John Keats: Ode on Indolence (1786 words)


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“Ode on Indolence”—like Keats’s more famous odes on a Grecian urn, on melancholy, to Psyche, and to a nightingale—was, it is generally agreed, written in the spring of 1819. Unlike these other works, however, “Ode on Indolence” was not published until after the poet’s death. Indeed, it is usually considered to be, as Walter Jackson Bate puts it, “the weakest” of this group of poems (413). It has certainly received less critical treatment than “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “Ode to a Nightingale”; yet, as Michael O’Neill argues, it is underrated, “underestimated”, and “central” to the Keatsian canon (202, xlii). As with many odes, “Ode on Indolence” deals with, or involves, allegory. In this case it c…

Citation: White, Adam. "Ode on Indolence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2013 [, accessed 18 June 2021.]

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