In the poem “Ode to a Nightingale”, by John Keats, the author knows he can’t escape
death. Inspired by the nightingale, Keats instead uses his incredible talent for art and imagination
to fluctuate between reality and imagination, the land of the Nightingale.And although Keats
laments the ephemeral nature of imagination, Keats realizes that imagination, thought it may be
able to provide him the sensations he desires, it is only temporary and its faults lie in the ability
to not change reality.
Keats expresses the idea that imagination and beauty are short lived. Keats yearns for a
life of sensations and joy, and in his imagination every time he gets close to it, he is reminded of
reality and is pulled back. In the third stanza it states, “ Where youth grows pale and spectre-thin,
and dies;/Where but to think is to be full of sorrow,”(26-27). Here Keats laments his past
experiences from reality and it is a burden for him. Keats does not want to think, because it will
lead him to remember that with reality comes sorrow and eventually death. This gives Keats the
perspective that life does not last forever, even in his imagination, Keats is reminded that
everything is ephemeral.
Although Keats was able to be with the nightingale through poetry, Keats could not
escape his reality. Keats denial of reality is just a means to delay the inevitable, even imagination
has its limits and Keats after some consideration had been forcefully brought back because,
reality cannot be cheated. It states in the last stanza, “ Adieu! The fancy cannot cheat so well/As
she is framed to do, deceiving elf,”(73-74). Keats realizes that not acknowledging reality was a
mistake, in the end, imagination did give Keats temporary relief and joy, but if Keats thinks,
sooner or later he will think of reality and the sorrow that comes with it. Because Keats realizes
that nothing in...