Flowers found in Keats Poetry- Michelle Carbone and Brooke Capela

Ode to Autumn

“To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells,

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.”

Ode to a Grecian Urn

“A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape”

Ode to Psyche

“Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,

Nor altar heap’d with flowers;

Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan

Upon the midnight hours”

These three specific poems of Keats connect Keats idea of flowers. In all three of these poems he describes the flower as sweet and innocent. He initially connects the image of a flower to summertime and a particular season and time. In Autumn he reflects on the changing of seasons and the sweet smelling flower. In the second, Ode to a Grecian Urn, he talks about his life through the Grecian Urn as a flowery tale that shape haunts his life. Finally, he talks about the flower in Ode to Psyche where he connects the flower to a midnight hour. Here, Keats talks about the flower’s virgin like nature which can also relate to the sweetness he describes in the previous two poems.


Mythology in Keats Poetry – Jackie and Andrea

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been          

  Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,      

Tasting of Flora and the country-green,               

  Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!           

O for a beaker full of the warm South!  

  Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,          

    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:

—This part in Ode to a Nightengale refers to the “tasting of Flora.” In Roman mythology, Flora is a goddess of flowers and the spring season and was one of many fertility godesses. This reference emphasizes the taste of something seemingly god-like and surreal.


O GODDESS! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung         

  By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,            

And pardon that thy secrets should be sung       

  Even into thine own soft-conched ear:               

Surely I dream’d to-day, or did I see                

  The winged Psyche with awaken’d eyes?


O latest-born and loveliest vision far      

  Of all Olympus‘ faded hierarchy!              

Fairer than Phoebe’s sapphire-region’d star,      

  Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky;     

Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,

—In these parts of Ode to Psyche, Keats refers to the goddess Psyche,Mount Olympus, Phoebe and Vesper. Psyche is a mortal woman in Greek Mythology. She was the wife of Eros and she is always pictured with butterfly wings. Keats refers to her beauty. Keats also refers to Mt. Olympus, the home of Greek Gods and Goddesses. Phoebe is one of the original Titans in Greek myths and means radiance and bright often being associated with the moon as well. Vesper’s is a figure in Roman myth and his name is drawn from Hesperus in Greek Myth meaning “evening star” and is associated with the planet Venus. These names and references allow Keats to accentuate his points. 


Although your rudder be a Dragon’s tail,

    Long sever’d, yet still hard with agony,

        Your cordage large uprootings from the skull

Of bald Medusa; certes you would fail

    To find the Melancholy, whether she

       Dreameth in any isle of Lethe dull.


No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
       Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;
       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

— In Ode on Melancholy, Keats refers to Medusa, Persephone and again, Psyche. Medusa is a figure in Greek myth as a hideous, repulsive female with venomous snakes as hair. Keats also refers to Persephone, the Greek goddess of the underworld. The myth of her abduction has her personify the spring and  earth after harvest. This time when Keats refers to Psyche it is not in the same way he did as in Ode to Nightingale showing the less “happy” side of the myth. ImageImageImage

Significance of Rivers in Keats Poetry

The word “river/ stream”, concept of moving body of water, appears in a number of Keats poems.

Ode To A Nightingale:

“Past the near meadows, over the still stream,

Uphill hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep.”


In Ode to A Nightingale he is describing the effects of the birds music it has on him. In the poem he describes the nightingale flying over different visionary scenes, the streams being one of them.

Ode To A Grecian Urn:

“What little town by river or sea shore,

Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?”


In Ode To A Grecian Urn the river is being described as part of the town on Keats imaginary urn. The river is one of the possible settings of the town.

To Autumn:

“Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;”


In To Autumn Keat is describing all the different aspects of nature that make up autumn. He is also describing the gnats final mourning by the river because Keat knows that winter is coming and feels sympathy towards the gnats.


