You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

The Poetry of John Keats: The Odes

5. Ode to a Nightingale

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In the previous module, we discussed Ode on a Grecian Urn, a poem in which Keats had attempted to capture the visual, what could be seen, by describing in words the image of a pursuit depicted on the outside of a Greek vase. In this module, we turn to Ode to a Nightingale, he is interested not with the visual, but with the aural, what can be heard, as Keats’ turns his attentions to the nightingale’s song. In particular, we think about the idea of lyric and song as the antithesis of rational thought, the interest Keats’ shows in this poem with numbers and counting, and the status of Ode to a Nightingale as one of Keats’ most ‘peopled’ poems.


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 to a Nightingale [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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

Get instant access to over 6,400 lectures