“Ode to a Nightingale” Compared to “To a Skylark”
Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote the poem “To a Skylark” and John Keats wrote “Ode to a Nightingale”. These two poems are very similar, but different at the same time. Both poems are about a bird, but in Keats poem, the reader does not know whether the bird is a figment of the man’s imagination or not. In Shelley’s poem, the bird is still heard, but is not seen. The two major themes found in both poems is nature. But the overpowering theme of loneliness is expressed by two different viewpoints of the poets. The themes of loneliness and nature are what ultimately makes the two poems different.
Shelley starts out his poem with a bird that is singing high in the sky, but cannot be seen by the narrator. In some ways this is like “Ode to a Nightingale” but there is more of a possibility that the bird is actually real and not a figment of a drunk man’s imagination. However, the speaker does not call the bird an animal, instead they call it a “blithe Spirit” which may indicate that it is not real at all. This is not revealed in the poem. Another major difference from Keats poem is that Shelley expresses more joy than “Ode to a Nightingale”.
Keats starts out his poem with a man who is expressing much heartache and pain. Because of his state of mind, he does not know whether he is dreaming or actually living the scene that takes place in “Ode to a Nightingale”. He has been drinking heavily, so this is what causes the reader to believe that he is most likely in a dream rather than reality. In the distance, the man hears a bird singing, but he can’t see where it is coming from. This can mean either the bird really is a figment of his imagination, or that there really is a nightingale singing in the forest. In line 23 stanza 3, he expresses that the bird has never know what human life is, and that everything is mortal and nothing lasts. “The weariness, the fever, and the fret”. Meaning that the bird is lucky to...