Thursday, January 29, 2009

Romanticism (students)

Here is where I would like you to post your responses to the poems. Remember this is a public forum, so keep your language formal and respectful.


  1. Ode on a Grecian Urn - John Keats
    This poem is a romantic view of a Greek urn - reading it, I am reminded of the G. K. Chesterton quote "Strike a glass, and it will not endure an instant; simply do not strike it, and it will endure a thousand years." I feel that Keats focuses greatly on the timelessness of the events occurring on the urn itself, and not on the fragility of such a situation, or the possibility of it. The stanzas addressing the different aspects of the urn are an interesting examination of every attribute of this pot, and they lend to the reader the aforementioned sense of timelessness, of being capable of pressing a "Pause" button on life. It stresses the details, the beautiful things on the urn, which is the defining quality of Romanticism. The smallest beauty in the world is not left behind.

    The Tyger - William Blake
    This poem makes an interesting juxtaposition to Blake's "The Lamb," even going far enough to ask "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" It is once more an appreciation of the detail, the greatness that one finds in the world. Blake makes the reader both fear and admire the "tyger" of which he writes, characterizing the beast as a nightmare almost, only appearing in a mysterious, dream-like realm. The poem provides a romantic view of the animal that was prized as a rug at the time. The view provided is, given, an uneasy one, but it is nonetheless dramatized.

    Brevity - Heinrich Heine
    This poem romanticizes the joys of youth, and the immortal feeling that youth grants. In youth, "you wanted your singing never to come to an end," but continuing with the equally sung theme of heartbreak in other Romantic poems, the poem speaks of the loss of joy. The subject of the poem is indeed joy, spoken of as something fleeting, the "red glow of evening" before the "bird of night." Heine's imagery in this poem is spectacular, using metaphors to enable the reader to visualize this descent into depression. The question is also of interest, and it prompts the question of the inquirer. Who knew Heine well enough to ask such a question?

  2. Ode on a Grecian Urn - John Keats
    In this poem, Keats consistently reinforces the idea of the eternal beauty of nature. The motif of imagination glows with Keats' fantastic use of syntax and imagery. Most imagery used describes a scene in nature. Further, a subjective feeling towards the 'mood' of nature is manifested in the way Keats makes the reader his subject. By asking many rhetorical, yet insistent questions, Keats holds dear the emphasis for 'spontaneity in thought', one of the key concepts to romantic thought.

  3. Ode on a Grecian Urn - John Keats

    Keats uses the images of nature on an urn to portray, if looked at one way, a celebration of nature, and the other, a feeling of sorrow. He expertly blends these two through the imagery provided, such as when Keats writes, "Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed/ Your leaves" (21-22). This projects, upon first reading, an image of trees in the spring, standing forever blooming, but when looked at closer provide the idea that Keats is sorrowful that the trees in the urn will not see a different season or time. In this poem, Keats projects one of the concepts of Romanticism where there is an "association of human moods with the 'moods' of Nature - and thus a subjective feeling for it and interpretation of it."

  4. Ode on a Grecian Urn, John Keats

    This poem is clearly of a Romantic sort, as it describes the natural background to the things happening in the painting as well as being written in meter. The only question that comes to mind about this point is the third line: is “historian” to be pronounced with only three syllables? Since the rest of the poem fits perfectly in iambic pentameter, I assume it is, though “his-tor-i-an” makes more sense to me.
    As for the mention of the nature’s background, instead of merely describing the two lovers, Keats first describes their location: beneath the trees. Near the end of the poem, he describes the “forest branches and trodden weed,” details that would have been left out in poems before this period.
    Literary devices are present in this poem to enhance the meaning, as usual. The meter makes the work sound more pleasant, and imagery helps the reader picture what is depicted on the urn. Repetition stresses important ideas (such as in the first stanza, with all the questions about what is occurring in the scene, and in the third, with “happy, happy boughs” and “happy, happy love,” etc.) to get the reader to focus on these things.
    Finally, my reaction to the poem. The part that stuck out to me was the second stanza, describing the indelible aspect of the artwork. Though it was painted so long ago, “When old age shall this generation waste,/ thou shalt remain.” Probably, Keats was envisioning a similar timelessness for his poem: even though he is long dead, his work and legacy live on for us.

  5. Ode to a Grecian Urn is a fascinating poem. Primarily because it has no conflict. It simply states that life will move on, but this Urn will remain to tell us all its tale. However, the urn is now gone, and all that does remain is the poem about it. The part that struck me particularly was the line about the urn's timelessness:
    "When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe"

    It struck me as interesting that the urn would be in the midst of other woe. Someday I'd like to find out what urn Keats was talking about and see it for myself if possible.

  6. “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is Romantic due to its emphasis on natural elements, as well as its exaltation of individuals. Keats emphasizes the fair youth and the bold lover from the urn, taking time to address them as individuals- they are not only part of the urn, they play a role in the message that the poem is portraying. This is seen throughout the rest of the poem, as Keats addresses the other singular aspects of the urn. Keats’s work also focuses on the Romantic idea of beauty in nature and its stillness. The trees never leave summer, nor do they shed their leaves. The urn will also remain, even as generations of humans pass by.
    The second stanza begins with a literary device. “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter” (11-12) is a paradox statement. The unheard pipes lead the audience to the never bare trees. The use of these contradictions emphasizes the fact that nature and stillness are beautiful and fulfilling. Silence and the imagination (imagining the sound of pipes) are more beautiful than the sound actually produced. The falling leaves and bare trees cannot compare to the beauty in the eternal spring (23). Keats emphasizes the silence and stillness by using examples of motion. Imagery is also used. “With forest branches and the trodden weed” (43), the audience sees images of nature.
    My response to the poem is slight disbelief. It is true that certain things remain timeless, like the urn and the poem, and they are seen as beautiful. However, beauty in nature does not have to be stiff and silent to be beautiful. Movement and change in nature is also beautiful. If leaves fell from the tree [on the urn], it would remain beautiful and eternal. (Ah, this is dumb… I am sorry)

