The twenty-four old romantic poet John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” written in the spring of 1819 was one of his last of six odes. That he ever wrote for he died of tuberculosis a year later. Although, his time as a poet was short he was an essential part of The Romantic period (1789-1832). His groundbreaking poetry created a paradigm shift in the way poetry was composed and comprehended. Indeed, the Romantic period provided a shift from reason to belief in the senses and intuition. “Keats’s poem is able to address some of the most common assumptions and valorizations in the study of Romantic poetry, such as the opposition between “organic culture” and the alienation of modernity”. (O’Rourke, 53) The irony of Keats’s Urn is he likens himself to the Greek God, Eros, which made him feel immortal when he gazed upon the Grecian Urn. However, he knew of pending death as he wrote his odes at such a young age is truly distressing. However, unlike Keats lifespan his literary work shall last an eternity. Indeed, his esoteric poetry in my opinion is unmatched even today; as is Keats’s love for the goddesses in mid-dance frozen in time on the Grecian Urn.
In the first stanza, the speaker stands before a paradoxical Grecian Urn and addressee it. In fact, I presume that he is fascinated with its historic depiction of goddess like pictures suspended in time. “Thou still unrevised bride of quietness”, thou “foster-child of silence and slow time”. (Lines1-2) The speaker is implying that the lasting beauty of lays truth. Indeed, art stands the test of time figures frozen in time never aging. Nevertheless, for us mortals love is indeed fleeting and aging inevitable. Next, the speaker gazes at the depiction of a group of lustful men in pursui…
…an Urn provided the nucleus to communicate his artistic philosophy. Keats use of convincing Grecian scenes of love, beauty, and truth bestowed upon the urn is an illustration to the enduring quality of art and its everlasting beauty. Nevertheless, the endeavor of everlasting happiness is only possible in a world populated by deities. Furthermore, I like to envision John Keats as poetic Eros forever flourishing in immortal youth and beauty. As Keats bestowed upon me copious illusions of beauty, truth and of eternity. Indeed, flooding the senses.
Alison, B., Kelly, J.R., (2010). The Norton Introduction to Literature: Shorter TenthEditionNew York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
O’ Rourke, J. (1998). Keats’s Odes and Contemporary Criticism: 1st Edition
Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida