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The Poetry of John Keats: The Odes

6. Ode on Melancholy

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About this Lecture


In this poem, we move from the music of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale to the contemplation of Keats’ Ode on Melancholy. In particular, we think about Keats’ interest in the imagination, his wish for ‘a life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts’, and his attempts in this poem to show off his artistry and craft.


In this course, Dr Corinna Russell (University of Cambridge) explores the Odes of John Keats. After an introduction to Keats and his poetry, including a discussion of the ‘Cockney School of Poetry’, we then cover six of Keats’ poems: Ode to Psyche, Ode on Indolence, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on Melancholy and To Autumn.


Corinna Russell is currently Fellow and Acting Tutor at Emmanuel College, Cambrige. She studied for her BA at New Hall, Cambridge, and for her PhD, on genre and ‘the ethics of response’ in Romantic Period literature, at Jesus College, Cambridge. She spent two years lecturing at Liverpool University before joining the Fellowship at Emmanuel.

Corinna's teaching in the English Tripos at Cambridge is primarily in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and especially the literature associated with the Romantic movement in British culture. She teaches widely for the Part I paper on ‘Literature and its Contexts, 1688-1847’, and the Part II paper on Lyric, as well as Literary Criticism, and some aspects of Victorian literature and Shakespeare. She is currently lecturing in the Faculty of English on ‘The Poetics of the Nineteenth-Century Novel’, ‘Romanticism and Repetition’, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Corinna's current research interests centre on all forms of repetition across the representational arts in the Romantic period: tautology and redundancy in poetic diction; iteration and iterability in narrative style; habit and ritual in Romantic accounts of the everyday; repetitive practice and the discourse of craft in poetry and the visual arts; the reproducibility of visual, musical and quotidian experience in the verbal arts.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Russell, C. (2018, August 15). The Poetry of John Keats: The Odes - Ode on Melancholy [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Russell, C. "The Poetry of John Keats: The Odes – Ode on Melancholy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,