  7. Ode on a Grecian Urn--John Keats

    Keats definitely incorporates scenery and its chaotic beauty into his description of the urn. From the constantly mentioned trees and boughs to the spring, he makes note of both the nature and its effect on the characters depicted. The trees crowd around the lovers,though later trodden by their steps, the sea shore and river intrude on the peaceful town, and all the while a cow makes itself known to an open sky. The attraction to nature is undeniable and Keats uses the Romantic idea to connect the urn's characters to more realistic surroundings as well as to simply marvel at the way of Nature. Yet, despite the fact that the nature gives the people a place in the world of the urn, the slight moods of the characters are also incorporated by way of the scenery. The way the terrain is described often reflects desperation, longing, or passion when the people on the urn feel them.

    Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey--William Wordsworth

    Wordsworth uses his depictions of wild scenery to reflect the narrator's moods consistently throughout the poem. At first the rows of wild hedges, steep and lofty cliffs, and rolling mountainside streams are just an expression of the narrator's delight and his being overwhelmed. However, this slowly becomes a description of Nature's contrast to the narrator's life and his lack of truly living while simultaneously experiencing Nature's free flowing exuberance. Wordsworth describes Man's connection with Nature and his regret a having lost his hold on life.But more than that, he also worships Nature's unruliness in a way that seems jealous.

  8. Ode on a Grecian Urn - John Keats

    Knowing the key concepts of Romanticism, it makes it obvious that this ode is Romantic, primarily due to its concentration on nature. The natural way of life with words like "flowery", "trees" and "leaf-fringed", they all imply a more primitive environment.

    "What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
    What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?"
    This quote from the poem also shows how Romantic this poem is because it has an emphasis on spontaneity, particularly in thought and action.
    Literary devices within the ode are repetition of certain phrases to parallel them. "Ah, happy, happy boughs" parallels to "More happy love! more happy, happy love." The redundancy of the word happy to describe some noun draws you to both for comparison. Why are boughs and love synonymous or at least, why are they both so happy? I feel as though Keats was trying to show that the two were similar in some sense.
    My reaction to the poem was at first, confusion. Why was he using some of the terms that he did? "Still unravish'd bride of quietness" to show how pure nature was, was strange to say the least, but also had a tone of tenderness in it. I quite like the poem because it seems so tender and sweet.

  9. Ode on a Grecian Urn – John Keats

    Keats puts great emphasis on the power of imagination in his poem. While he examines the images on the urn, he creates his own stories for them, completely embodying the ideas behind Romanticism. It focuses on personal expression and imagination. Every person who views the urn could interpret the images differently and imagine their own stories, making the choice of subject perfect for a romantic poem. Personally, I am curious about what the urn used as inspiration actually looks like because the description Keats gives is merely one person’s interpretation.

    In addition, Keats uses intricately detailed imagery, taking interest in the scenery, to set the mood for each of his stories. “More happy love! more happy, happy love!” (25). Here, he creates a joyous mood through the repetition of one word. Keats also creates a paradox with the concept of time because the characters of each scene are forever, eternally entombed in a single, unchanging moment. Keats says, “Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought/ As doth eternity” (44-45). He speaks of the paradox he presented here, in the “silent form” versus “eternity”. He also encourages individual expression yet again, a key part of Romantic poetry.

  10. The poem, "Ode on a Grecian Urn," portrays several different aspects of its time period, the Romantic. The poet describes the urn as a "foster-child of Silence and Slow Time" (2), illuminating its individualistic properties and importance. He then incorporates its mystery of nature by asking, "What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape" (6). These ideas of individuality and nature were prominant concepts in the Romantic period, allowing its followers to explore a different view of the world.
    The poet presents his views and ideas by using vast amounts of imagery. His selections of words, such as "leaf-fringed" (6) and "flowery tale" (5), create descriptions refering to nature, allowing the reader to imagine the appereance of the urn and its unique qualities.
    I was dumbfounded after reading this poem. The poet's insight into the natural world is so pure that it makes the reader's imagination take hold, traveling to the urn in which the poet is referring to. It is easy to get lost within the descriptions of the poem, and imagine yourself being in tune with nature and the Grecian urn.

  11. John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

    This poem is an interesting take on the bucolic of classical antiquity. In the Romantic vein, references to pagan religion pervade the poem. "Tempe," for instance, mentioned in the first stanza, refers to the Vale of Tempe, a site characterized by the ancient poets as a favorite of Apollo and the Muses. In the fourth stanza, the poet writes, "To what green altar, O mysterious priest, / Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, / And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?" (32-4), referring to the preparations for a sacrifice.
    Eternity and simplicity are also discussed in this poem as in the ancient bucolic. In the second stanza, the poet writes, "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave / Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; / Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, / Though winning near the goal--yet, do not grieve; / She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, / For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!" (15-20). Here, the poet is speaking not only of the urn but also of life itself. As on the urn, there is always a lover and a beloved in life. This leads up to the final sentence and the overarching maxim, "When old age shall this generation waste, / Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe / Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, / 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know'" (46-50). This maxim also exposes the poet's view on simplicity: by stating that all we know on Earth and need to know is that "beauty is truth, truth beauty" (49), he simplifies the goal of life to appreciation of the natural world--simplicity. This is complimentary with the Romantic ideal of Man abating and eventually vanquishing that which alienates him from nature and annihilating himself into it.
    The poet uses anthropomorphism heavily to give the poem its meaning. For instance, in the first stanza, the poet speaks directly to the urn. And although the poem is dedicated specifically to the urn, the poet does not fail to give personality to its prominent features. By giving the urn personality and imbuing its features with the same, it becomes "a friend to man" (48), something by which Man can be reminded that "beauty is truth, truth beauty" (49).
    The power of this poem is astounding. Something that appears to be at first a lament makes a twist at the end and becomes didactic. Aristotle would be proud: this art both pleases and instructs.

