The day is gone and all its sweets are gone:
‘The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone’ is the first line of the poem and it looks like John Keats has not given another title for the poem. It is a poem where the poet seems to be missing someone and uses a lot of imagery to make his point.
About the Poet
John Keats was born on October 31, 1795, in London. He lost his parents very early in life. His father, Thomas Keats, died in an accident in 1804 and his mother, Frances Keats, died of tuberculosis in the year 1808. He was brought up by his maternal grandmother. He studied in Village Academy of Enfield where he met John Clarke who sparked the interest of learning in him. He went on to study to become a doctor and even got a license to practise apothecary. In his school days he was exposed to Greek classics too and his love for literature was simmering in him and he eventually allowed it to blaze out. He gave up his profession and got into writing. He died at the young age of 25.
The title ‘The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone’ which is also the first line of the poem suggests that he had lost his love. Like the day, his love was also gone and there is great anguish in the tone. His lover was sweetness personified, for everything about her was sweet. Keats describes her as sweet and tender. She was soft spoken and was warm, bright yet tender. This love of his life left him forever. Her beauty, her ‘warmth, whiteness’ and all that was ‘paradise’ about her ‘faded’ away from him. She left him before it was time and the ‘fragrant curtain’d love’ changed into unbearable darkness. Overcome by grief he takes refuge in the Lord who alone can redeem him from his misery. He believes that since he had read the ‘missal’, hymn book, fasted and prayed, the Lord would allow him to sleep peacefully in spite of his anguish.
‘The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone’ is a sonnet which was Keats favourite form of poetry. The rhyme scheme is ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Apart from the rhyme scheme the repetition of words, anaphora, heightens the lyrical tone of the poem. The words repeated are ‘gone sweet, faded, beauty’. Alliteration, repetition of words in a line beginning with the same word, is used in many lines. ‘Warm breath, light whisper’; ‘warmth, whiteness’; ‘Faded the flower’ are examples of alliteration. Imagery is abundant in the poem and imagery of all the senses is used. Synaesthesia is used in the line ‘The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight’. Synaesthesia is the use of imagery of one sense to describe another one. In this line ‘woof’ is a bark or it can mean cry. So Keats says it was cry of darkness. While darkness is a visual image, Keats uses auditory image ‘woof’ to express his agony. ‘Missal’ is an allusion to the Christian religion as it means the hymn book used for prayers. The poem begins with anguish and gives the reader an idea of what is to come. It meanders through words mentioning some sweetness and then it goes back to torment and darkness. However Keats ends with the note on the Lord, hoping the Lord would save him from his pain.