How does John Keats admire the service and the beauty of the River Nile in "To the Nile"?

In "To the Nile," John Keats’s speaker admires the Nile’s service and beauty by directly addressing the river. The speaker praises its positive qualities such as leadership and nurturing. The river’s beauty inheres in its making a fruitful, green landscape within the surrounding desert. The speaker also question its contributions, then answer those questions affirmatively.

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In his poem "To the Nile," John Keats offers a speaker who personifies the River Nile and emphasizes its impressive qualities, which include its service to humankind and adding beauty to its surroundings. Keats employs the literary devices of apostrophe and personification in the speaker’s statements and questions to the river. Apostrophe is direct address to another person or an animal, inanimate object, or abstract concept. Personification is the attribution of human qualities to non-human beings, objects, or abstractions. The speaker praises the river's leadership as a "Chief" and its nurturing or curative effects as a "Nurse."

The speaker connects the river’s physical length to the temporal length of its service, which dates back to when "the world began." Twice they use the term "fruitful," first noting that this is what "we" call the river, then questioning whether the accuracy of that notion. Posing questions and raising the doubts of others, then answering those questions with emphatic affirmatives serves to strengthen the speaker’s positive opinion.

Another repeated word is "green," as the speaker contrasts the river’s ability to nurture people and animals with the desert landscape through which it passes. The river creates "green rushes" and "green isles." The speaker also connects the natural fertility that the river endows with human knowledge and creativity. The ignorance that would make people doubt the river’s contributions is called "a barren waste."

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