    William Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much With Us"

    This poem is, in short, a lament for Man's alienation from nature. The poet states this directly: "This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, / The winds that will be howling at all hours, / Are are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, / For this, for everything, we are out of tune; / It moves us not" (5-9). It also makes use of a topic of much interest to Romantic poets, paganism, to remedy this: "Great God! I'd rather be / A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; / So might I, standing on the pleasant lea, / Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; / Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; / Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn" (9-14). This poem advances more directly than Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" the Romantic ideal, annihilation of man into nature. It also advances a common notion that Man has become alienated and has not always been so--"We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!" (4).
    As in "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the author uses anthropomorphic terms but to a different end: nature is personalized in order to rouse a primordial nostalgia for simplicity in the reader.
    This poem is effective in its limited scope. It does expose a persistent problem with man, but it does not have didactic power: it does not propose a solution. I am impressed but only in a limited way.

    Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Stanzas Written in Dejection near Naples"

    The Romantic aspects of this poem come through in its focus on man integrating with nature. It is even written from the perspective of a dying man, in the mind of a Romantic poet, a man as close to nature as possible before death.
    The author's use of a dying narrator is particularly important because it is "dehumanized"--it is less and less alienated from nature. In the last stanza, for instance, the poet writes, "Yet now despair itself is mind, / Even as the winds and waters are; / I could lie down like a tired child, / And weep away the life of care / Which I have borne, and yet must bear,-- / Till death like sleep might steal on me, / And I might feel in the warm air / My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea / Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony" (28-36). The personification of nature and the nature of dying are combined here magnificently to depict instants before a man's annihilation into nature. This poem, in its "dejection," is the Romantic hope, the Romantic ideal.
    I find this poem particularly moving in that it is not about despairing nor about joy but about a hope--that man will become one with nature.

  12. Peter Washington's (Period 7) response to "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats:

    At a risk of butchering an overly discussed topic, the final two lines struck me at the most remarkable part of the poem. The famous line "beauty is truth, truth beauty" is structurally significant in that it lacks words that are not necessary to make the point, such as "is" and "and". By eliminating these words, a much more concise phrase is created, grabbing the readers attention with its simplicity.

    I was originally under the impression that Keats was trying to indicate that beauty was necessary to be true, and so I had strongly disagreed with the statement. As I continued to ponder the meanings of this famous aphorism, however, I realized that perhaps it was not saying that all truth had to be beautiful, but rather that truth is one of the things that can be beautiful, and beauty is one of the things that can be true. With this new interpretation, I realized that the famous line is a valid philosophical opinion.

    Keats' entire description of the Grecian urn provokes thoughts of the nature of art, truth, and beauty, all of which were common subjects of thought during the Romantic era. The poem also has many descriptions of the scenery that is depicted on the vase. For example, the first three lines of the fifth stanza read "O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede/ Of marble men and maidens overwrought,/ With forest branches and the trodden weed." This is filled with vivid portrayals of the urn, showing the love that Keats had for the beautiful artwork on the vase.

  13. John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

    A recurring theme in this poem is the juxtaposition of savagery with civilization. For example, the third stanza describes lovers, while the fourth stanza describes a pagan sacrifice. However, it is important to note that Keats' tone does not change drastically between these stanza's. Furthermore, there is no Apollonian and Dionysian conflict. Even when the subject of the poem focuses on civilization, rather than the untame world, it describes love, which is a fundamentally savage and wild, yet vital, component of our modern society. The urn is only an example of how savagery is important to a civilized society. It was an important cultural trait of a civilization hundreds of years ago, but the artwork on the vase depicts something very wild, primitive, and uncivilized.

  14. Ode on a Grecian Urn – John Keats
    Ode on a Grecian urn is very symbolic of the connection and dissonance between the present and the past, the influence of the death of Keats brother is also present. The poem starts by connecting the past and present, speaking of the urn which tells the tales of the past but resides in the present, gapping the two eras. Keats then shows the dissonance between the two ideas of old and new, expressing unending youth of the characters portrayed on the sides of the pottery. He celebrates this idea of their eternal position, comparing it to reality and the passing of time and finding the freeze framed lives of these people who are centuries old more intriguing. He expresses that their love will last forever, just as the leaves on the tree will never fall, all of this accompanied by the emotion of happiness, with an almost manic need to express this joy. Yet even in this joy the conflict between the past and present is obvious as all of this is not real, it is an image that faded many years ago from the physical world and is now just held on a fragile piece of pottery. Yet though the fragility of life is ever present in Keats speech the urn never even passes his mind to be fragile. This is expressed in the last lines “When old age shall this generation waste, / Thou shalt remain”. This unwillingness to note the fragility of both the urn and the human life causes Keats to seem desperate to believe that some “happy, happy love” will last past his era which is likely caused by the recent death of his brother.

