By Harold Bloom (Edited & with an Introduction by)
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Extra info for John Keats (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
It is hardly accidental that Keats should appropriate to himself, in a poem about two winged creatures, new pinions of his own by using the word “ﬂedge” of his mountain-thoughts;11 but the pinions, and the hope of steeps and mountains, show that Keats’s notion of the pursuit of sublimity here ﬂies on eagle wings. The patient sublunary legs are still to come. The earthly paradise described in the last stanza of the ode is entirely nonseasonal, nonagricultural, and nonbucolic (there are no crops, no ﬂocks); it is a paradise within the working brain.
The religious, Miltonic edge is softened, warmed, coaxed into pastoral bloom. ” With the introduction of Psyche’s “soft-conched ear” the earliest lines begin their modulation into sensuality, and yet a restraint put on sexual warmth causes the introduction into the forest embrace of the clear note of the brooklet, the cool note of the roots, and the denial of rosiness to the ﬂowers. The suspension of the lovers’ lips checks the double embrace of arms and pinions (the latter the warmest, and most boyish, imagining in the poem—“Their arms embraced, and their pinions too,” a dream of an embrace doubled beyond merely human powers).
Nothing is being “created” by Cupid and Psyche, whether in the myth or in Keats’s poem; they are ﬁgures for sexuality, but not for procreation. ) Nor can the forest scene be legitimately called a “primal scene” (Fry, p. 225) if those words are to carry the shock and dismay which Freud predicated in the mind of the child witnessing such a scene. Keats does not stand to his scene as a child witnessing a parental act; the scene is a projection of his own desire, and he cannot therefore be said to be, as Fry says he is, following Bloom, “the poet as voyeur” (p.
John Keats (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom (Edited & with an Introduction by)