Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A quote from "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats

"With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim"

Keats wishing to transcend the physical, mortal world and "fade away". 
I love the repetition of the plosive 'b' sounds in "beaded bubbles"; it reminds me vaguely of Seamus Heaney's poetry (particularly 'Death of a Naturalist' and 'Blackberry Picking',) although of course creating a rather different effect here of prettiness and playfulness. 
The word "winking" too is playful, suggesting the wine is tempting and inviting the drinker. 
However it's the last two lines which are the most powerful, with the view of death as a calm, peaceful escape from the mortal world. The word "fade" especially expresses this view of death as painless and almost desirable. 

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