  15. In Ode on a Grecian Urn, Keats eulogizes the beauty he sees in a Grecian urn and the nature it represents. The poem exemplifies the key concepts of Romanticism, as it relies much on description, often subjective, of the vase. Keats focuses heavily on nature and the natural scenery, including its “more untamed and disorderly manifestations”: for instance, his description of “forest branches and the trodden weed.” He also attributes human emotion to much of the scenery, using adjectives such as “happy,” “sweet,” and “fair.” Additionally, Keats uses repetition to further emphasize his point (“happy, happy love”) and greatly varies his punctuation, often using exclamation points to accentuate certain phrases.

    Throughout the poem, Keats juxtaposes phrases regarding the urn's ornate, natural beauty with its permanence and eternal nature: such a wonder, he says, will “remain,” even when “old age shall this generation waste.” To Keats, dying of tuberculosis, this probably seemed the perfect combination. However, he does allow for some interpretation, especially in the story of the two lovers: frozen in time, they can never kiss, but neither can they leave one another. While Keats ultimately reaches the conclusion that this perpetual form of love is worth its drawbacks, I cannot completely agree, and would never want to take the lovers' place.

  16. So far so good everyone...also, do not worry about commenting on similar strands of discussion, as you might have a different take on the subject. Question for Monday: should this section have different 'folders' (is that the word) for each poem under consideration?

  17. John Keats: "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

    In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," elements of Romanticism are evident in Keats' poetic illustrations of the various images on the urn, which, aside from expressing interest in nature and scenery, conveys a use of imagination, as they are Keats' personal interpretations. In addition to that, Keats attempts to create a mood for every scene. For instance, the phrases "happy, happy boughs" (21) and "thy streets for evermore will silent be; and not a soul, to tell why thou art desolate" (38-40) are implemented to promote moods of tranquility and solitude respectively.

    The principal theme of the poem is the juxtaposition of the urn and humanity, art and life, consistency and variability, immortality and mortality. Keats employs a multitude of literary devices to illustrate this theme. He uses personification, addressing the urn as if it were living in order to enhance the comparison between man and the urn. For example, he calls the urn a "foster child of Silence and slow Time" (2), which hints at its immunity to the effects of time and change. In the second stanza, Keats makes use of irony in the declaration, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/are sweeter" (11-12). The purpose of this declaration is to highlight the advantages of immortality and invariability, as Keats suggests that the everlasting, eternal song is superior as it is "for ever painting, and for ever young;/all breathing human passion far above" (27-28), transcending the ephemerality of those who are mortal.

    As someone who was never particularly fond of poetry, I happened to enjoy this poem and came to appreciate its masterfully crafted structure. I thought the theme was very meaningful, and I feel that the lines "When old age shall this generation waste,/ thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe" (46-47) are among the most powerful lines in literature. It's one of my favorite poems at the moment.

  18. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," Keats uses the interest in nature to describe all aspects of the urn. He uses scenes of nature to convey the emotion of the urn, such as "forest branches and the trodden weed" and writes that the urn tells a "flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme." The emphasis of nature illustrates the Romantic aspects of the poem, as does his description of the characters on the urn. Keats focuses on their need for one another, and how they will forever have their love. Making their personal desires the most important part of the couple, he creates a Romantic ideal of their relationship.

  19. John Keats: Ode on a Grecian Urn
    The focus on natural scenery and its relationship to the characters in Keats’s poem immediately defines Ode on a Grecian Urn as a prime example of romantic poetry. More subtle is Keats’s lauding of imagination by using it to furnish the urn with a story. He begins his confrontation of the plot depicted by the urn by asking questions he can never know the answer to. Abandoning this rational exploration, he moves on to the characters and fashions them with imagined emotions. Once again forced to leave off this train of thought because of lovers’ existence outside of time, Keats changes topic to a sacrificial scene and gives it a complete story, inventing a time both ahead and before the depiction.
    Paradox is frequently used, especially where time is concerned. The lovers are both free from time, as they are “forever young”, and frozen in it, as they “canst not leave”. Imagery as well is often used, and many times it connects natural beauty to human emotion, as when he evokes the thought of emotion by using “flowery” to describe the urn’s story.
    I found the work to depressing. The story of the two lovers caught in time reminds me of the way in which good things never last. The final stanza further accents this fact as well as pointing out that only the things we leave behind will serve as a tombstone for our remembrance and even those things will not be understood.

  20. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" -- John Keats

    Keats' ode is a paragon of romantic poetry, upholding to the last detail the creed of the romantic poet. The poem moves through a gradient of emotions and moods, beginning and ending on a somewhat melancholy note, with a joyous interlude. The expressive attributes of the poem and its contrasting moods are heavily romantic, and they stem from another romantic concept used by Keats, that of vivid imagery and incorporation of elements of the natural world into the poem. For example, Keats writes, "What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape," which uses nature to create some image of this legend. Not only this, but the diction and syntax here are both conducive to a specific mood or feeling, that of nostalgic memory. To Keats, the Grecian Urn tells a long-lost story of love and happiness, which is, in itself, romantic. Thus, the urn is a near ideal subject for such a poem.

  21. After an inordinate amount of confusion spent setting up an account---

    Unlike the Age of Reason, Romanticism placed an emphasis on the powers of the imagination. This theme is evident throughout Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” While reason dictates that inanimate baked-clay vessels have no powers of speech or intellect and it is therefore lunacy to talk toward them, Keats addresses his Greek pottery of choice as “Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness” (1) and a “Sylvan historian, who canst thus express/ A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme”(3-4). Clearly, the urn cannot speak aloud, but it can still tell a tale superior to learned men who know how to rhyme –natural genius.
    For the rest of the poem, the speaker uses his imagination to translate and speak for the urn, weaving a timeless story of a young man forever pursuing his love and peaceful townspeople sacrificing a heifer. For Romanticism, Nature was forever while Man continued to develop and move away from the ‘natural.’ Likewise, the stories the urn can tell are numerous but forever frozen from a Classical but pagan period. In his poem, Keats describes this eternal state a blissful one, telling the young man “For ever wilt thou love, /and she be fair” (20) and exclaiming almost in joy, “Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed/ Your leaves” (21-22). Readers are made to feel that the young man and the ‘evergreen’ trees are in a pleasant situation even though they are not moving or progressing, comparable to how Romantics would like to see humans living in a more natural, primitive state.
    The poem became more appealing once I reread it a few times. Speaking to and imaginatively describing an inanimate piece of illustrative art was a very clever concept for expressing Romantic ideals of Nature, timelessness, and imagination. It gave the rather flat images on Greek pottery a new meaning with each interpretation.

