The History of Literature #307 – Keats’s Ode to Psyche

307 Keats’s Ode to Psyche

In 1819, John Keats wrote a letter to his brother George and his sister-in-law Giorgiana, who had recently moved from London to America. In the letter, Keats included a poem, which he introduced as “the first and the only one with which I have taken even moderate pains…I hope it will encourage me to write other things in even a more peaceable and healthy spirit.” The poem was called “Ode to Psyche,” and it has taken its place among five other poems Keats wrote in 1819 and that are now called The Great Odes. In this episode, we follow our conversation with Anahid Nersessian by examining her favorite of the Great Odes, as we explore the myth of Cupid and Psyche and the way Keats’s imagination unlocked the power of an underserved goddess.

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