlight Blake’s bitterness over the repression of free love.
His poetry suggests that demands for marital loyalty reduce love to mere duty rather than genuine affection, and criticises jealousy and egotism as a motive for marriage laws,. Poems such as Earth's Answer seem to promote multiple sexual partners. The rhetorical...