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"Nightingale" is still frequently regarded as a sublime or visionary poem which charts the poet's progressive rejection of transcendent flight.
By its analysis of the psychology of idealism, the Ode dismisses the traditional consolations of western philosophical and religious tradition: they cannot provide modern poetry with effective consolatory resources, and their various defenders, Wordsworth in particular, must be firmly resisted.
The secular alternative that "Nightingale" dramatizes Keats takes from his understanding of tragic representation. "Ode to a Nightingale" has been often declared one of the most densely echoic of Keats's lyric poems.
(4) The Ode reveals a creative mind well-stored with its reading and habituated to incorporating that reading into even its most personal, emotionally urgent efforts of self-expression.
Yet the imagination which announces itself in the poem's bold opening lines is from the beginning functioning in an intellectually associative fashion and recalling some texts rather than others because of their pertinence to the poem's thematic concerns.
What solace can Keats's poem or any poem offer to the victims of a world "Where but to think is to be full of sorrow" (27)?
In addressing such questions, the procedure of "Ode to a Nightingale" becomes historicist in James Chandler's sense of the term: as a historicist exercise, the Ode is unavoidably concerned with its cultural modernity, and concerned to investigate that modernity by placing it in dialogic interplay with past texts and discourses.
The contrast between the sordidness of the reality and the beauty of the ideal world, between the mortality of the life and immortality of nature, between the imperfection of real life and the beauty of imagination is the recurring theme of his poetry.
The song of the Nightingale increases the poem a mood of deep delight which becomes painful in its intensity.
Though he can not see what flowers are at his feet but in this ‘embalmed darkness; guess sweet, where with the seasonable month endows”.
It is he who only can think of the beautiful and the scented flowers which enabled him to transport himself into the world of luxury and courtesies.