An Owner’s Guide to Suffering; Ode to Melancholy

An Owner’s Guide to Suffering; Ode to Melancholy

  • Submitted By: Shawn123
  • Date Submitted: 06/30/2008 9:37 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1407
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 1

Suffering is what makes us who we are. The scars whether physical or mental that
suffering leaves are a symbol of life. It is through this misery that we judge the different stages of
our life to. It is how we determine what true happiness is. Suffering also reminds us not to
take anything for granted. In “Ode on Melancholy,” poet John Keats, states that suffering and happiness are inseparable and always shadow each other. Keats uses vivid imagery to express that we must learn to enjoy joy and suffering together; as in they only define each other. He tells the reader not to reject “Melancholy” because it is only in pure destruction, suffering, can one rebuild or feel in better quality, true happiness. We should embrace suffering and expect it to be lurking behind every blissful moment we endure.

In stanza one, Keats states that we can not and should not run away from our pain,
“Melancholy,” we must learn to live with it and not look for an easy way out. “No, no, go not to
Lethe, neither twist Wolfs-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine,” here Keats, tells the reader
not to look for an easy way out by referring to the river of “Lethe.” In Greek mythology, drinking out of this river was believed reincarnate to the soul leaving all the sorrows and pains of

the past life behind; it also has the literal Greek meaning of forgetfulness or concealment.
“Neither twist Wolfs-bane...” here the Keats tells the reader not to look to poisons, such as
alcohol, as a solution to pain. “ Nor suffer they pale face to be kiss’d By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine; Make not your rosary of yew-berries,” here Keats once again tells the reader we

shouldn’t try to escape “Melancholy” or conceal it with poisons. “Nightshade” is a family of poisonous flowers. This suggests that every beauty has a dark side. “Proserpine” in Greek mythology is responsible for the seasons. Which creates an image that spring is beautiful but we must endure...

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