The Influence Of Tintern Abbey And Keats Ode To A Nightingale

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"Wordsworth was undoubtedly the contemporary poet who exerted the most influence on Keats. A number of specialized studies, as well as scores of notes in annotated editions and passages in critical and biographical works, have sought to document the ways in which the elder affected the younger poet's writing and thinking" (Lau). John Keats was considered one of the central figures in the second generation of the Romantics. The following paper will discuss the influence of William Wordsworth, who together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge helped launch the Romantic era in English literature (Wikipedia), on John Keats. I will demonstrate this influence by comparing Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey and Keats' Ode to a Nightingale while focusing on two central…show more content…
As Burke put it, a clear idea is…another name for a little idea," and one thing that the sublime and Romanticism certainly have in common is their association (Wordsworth, Jaye and Woof). Wordsworth, in Tintern Abbey, comes to a full understanding of his poetic self. All that Wordsworth learns by it is a principle of reciprocity between the external world and his own mind, but the story of the reciprocity becomes the central story of Wordsworth's best poetry. The poet loves Nature for its own sake alone, and the presence of nature give beauty to the poet's mind, again only for that mind's sake. The process of reciprocity is like a conversation that never stops, and cannot therefore be summed up discursively or analyzed into static elements. The most immediate consequence of this process is a certain "wide quietness," as Keats was to call it in his Ode to Psyche. As the dialogue of love and beauty ensues, love does not try to find an object, nor beauty an expression in direct emotion, but a likeness between man and nature is suggested. The suggestion is made through an intensification of the dominant aspect of the given landscape, its seclusion, which implies also a deepening of the mood of seclusion in the…show more content…
Here in Tintern Abbey, eight years before the completion of the Great Ode, Wordsworth anticipates the totality of its myth. As he listens to the sad music he hears evidence not only of man's mortality but of man's inseparable bond with nature (Abrams.) The emphasis in Tintern Abbey is on things seen and things remembered, on the light of sense, not on the invisible world. The presence of outer nature disturbs the mind, sets it into motion until it realizes that nature and itself are not utterly distinct, that they are mixed together, interfused. The central story of the poem is about aesthetic contemplation and its personal myth of memory as salvation. The misgivings and the ultimate fear of mortality are part of the poem because of Wordsworth's insistence upon autobiographical honesty (Abrams.) The mind, knowing only itself and nature, but remembering a time when nature gave it direct joy, and having remoter memories of an earlier time when it knew itself only in union with nature, is able to turn back through memory for a faith that at last gives courage and a love for others. Blake did not believe in the goodness of the natural heart, and Coleridge could neither believe in nor deny it, but Wordsworth brings its possibility as truth alive into our hearts, as he did into the heart of Keats
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