O Solitude – John Keats

 

1_bT133O7IoGs_B84UYqK1IQQuarantine Poems :

If you are stuck at home, wallowing in your isolation, there are some wonderful poems out there that will teach you to celebrate solitude.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud – William Wordsworth

In the era of COVID-19 when many of us are quarantined and things are uncertain we feel out of control, it’s natural for stress levels to rise. We’re hardwired for anxiety to keep us safe when faced with uncertainty. Anxiety is our friend, our protector, warning us of potential danger—all for our own good. The key is to make anxiety work for us instead of against us in unpredictable times. It helps to know what we can change or control and what we can’t.

One such poem is by the English Poet John Keats  who has written poems that perfectly captures our current living situation. The poem begins with John stating that he is going to have to dwell“with thee,” meaning Solitude. This force is treated as a companion. Something that is almost human, following him along everywhere. He knows he can’t get rid of it, so he plans to make the best of his situation. It his intention to find somewhere peaceful, in a valley, amongst trees, bees and deer to live out his days. This would make him sufficiently happy. Yet, he adds, the companionship of one other person in this world would bring him greater joy still. If he could find a like-mind to live alongside him then he would reach the “highest bliss” attainable for a soul.

 

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep, —
Nature's observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
'Mongst boughs pavillion'd, where the deer's swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin'd,
Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee

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