Among other ingredients of romantic poetry, love for nature is also its significant element. Every romantic poet finds pleasure in discussing nature. William Wordsworth found God in nature and asserted its importance; William Blake also spreads light on its significance; similarly, S. T. Coleridge blended nature with supernatural elements. Indeed, every romantic poet either directly or indirectly considers nature an important element of life and poetry. John Keats is the best romantic poet among all romantics; though the cause of his famousness is not the explanation of nature in poetry yet unending love for nature separates him from all other romantic poets. He does not only discuss its apparent beauty but also is mysterious qualities, therefore, nature is fully mysterious for him. In his early poems, he has praised only the material things of nature but his later poems reveals his experience of life, where he finds nature an eternal peace of mind. There is no season, which has not impressed John Keats; no bird has left in the world, which has not left influence on his mind. He is the one who is impressed by landscapes, fishes, animals, birds, forests, trees, plants and seasons.
Nature has perfection in the eyes of John Keats. There are some poets, novelists and dramatist, who talk about materialistic qualities of nature, whereas others consider it human strongest enemy. Thomas Hardy can be referenced in this context. He is among those persons, who are of the view that nature does not leave any chance to harm mankind but for John Keats, nature is human’s best friend. No doubt, nature soothes him; it gives him consolation; peace of mind can only be obtained in presence of natural objects. Thus, John Keats, through his poetry, has increased the importance of nature. A poet’s heart always depends on his mood and nature. Nature gives him peace and helps him to forget the fear and frets of life. There is no denial the fact that John Keats, most of the time, remains in his imagination; he is an escapist but when he escapes from this world and goes in imagination, he spends his time with nature, therefore, nature is his close friend. A detail study of John Keats’s autography reveals that he has suffered too much; firstly, due to his lover and secondly due to the death of his brother. Hence, solace is the need of hour for him. To get consolation and peace, he has befriended nature and lives a life with it. Nature, for John Keats, is more than just a physical world. Every poem of John Keats is evident that he loves nature and unconditionally praises it.
Nature is mysterious in the eyes of John Keats. He does not only love natural world but also talks about its mysteriousness. He declares it eternal. For John Keats, nature always wears the colours of spirit. He studies nature, loves nature and stays close to it. It is not wrong to say that without nature, the poetry is barren. There is no charm in it; without it, the poetry becomes unproductive. It can only bore people; nature’s little touch can increase interests. It can sooth not only bodies but souls too. It is beautifully and pleasurable. John Keats truly loves nature, therefore, he finds beauty everywhere. It is the reason behind his famousness regarding pursuance of beauty. In loneliness, he enjoys nature’s company; detail illustration of natural world is the identity of John Keats. He does not only see nature but feels it. Nature lives in his heart, therefore, it is impossible to separate it from him.
Sometimes, John Keats personifies nature and its objects. He creates living beings from it, which makes his poems more interesting. As mentioned supra, he considers nature his friend. He talks to nature and also shares his feelings with it. Loneliness is part of John Keats’s life; the only companion, he has in his life, is nature and its objects.
Johns Keats goes in detail when he talks about nature. It is because, he has minutely observed it. While mentioning detail of a natural object, he creates a clear imagery. Readers can easily understand what the writer wants to say. In fact, they along with Keats go in the natural world of imagination. His observation is keen. He present his feelings in his poems, which can seek the attention of readers. Art of creating pen picture from natural objects can be learnt from John Keats. His contribution in this regard is remarkable.
Some examples can be quoted from his poems. “Hyperion” is worth mentioning. The description of cool wind is outstanding; the imagery of plants and trees is also noteworthy but the most important poem of John Keats, with respect to natural objects, is “Ode to Nightingale”, in which he enjoys the song of nightingale and considers it eternal peace. It seems that it is the happiest and peaceful day of John Keats’s life. He truly enjoys the song and proves that it is eternal. Nature is everlasting, he says. We must agree with him. He is right in every sense. “Though not born for death immortal bird”; it’s song was being listened many years ago; John Keats has also listened it; today we also enjoys the beautiful voice of nightingale. Similarly, upcoming generations will also hear and praise its voice. Thus, it cannot be denied that nature is immortal unlike men, who are mortal. Admiration of autumn season is also notable example of it, in which, he instead of maligning it, has praised it. Instead of negativity, he has presented positivity and beauty of autumn season.
The crux of the whole discussion is that Johns Keats’s main strength is his passionate love for nature. Like every romantic poet, his poetry deals with subjectivity. He expresses his own emotions and thoughts through his poetry. To do this, he uses nature as medium/symbol. His love is personal. He does not compel readers to love nature instead it is automatically created when readers read the poems. He does not blend any other elements with nature and keeps it pure and proper. His love for nature is for his own sake. If he mixes nature with something, it is sorrows and pains; he has said that melancholy dwells with beauty; nature is the loveliest thing; it is beautiful, therefore, sadness is part and parcel of it. Anyhow, undoubtedly, John Keats creates a natural atmosphere in his poems due to which he can be called a poet of nature.