  22. I don't know why, but when I posted, it said my name was "me." Just letting you know, "me" is Max Wimberley.

  23. Throughout this poem, nature is personified. This is something that is typical of Romantic poems. By giving boughs a happy emotion, it reinforces that spring is a nice time where things grow and are alive. Keats describes the scene on the vase somewhat forlornly by making this perfect scene so unattainable. The anticipatory moment between the two lovers will never happen. The cow is always about to be slaughtered. This would be relevant for Keats because something as happy and full of life like Spring would be difficult for him to obtain, since he is dying of tuberculosis. This is an emotional poem which is another characteristic of Romantic poetry

    My initial reaction during the first few stanzas was a happy one. Keats describes a nice scene. Then during the second half of the third stanza the poem stuck me as darker than i originally thought.

  24. Ode on a grecian urn is a romantic poem because it gives feelings and emotions to the characters represented on the urn. In past times, a poet may have described the actions of the characters on the urn, what they might be doing, and why this was drawn on the urn. Keats chooses to look at these characters as actual human beings who are doomed to remain in a fixed position with fixed emotions painted on their faces. They can never move on with their lives, they must always be fixed at this point of time and suffer because they cannot continue what they are doing on the urn's painting. I find it rather depressing to think about the two lovers who are forced to always love each other but to never even kiss.

  25. John Keats- "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

    Through repetition and imagery, John Keats indicates an association of human moods with the 'moods' of Nature-and thus a subjective feeling for it and interpretation of it.

    In regards to the urn, all that is contained by the urn helps to emphasize the meaning of the poem which is the beauty of nature. According to Keats, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" I admire how Keats saves the focus of the poem until the end. He begins by describing the youth beneath the tree and continues on creating a funnel effect.

    One of the most powerful stanza's of the poem is, "When old age shall this generation waste, thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe." Our day will come when we must depart from this world but nature shall continue its existence. Nature does not age, but with every generation it shall become more meaningful and its blooms more beautiful.

    Throughout the poem, Keats refers to the trees and at various parts of the poem describes the leaves. I believe the importance of describing the leaves was to indicate that it is the small things in life that have a greater meaning.

    William Wordsworth-" The World Is Too Much With Us"

    William Wordsworth indicates an increasing interest in Nature, and in the natural, primitive and uncivilized way of life, through the characterization of man and his mood toward the behavior of man.

    The title of the poem, "The World is Too Much With Us", makes me think of how many focuses his attention on the material items in this world rather than its natural beauty. I agree when Wordsworth states, "Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: / Little we see in Nature that is ours; / We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!" Wordsworth is greatly appalled by mans behavior toward nature. In addition, man does not appreciate all that nature has to offer. Like the storm, the beauty of nature is often ignored by man for it is of no interest.

    Due to his observations of mans behavior, William Wordsworth states, "I’d rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn." Wordsworth wants to go back to a simpler time, a time when man and nature were one. In reality, even though things change one thing remains the same, our emotions.

    Robert Browning-"My Last Duchess"

    During the twist of the poem, one can observe the use of tone and imagery which contrast the previous image. In addition, Browning uses diction when describing the dutchess. The use of these literary devices indicates Browning's growing interest in scenery, especially its more untamed and disorderly manifestations.

    The poem is based on a conversation between two characters in which the audience or reader is listening. This division allows for the reader to understand each characters different point of view as well as create different conclusions.

  26. While Keats in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" addresses his ode directly to the the subject urn, his poem would lead one to the thought that he is doting more upon the story contained within its inscriptions. Firstly, he speaks of the vase as a "Sylvan historian" who shape and designs can express "a flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme." He is doting upon the ability of visual art rather than language in meter for artistic and historic expression. He proceeds to then asking the urn of its fable, and then reciting the fable itself.
    This poem is Romantic because it so well links love, the strongest emotion of humanity, to our environment and nature. Keats speaks of a "fair youth, beneath the trees", a lover who will never attain the affections of his love, for she herself seems to be a tree. The prime conflict is that this youth will always sing a ballad to the tree he loves and yet the tree will never shed her leaves, for she cannot. Such a link between human behavior and pure nature is a distinct quality of Romantic literature.

