I was just looking through Keats’ “Ode on Melancholy.” It had never occurred to me to think of it as a poem about the aftermath of a fight with your significant other, the massive, hugely depressive feeling you get when things go south in the kitchen or the bedroom and the person you thought was your nearest companion turns out not to have the faintest clue about your inner being and no sympathy whatsoever. But, of course, that couldn’t be what the poem is about, right? Compare with D. H. Lawrence’s “Kissing and Horrid Strife” discussed in an earlier post.
I love the train of poisonous medicaments in the opening stanza, the piling up of death. This appeals to the baroque and macabre side of my nature which, as you know, doesn’t come out much.