-Gabriella & Kim

Songs of Keats

Songs of Keats

Ode to a Grecian Urn
“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:” (lines 11-14)

Ode to Psyche
“Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
Upon the midnight hours;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
From chain-swung censer teeming;” (lines 30-32)

To Autumn
“Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-” (lines 23-24)

In each of these odes, Keats describes the presence of song and music. In “Ode to a Grecian Urn” Keats speaks of how when no melody is heard it is sweeter than when the melody is actually there. In “Ode to Psyche” Keats mentions again the absence of song and voice. In “To Autumn” Keats states how the song is absent in spring, but not to worry because you will always have the song inside of you. All three odes mention how song and music are absent in Keats’ mind and how he views music all together.

Courtney Burke and Danielle Sicurella

Dana and Shea- Sound in Keats

“Darkling I listen; and, for many a time

I have been half in love with easeful Death,”

-Ode To A Nightingale (Lines 51-52)

“Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain-

To thy high requiem become a sod.”

-Ode To A Nightingale (Lines 59-60)

“Was it a vision, or a walking dream? 

Fled is that music:-Do I wake or sleep?”

-Ode To A Nightingale (Lines 79-80)

“Hear melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;”

-Ode On a Grecian Urn (Line 11-12)

“Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought

As doth eternity; Cold Pastoral!”

-Ode On a Grecian Urn (Line 44-45)

“No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet

From chain-swung censer teeming;” 

-Ode On a Grecian Urn (Line 31-21)

“O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung

By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,

And pardon that thy secrets should be sung

Even into thine own soft-sonched ear:”

-Ode To Psyche (Lines 1-4)

“No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet

From chain-swung censer teeming;”

-Ode To Psyche (Line 31-32)

In each of these quotes from Keats’ poems sound is involved in one form or another.  In an Ode To A Nightingale, it is a darker portrayal of sound involving death.  He doesn’t know if what he is hearing is true or if it is worth it.  In an Ode to A Grecian Urn, the context of sound is used more literally.  Discussed, is a song that cannot be heard, but in a way it will always be more beautiful than an actual song.  They long to hear the song even though they can’t.  Lastly, in Ode to Psyche, instead of Keats’ hearing something himself, he wants Psyche to hear him.  He is looking for forgiveness by singing the secrets.  Overall, each of the poems address sound but all in different ways. 


Olivia and Andy


The word “fade” appears in the three poems in different meanings. For example:

Ode To A Nightingale:

“That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,

And with thee fade away into the forest dim:”

Ode on a Grecian Urn:

“She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,

For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ode To Psyche:

” O latest born and loveliest vision far

Of all Olympus’ faded hierarchy!”


In the poem the lines of “Ode To Nightingale” prior to the lines, he talks about sipping wine to drink away his problems because he does not want to see the world. He talks about fading away and not coming back because he believes that beauty of things are disappearing. The beauty “fades” in a sense that it is not everlasting. 

In the poem “Ode On A Grecian Urn”, in contrast to the previous poem, he refers to the word “fade” in a different perception. Keats then becomes excited that beauty does not fade. Beauty is everlasting in this poem.

“Ode to Psyche” refers to the beauty that is no longer powerful or present as a hierarchy would be. 


Feeling Alive Through the Beaty of the Sun


“Thus daily were my sympathies enlarged,

And thus the common range of visible things

Grew dear to me: already I began

To love the sun, a Boy I love the sun,

Not as I since have loved him, as a pledge

And surety of our earthly life, a light,

Which while we view we feel we are alive,

But, for this cause, that I had seen him lay

His Beauty on the morning hills, had seen

The western mountain touch his setting orb

In many of thoughtless hour, when, from excess

Of happiness, my blood appeared to flow

With its own pleasure, and I breathed with joy”

Prelude, Book II, pg 396-7, lines 181- 193

-Kim and Gabriella

By Olivia and Andy


Wordsworth, Prelude, Book 1, Lines 382-385

The moon was up, the Lake was shining clear

Among hoary mountains; from the Shore

I pushed, and struck the oars and struck again

In cadence, in my little Boat moved onImage


Wordsworth, Prelude, Book 1, Lines 74-79

‘Twas Autumn, and a calm and placid day,

With warmth as much as needed from the sun

Two hours declined towards the west, a day

With silver clouds, and sunshine on the grass,

And, in the sheltered grove where was couched

A perfect stillness. On the ground I lay