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Ode On A Grecian Urn By John Keats Essay

An Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats Essay

576 Words3 Pages

An Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats John Keats's poem "An Ode to a Grecian Urn", is written encompassing both life and art. Keats uses a Grecian urn as a symbol of life. He refers to the Greek piece of art as being immortal, with its messages told in endless time. Walter J. Bate explains that the Sisobas Vase that Keats traced at the home of his artist friend Haydon, the Townly Vase at the British Museum, or the Borghese Vase in the Louvre, are suggested by scholars to possibly be the ones that Keats had in mind while writing his poem (510-511). Being that Keats had quite a respectable knowledge of Greek art, it is also quite possible that he had no particular vase in mind at all. Outside of that, our chief concern is the…show more content…

Perhaps he uses this to tell us how the urn has been adopted to tell us a story of Greek times. Or perhaps even more simply, who were its original parents? The phrase "Now he belongs to the ages," comes to mind here. The words, "slow time" seems so exact in describing the urn. After all, the urn is matter and is no more immortal then man. Time may not stand still for it; however, as with anything immortal, time shall move slower. Keats speaks of the urn as a "sylvan historian who canst thus express / a flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme" (3-4). He projects the urn as a historian forwarding tales and knowledge to us from the ages extended past. The urn has frozen lovely moments of history from the erosion of time. As the second stanza begins, Keats once again projects the stories told by the urn as timeless. "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes play on;" (11-12). Unheard melodies may contain an infinite number of notes. Thus, to whoever is listening, each hears a different sound, a sweeter sound. Though it may be different in tone, it is always the melody that pleases each individuals ear. Measurements as we know them no longer exist. The urn to be is apart from the constant flowing stream of time. "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave / Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;" (15-16). Keats describes two figures on an urn as a pair of young lovers beneath some leafy

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Poetry Analysis: "Ode On a Grecian Urn" Essay

1145 Words5 Pages

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…show more content…

For me, the ten lines of this stanza is a blissful remainder that love only comes like a thief in the night. Indeed, when one least expects it. In the second stanza, the speaker beholds a piper joyfully playing under the tress for his lover to find him with song. “Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared. The use of imagery of the senses is effective here. For I consider poetry to be more musical in nature than literary text. The speaker claims to be hearing melodies emanating from the urn, which for me the sound transmission from the urn correlates to the finite aspects of fleeting love. While the nature of art of the urn seems to me to represent the exquisiteness and infinity of the universe. Indeed, the sounds of silence from art is akin to vastness of space and time. “She cannot fade, though, thou hast not thy bliss,” (line19). Keats is asking the readers to not grieve for him. Because, her beauty will not diminish over time it is everlasting.

In the third stanza, the speaker praises the urn for its eternal youth and zeal. "Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu.”(lines 21-22) He admires the trees that cover the lovers for they will not loose their leaves over the changing seasons. For this he it seems is grateful and feels happy. Moreover, the use of word spring is of key importance for spring signifies the start of a new seasonal cycle of

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