    -Josh Stevens-Stein

  27. "Ode on a Grecian Urn," John Keats
    For many years before knowing the story or, even, name of this poem, I knew its closing lines. Keats is immortalized, much like his urn's lovers, in a state of youth and brilliance. Never would he know the sorrows of his body growing old or his mind, stale. Perhaps that is why this "Ode on a Grecian Urn" has remained with such significance. The repercussions of John Keats's timeless words, everlasting as the anonymous paint-strokes that decorate the ancient urn, can be felt years on.
    There are various devices that demonstrate this writing's age, however. The style is apparently Romantic. The ode opens referencing the chaotic endeavors of lovers in "mad pursuit"(9) and "wild ecstasy"(10). This description of uncontainable emotion correlates to key aspects of Romantic literature: the less civilized ways of life and emphasis on spontaneity.
    Additionally, the opening stanza speaks of "leaf-fringed [legends]"(5) and questions of what gods, men, or other mortals there are tales to tell. The Romantic writers, much like many painters of the earlier Renaissance, paid much more attention to the naturalistic gods.
    Oddly, I find myself less interested in the everlasting conclusion than I do with the rest of the poem. Perhaps I have known it too long for it to mean as much... Something in this frozen moment that Keats plays forth reminds me of the ideas of prophecy. Rather than the more somber tones of a life so comparatively short, next to that eternity of the Grecian lovers, I see this poem as a warning and condolence. "Live in the now," Keats seems to say. Yes, sometime, all that you are may be forgotten, but at this moment, you are just seconds before a kiss, so enjoy the lute while it plays and do not trouble yourself with anything but the current truths and beauty that they hold.
    Bella Cavello

  28. Ode on a Grecian Urn- John Keats
    Throughout the poem, Keats describes the urn, yet at the same time poses so many new questions the reader feels he still knows nothing about the urn. The fourth stanza is the best example of this. Keats describes for us the scene of a priest leading a heifer dressed in garlands, and that of an empty village, but poses the questions of where he is leading the heifer, and where the village is located. Like with music, where Keats tells us "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter" (11-12), we are asked to analyze not the obvious, but hidden. This fits well with the romantic concept of using the imagination more.
    Another concept Keats brings up in the fourth stanza is that of nature, and humanity in relation to nature. He asks us "What little town by river or sea shore, / Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, / Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?" (35-37). He connects the towns not to a physical location, but to the natural surroundings. These descriptions lead us to draw conclusions about nature. We are lead to connect mountains and peace, as well as water with a sense of smallness. Both are connected with isolation and emptiness. Still, the phrasings are ambiguous enough that the reader can decide for themselves whether these are good or bad things, brushing upon the romantic concept of personal expression.

  29. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," key concepts of Romanticism are evident in the descriptions of the scene on the urn, which express interest in the natural way of life. The lines, such as "bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss" (17) show the readers the importance of the power of imagination for who knows what actions could occur if the story of the urn were played out. When describing the everlasting spring season, Keats brings a happy and joyful mood to the poem and thus interprets the mood of such Nature in a good way. Yet these interpretations are his own moods derived from such scenes in nature, emphasizing the individual and his own personal expressions.

    Keats uses imagery throughout the poem, which helps to describe and portray the story as well as the message of urn: "beauty is truth, truth beauty" (49). The details in the beginning stanzas help support the beauty of nature and the beauty of everlasting happiness. The urn portrays one scene for eternity, which provides some truth of nature and life and satisfies Keats' and other readers' questions of life. He presents, with lots of detail, how the current scene communicated by the urn, or the anticipatory moment, is better than the action about to occur, and that the present, current moments hold the most beauty and truth. He also incorporates repetition of the word, happy, and the use of words and phrases such as warm, love, human passion, and forever young, to emphasize the joyful mood of the nature depicted and the enjoyable and pleasurable emotions it arouses.

    After reading the poem through a couple of times, I found it a bit depressing, as if the urn is trying to deceive what will happen if the eternal moment changes and comes to life again. It is as if the urn is hiding people's fears that the beauty of nature and of life may not last for eternity as it does in this poem and on the urn. I also feel that it does not give justice to the other parts of nature, such as change, movement, diversity, etc., which are beautiful and eternal as well. Being stuck in one moment may give hope and happiness, but there is more to know on earth than the simple, though beautiful, truth from a timeless scene of a nature.

  30. John Keats: "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

    Coming at a time when the power of steam was beginning to reshape the landscape of the world like no other force preceding it, Keats declaration that "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter" is a striking statement on Romanticism's view of that new world. His message, which synchronizes perfectly with the Romantic interest in nature, is most interesting because it discounts the power of man-made beauties over natural ones. Indeed, Keats, in the very structure of the poem, impresses this fact on the reader through repetition of certain phrases. Take, for example, the "happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed" and, three lines later, the "happy, happy love!/ For ever warm", which, even though they describe different aspects of the urn, are linked by both diction and the quiet nature of their joy.

    Another interesting moment in the poem occurs when Keats acknowledges that "When old age shall this generation waste,/ Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe", and, in doing so, admits that the genius of men outlasts man himself. For a poem so universally renowned as this, such a statement reflects easily the increased importance placed on imagination during the era. This theme is further reinforced by the classical subject matter of the urn and its mysterious pagan rituals, such as when he writes "Who are these coming to the sacrifice?/ To what green altar, O mysterious priest,/ Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies". Historically, this emphasis makes sense because the 19th century was a time of increased inquiry into the classical world ranging in form from Schliemann's search for Troy to the great interest in classical sculpture exemplified by the Blanton Museum's plaster replications.

