Ode to Desuetude

The torrid heat of summer sun need not distract

Me from the mellifluous winds, flowing sempiternally,

Nor the labyrinthine weeds, serving arduous methods to unattract

Thy tantalizing Elysium fields, that arouses me with uncertainty;

Where my mind ceases its effort to fathom

The treasure hiding behind your Lynxial eyes

And perpetually threaded walls

Where princes filled the sore chasm

By doting on winsome deities’ guise

And assenting to wine’s sweetest thralls.


I can barely determine the innermost room from outermost garden,

But can still view the most meddlesome root

As the Gordian Knot seeking its utmost pardon

For concealing generations of unshed fruit.

Thou wast not abandoned for death, venerable ruin!

Though man hath spoiled thy exquisitely constructed shell,

Through habitually reawakening man’s interloping war

That turns thy beauty inhuman;

Now a silent sleeping Ariadne solely served to quell

The storming seas of between ancient men’s rapport.


Away! For I will stay here in the valley of stillness

And prefer to be part of the natural generation

Than live in the urban epicenter of man’s shrillness

Or the callous role we play closing to damnation

Away! From the sunken-eyed soul mortality renders

Past the busy and cumulative streets of franchise

To the eternal freedom of nature

Parting ways from equal contenders:

Is it enough for me to fantasize

Myself as part of thy favor?

First of all, I would like to say that in no way am I remotely similar to Keats. He definitely has a scientific through process when it comes to poems where he knows exactly how he will structures his ideas into a poem that purely conveys his feelings. By taking something that he originally created and forming it into my own, it was destined for failure. However, the attempt is interesting and I’m glad I at least tried.

I will start off by explaining how this ode is similar to Keats. It mostly follows the same structure (ABABCDECDE, ten lines per stanza). Keats usually never flat out mentions what it is he’s writing about which is what the title stands for. In my poem, I write about desuetude, which is also rather vague. In whole, Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey and the majority of ruins inspired me in general so I tried to incorporate my feelings into an ode. In Keats’s odes, he’s usually talking to the object he’s making the ode about like Ode to a Nightingale so I did the same, using thy and other words found in Middle English.

There is also a fairy tale-like element in his poems since they deal with the opposite of realism. He incorporates Greek mythology and other supernatural elements. In my poem, I used a fair majority of these techniques like “labyrinthine, Elysium fields, Lynxial, deities, and many other consisting in the next two stanzas. I definitely appreciate his ability to take his ideas, feelings and philosophies, put them altogether and make such an aspiring poem, which I think I had trouble with.

Basically, I am putting myself in an environment, which has no people and only filled with ruins. I’m thinking of all the possibilities and stories that occurred there, and why it fell to ruin. Then I think that a tragic event probably made people move away from their beautiful home such as war, which is very characteristic of humans. I then think the abandonment of the home was better than worse for it’s state of being since humans are so violent. Finally, I wish to stay there in the environment and become peaceful and everlasting like the ruin itself. However I wonder if I truly belong in the environment because I myself am in fact human as well, which characteristically serves to destruct.

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