What is a common trait found in Wordsworth's "The Solitary Reaper" and Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale"?

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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In William Wordsworth's "The Solitary Reaper" and John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," both poets experience a song with profound transformative qualities. Though many comparisons could be drawn between these two poems, one of the most obvious similarities between the two is that both the song of the reaper and the song of the nightingale have the power to whisk the poets away to exotic places, thus helping them escape their immediate locations.

For example, in "The Solitary Reaper" the reaper's song helps Wordsworth envision "travelers in some shady haunt, / Among Arabian sands" (11-12). Likewise, in "Ode to a Nightingale," Keats imagines that the nightingale's song "oft-times hath / Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam / Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn" (68-70). As such, it's apparent that both poems are exploring a song that has the power to inspire the imagination and take the listener away from his immediate experience by transporting him to fantastic and exotic locations. In that case, both Keats and Wordsworth are writing about the possible abilities of the imagination, although Wordsworth uses a singing field worker as his muse, while Keats uses a nightingale. 

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