Analysis of John Keats’ “On the Sonnet” Essay
In John Keats’ “On the Sonnet, ” he tendencies fellow poets to not permit their graceful genius, all their “Muse” perish, because it is limited to the parameters of then-current Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnet forms. Whilst he comes after neither type, (thus requiring further research to determine the logic of his poem), his use of significance makes his message a lot more than clear. This individual starts the poem with an rappel to Andromeda, “who, in respect to Ancient greek myth, was chained into a rock in order that she would become devoured with a sea monster” (Norton 799). He uses this picture to represent the fate of poetry, if this follows the unsatisfactory type of either Petrarchan or Shakespearean sonnets.
This image can be portrayed in the first three lines, “If by boring rhymes each of our English should be chained, /And like Andromeda, the sonnet sweet /Fettered, in spite of discomfort and attractiveness, ” that can be translated while “If each of our poetry has to be confined by the current sonnet forms, and face the fate of Andromeda, despite our cautious attention…[then…]. ” The other clause with the thought presented in lines one particular through 3, the intended “then, ” is found in lines four through nine. Keats writes, “Let us get, if we must be constrained, /Sandals more interwoven and complete /To fit the naked foot of Poesy: /Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the tension /Of every chord, and see what may be gained /By ear industrious, and attention meet. ” According to the footnote provided in Norton, Poesy refers to a purpose voiced within a letter, in which Keats wrote out this poem and then reviewed his “impatience with the traditional Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnet forms: ‘I have been endeavoring to discover a better sonnet stanza than we now have. ‘” The word “lyre” could mean “harp, ” but can even be a symbol for “lyric poems, ” and “chord” often means “a string of a game, such as a harp, ” nevertheless can also consider poetry, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
With this in mind, lines several through nine can be construed to indicate, “[if we must always be chained like this], in that case let’s get intricately weaved sandals, (symbolic of new, undiscovered sonnet forms; Keats’ “need”), to fulfill my need: let’s inspect the harp (symbolic of lyric poetry), and listen to every single chord (continuing the metaphor of the harp, chords are symbolic of lines within just lyric poetry), and let’s see what we should can attain through mindful listening and attention. ” Finally, within the last five lines of the sonnet, Keats straight addresses his fellow poets as “misers, ” which has a double which means. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “misers” means “poets, ” but it also means “miserable persons. ” This intentional expression pun communicates Keats’ perspective that poets are currently unpleasant, because of the inability of the current sonnet varieties.
In lines ten through 18, he writes, “Misers of sound and syllable, no less /Than Midas of his coinage, let us be /Jealous of dead leaves in the bay-wreath crown; /So, if we might not let the Muse be free, /She will be bound with garlands of her own. ” Midas was a california king who had the energy to turn anything that he touched into precious metal. According to Norton, “jealous” meant “suspiciously watchful. ” Also, in reference to “the bay-wreath crown, ” according to the sixth footnote, “The bay woods was holy to Apollo, god of poetry, and bay wreaths came to symbolize true graceful achievement.
The withering with the bay tree is sometimes deemed an omen of death. ” Keats continued the idea, implying that after the leaves of the bay-wreath crown, which represents “true poetic accomplishment, ” start to die, they are really a caution of death to that extremely piece of poetry. Finally “Muse” refers to a poet’s ideas, which may be slain once it can be “bound” by the dying leaves (garland) with the bay-wreath crown, ” which is accomplished by not using one’s Muse to its fullest creative potential.
These lines can hence be translated as “Fellow miserable/ irritated poets, let’s be ‘suspiciously watchful’ of omens of death to the poetry; whenever we do not let the inspiration run free, it will eventually die as well. ” David Keats, clearly disillusioned by available varieties through which to write down poetry, conveys his unhappiness in his sonnet, “On the Sonnet. ” Because he uses an ambiguous, unidentifiable sonnet form, instead of the Shakespearean or maybe the Petrarchan sonnet forms, the integrity of his discussion is not undermined. In this way, not only does this individual express his hatred to get the current sonnet forms, but refuses to make use of them as he communicates this aggravation in his own sonnet.