  31. "Ode to a Grecian Urn" - John Keats

    The key concepts and literary devices of Romanticism are evident in this poem. For example, the high interest in nature comes up mostly in the second stanza when Keats writes of the tree and the aesthetic vase. He mainly focuses on the natural beauty that is hidden in the image of stillness and tranquility. Nature's beauty in silence is emphasized in the second stanza, as Keats writes, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/Are sweeter" (lines 11-12)to say that something that is motionless is 'sweeter' than one in motion, however this is only Keats' interpretation of what is true beauty. Keats' use of imagery is seen almost everywhere in this poem, for example, in the last stanza he writes, "Of marble men and maidens overwrought,/With forest branches and the trodden weed" (lines 42-43) to deepen that interpretation of the urn and nature's silence to the reader. In the third stanza, Keats' use of emotional sense and mood can be interpreted in lines such as "Ah, happy, happy boughs!" (line 21) and "And,happy melodist,unwearied,/For ever piping songs for ever new;/More happy love! more happy, happy love!/For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd" (lines 23-26). I believe Keats gives character to the urn to act as a guide to giving meaning to the silence that nature surrounds itself in and gives off to others. He calls the urn "bride of quietness" and "foster-child of Silence and slow Time" and around the end he focuses on the urn's stillness through time and space and the natural beauty that it enfolds itself in, to remain 'when old age shall this generation waste' and that overtime, whatever state the urn ends up in, 'beauty is truth, truth beauty'.
    When I first read this poem, it was somewhat difficult to see what Keats was trying to personify through the words he used, and I came to realize that the meaning and conclusion of the poem is in fact beautiful in its own way. I especially admired Keats use of emotion to reach out to that urn and spread his message to it as if he were trying to tell this to his true lover that she is beautiful and thus will remain beautiful through what time shows and silence brings. :)

  32. “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
    John Keats uses typical concepts of romanticism in his work, “Ode on a Grecian”. Concepts such as references to nature, women, distinct scenery, natural religion, and individuality are all common in this and other poems. In the first stanza Keats writes about the Urn, which he is using to represent the natural history of the world. He uses the urn to describe something more deep than just the paint on it, he illustrates the versatility of something that has such intense meaning. The urn has hidden stories some that can not be seen on the outside but on the inside of the artist painting it, and the man who tells the story of the urn. The third stanza brings in nature references, Keats compares love to a tree branch in the way that this particular tree branch does not loose its leaves, it is forever beautiful and does not wilt whatsoever it stays strong. Then in the last stanza Keats writes about beauty and nature, he also touches on the subject of how some people are entwined in the distresses of life, how they never see the beauty of life. This brings up the question of how humans perceive life, some just see the urn as how it is something that holds something amazing but accept it how it is, while others sit and stare and attempt to find out what it contains, what secrets it holds.

  33. ALIYAH-
    Response to "ode on a grecian urn"

    "Ode on a Grecian Urn" blatantly illustrates many aspects of Romanticism writing. In the second paragraph Keats says, "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave". He references nature with the obvious tree and also ties a parallel between the more primitive way of life and youth. Throughout the poem Keats uses nature in his diction such as, leaves, spring, skies, river, forest branches and green alter. Keats also makes reference to natural religion, " To what green altar, O mysterious priest". This poem is a great example of romantic literature demonstrating many key concepts of Romanticism.

  34. "Ode on a Grecian Urn"--John Keats

    As the poem’s title implies, Keats uses this poem to praise an urn and all that it depicts. This is where a great deal of the Romanticism comes from. Keats recognizes the beauty in something so long-lasting, something capable of capturing a moment and holding it there forever, and so he glorifies it with iambic pentameter and rhymes. This is both effective and relevant to the subject--words, too, will linger, so even one who does not see or has not seen the urn in question can understand what Keats saw in it.
    But not only will a happy moment--a spring day, a piper playing his tune and enjoying himself, two lovers basking in each other’s glory--stay happy as long as the urn is in existence. The nature of the moment--that it is merely a snapshot, with no real information about what came before or what will come after--encourages the imagination to fill in the blanks, and one of the focuses of Romanticism is the importance and power of the imagination. Keats states that “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter.” While pipe music can be lovely, one can look at this frozen piper on the urn and imagine an even lovelier melody, one that would appeal specifically to the viewer (or reader of this poem, who is no doubt imagining this urn by the time he is through).
    In a way, Keats personifies the urn throughout the poem, first directly (calling it a “Sylvan historian” and all that) and then by speaking to the people (and trees) depicted on it. When one considers this, the poem begins to seem more like a love poem for some living entity within the urn (figuratively, of course).
    The ode’s tone appears to take a darker turn in the last stanza and the final lines of the stanza before it, especially with lines like “when old age shall this generation waste” and “thy streets for evermore / Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell / Why thou art desolate, can e’er return” and phrases like “in midst of other woe,” but this is still contributing to the idea that the images will always be there for us to admire.

  35. This poem expresses a great interest in nature, which is one of the themes of Romanticism. Keats often weaves nature into his descriptions, such as in the phrase: “what leaf-fringed legend haunt about thy shape” (line 5). This line itself has nothing to do with nature, but Keats uses the words “leaf-fringed” to give an air of mystery to the description. In addition, many of the images Keats portrays of the urn incorporate scenery: “Ah, happy, happy boughs! That cannot shed your leaves…” (lines 21-22). These images of nature he describes on the urn also tie into another theme of Romanticism- natural religion. When writing about the little town, Keats portrays a priest leading a heifer to a “green” altar. Here, the word “green” connects to nature, as if the priest were sacrificing the heifer to mother nature, or to some religion having to do with nature.

    Keats creates meaning through his use of syntax and diction. His choice of words gives a serious feeling, especially the way he chooses to combine them. “Bold lover, never, never, canst thou kiss” (line 17). Here Keats creates a tone of regret, and arouses a sense of pity in the reader. The word “bold” gives the idea that this person is capable of a great deal, but the following “never” gives a feeling of disappointment, that this person’s capacity to love is being cut off. Keats also uses imagery to create meaning. By painting pictures in his readers’ head, he attaches them emotionally to the poem: “And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?” (line 44). Suddenly the reader is able to picture this calf, and because they have an image of it, they feel for it more and connect more with its’ situation.

    I got a sense of peace after reading this poem, and also a feeling of sadness. Keats describes so much emotion and feeling, only to say that none of it can be realized. The sense of peace I believe came from the fact that though so much is happening in this poem, it is like a still life. Reading it reminded me of studying a painting- everything is frozen.

