Keats’s Odes: A Lover’s Discourse
I don’t know what to make of this book which is, indeed, a collection of odes by Keats — all six of them. Despite the harsh criticism which he has received, he is a major poet. Keat’s achievements are remarkable especially since he died at age twenty-five. The sub-head of this book is A Lover’s Discourse and seems to be a conversation between the poems and the book’s editor who is obsessed with Keats. She alternately praises him and criticizes his work in the harshest terms. She frequently digresses, some of which are interesting and some seemingly irrelevant.
A lot of her criticism seems like a parody of English class term papers. This reader is left not knowing how seriously to take her assessments and how to fit them into her own responses to these odes. Being an eternal optimist, I tend to see great positivity in these works wherein the author sees despair and antagonism. Perhaps my knowledge of Keats is the problem here, but the book will want to be read by more serious scholars, I am sure.
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