Elements Of Romanticism In Keats 'AndThe Wild Swans At Coole'

1602 Words7 Pages
In the context of John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale,” “The Wild Swans at Coole” by William Butler Yeats raises compelling dialogue with Keats’ piece, which suggests that Yeats, to some degree, draws inspiration from John Keats, in that his pose concerning the nightingale becomes a basis and “touchstone” for “The Wild Swans at Coole.” Aside from commonalities concerning avians, both poems share elements of Romanticism, melancholy, feelings of weariness, and other key ideas, images, and plots as “Ode to a Nightingale” and thus, “The Wild Swans at Coole” strengthens Keats’ initial ideas in a harmonic and resonant fashion using its own unique methods. As a response to Keatsian Romanticism, Yeats revises the ideas surrounding transcendence of…show more content…
Keats artfully notes that the only sound in the night comes from the nightingale’s singing; alternatively, the sole nightingale is the only sound that poet-speaker can hear in his reflection, implying that the bird is as solitary as the poet-speaker, as most birds sing during the day. Yeats, however, comments on his loneliness indirectly with the mention of “nine-and-fifty swans” that he has been counting for nineteen meticulous autumns. Swans, famous for finding mates for life, characteristically live in pairs and are known to create a heart shape with their necks-- Yeats recognizes this explicitly later in the poem by observing that they travelled “lover by lover.” Thus, the inclusion of the odd numbers is not coincidental and raises a question of why Yeats chose to use “59” and “19” in particular. Perhaps the speaker of the poem has lost his spouse and feels lonely, or perhaps he has yet to find a spouse and will soon die-- in either case, the solitude is strongly apparent by the lines, “I have looked upon those brilliant creatures (“lover by lover”) / And now my heart is sore.” Additionally, 59 swans in one area is an uncommon sight and catches the guaranteed attention of any passerby and suggests an element of meticulousness from the speaker. By including the absurd number of swans in his sight, it is as though

    More about Elements Of Romanticism In Keats 'AndThe Wild Swans At Coole'

      Get Access