Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats

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Please give a summary of "Ode to a Nightingale."

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In John Keats' poem, "Ode to a Nightingale," he is speaking directly to the creature reputed to have the loveliest song of all birds.

Keats was a key element in the Romantic Movement. Known especially for his love of the country and sensuous descriptions of the beauty of nature, his poetry also resonated with deep philosophic questions.

First Keats refers to heartache, numbness, as if from hemlock, a deadly poison, or some drug that has brought him near death, as he alludes to "Lethe-wards," Lethe being the river of forgetfulness in Hades—where the dead reside, in Greek mythology. Dryads are the tree nymphs in Greek mythology, and Keats describes the nightingale as one as he sings, moving among the upper limbs.

In the second stanza, Keats refers to the fountain Hippocrene, another allusion the to Greek mythology, the water of which was supposed to provide poetic inspiration if one would drink of it. There are repeated images of nature:

...draught of vintage! that hath been Cool'd a long age...

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