  36. Ode on a Grecian Urn - John Keats

    Keats is clearly writing in a romantic style as most of his poem has an emphasis on nature. Virtually every stanza has something in it that is describing the beauty of nature in it, for example, "With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought." In the second to last stanza, Keats is painting a picture of peacefullness as he describes, "her silken flanks with garlands drest? What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel." A silent town paints a picture of peacefulness and being one with nature. After reading this I felt very uplifted, a little confused but nevertheless uplifted as from all the peaceful imagery and emotion that the author put into it. (As I read the poem over and over, it began to make more and more sense.)

  37. Ode on a Grecian Urn

    This poem makes me think that he was quite taken with this urn, perhaps the story behind it, or maybe just because he liked the way it looked (because of his choice of words in the poem, I am inclined to favor the former). He is almost narrating something that would be painted on the urn, and is thinking about what might have been running inside the painters' head when he decorated this urn. All in all it is a very strange subject for poetry, but that isn't really an observation so much as my own opinion. But I digress. Keats is very observant of the shapes of the pot and the pictures on the pot, and he's giving them personalities and backgrounds, which he has almost no basis for, thus using his imagination, which fits the romantic style.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Sorry, I didn't mean to.

    Throughout “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Keats uses words creates images of depictions on the urn and places some of his own opinions in the poem. Keats’ description of the urn “who canst thus express/ A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme” (3-4) is undoubtedly Romantic. Using emotion, creating vivid natural descriptions, doing away with pure Christianity for a Pagan sacrifice, Keats creates images that would have shocked artists and poets from older eras. There is much to take from Keats’ lines.
    In describing the music of pipes in the second stanza, Keats states that “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter” (11-12). Remembering that Keats is speaking of an urn, it is as if he says that you can have so much more if you never know what it is supposed to be. With the imagination, there are no bounds to how wonderful a melody can be. Keats uses “spirit ditties” (14) and “Fair youth, beneath the trees” (15) and emphasizes the Romanticism.
    Keats expresses his bit of profound advice that encompasses everything in his final lines “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know” (49-50). With these words, Keats seems to say that the most important thing for this world is that it is beautiful. Keats says that without beauty, there is nothing, for without truth there is just falsities which no one can trust. Keats leaves the question of whether this is true, are beautiful things the truth? Though not cryptic, Keats does leave room for different interpretations in these words, wondering what he was thinking.

  40. “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is a romantic poem because of its focus on nature, individualism, and emotion. When Keats writes, “Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed/ your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu” (21-2), he is describing nature and anthropomorphizing the tree to keep the trapped tone of the poem. This tone is apparent when Keats writes of the “Bold Lover” who can never kiss the woman he intends to. The poem is further romanticized by its speculation on the feelings of individuals on the urn, speaking of a “happy melodist” and “happy love” (23,25). The poem’s theme of everything trapped in one moment of time helps to illustrate its point: that art on urns can portray people and places beautifully, but poetry is superior because it can draw conclusions and make insights about human behavior and life. As I read this poem, my initial feelings of respect for the beauty of the urn gradually faded into a grim mood of no escape. Keats’ personification of the pictures on the urn creates a kind of hell where the people portrayed cannot move or change ever again. It is clear that Keats has a negative attitude towards the Grecian urn.
    -Jack Van Norman

  41. Ode on a Grecian Urn - John Keats

    Keats' main point of the poem is that things are better as concepts than as actual, fully realized things. along the same lines as Oscar Wilde's thoughts of "One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar". the middle of the poem is mostly (in concept) about “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter” and other examples of the same concept with other scenery aspects, none of which are specific at all. Keats simply says “melodies are sweet” and “O Attic shape! fair attitude!”, never using more than one (and even then vague) adjective. Oscar Wilde proves that Keats' success in this poem is because of his vagueness. The vague description of the poem give enough for the reader to scene the mood, or as Wilde writes “colour” of the poem, which then even further helps the argument Keats has in his poem, in that almost is better than the real thing. By avoiding the use of “vulgar” details, Keats gives his audience a timeless poem, not a boring physical description of an urn and what the paintings on it mean.

  42. In “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Keats expresses the beautiful qualities of a particular Grecian Urn. He talks of the Urn, as if happy for it and its eternal life. Keats appears jealous of the love that will forever last, and of the music that will forever touch people’s souls. In the second stanza he explains how the pipe player is lucky for his “fair youth, beneath the trees, [and that he] canst not leave.” Keats writes of this as something wonderful and great. To him, being forever stuck is best if you can forever be stuck doing something that touches the hearts of generations to come.

    Also in the second stanza, Keats talks about the lovers on the urn. Keats consoles the young man, forever stuck almost kissing his love, by telling him to “not grieve…/ [because his love]… cannot fade, though… [he] hast not [his] bliss.” I find John Keats’ opinion mind- boggling. If it were I stuck in time, forever not doing something I had wanted so badly to do, I would be filled with despair. Even so, despair is far from what Keats says one should feel in this situation. He says one should be happy to be forever in the act of doing something, for the act might leave one far from happy.

  43. The urn is described as something “sylvan,” “leaf-fringed,” and natural, as if it was a part of nature. In addition, Keats personifies the urn by telling his readers that it can speak to them. Through the poem, Keats not only glorifies the urn but gives it human characteristics. It is as if to say that though humans are estranged from nature, it is not impossible to regain that nature. Humankind and nature do not exclude each other.
    It is interesting that Keats exclaims, “Cold Pastoral!” Though the urn may depict wonderful natural scenes, it is, in the end, stone. Its images may be pleasurable to watch, its characters enviable, but one cannot escape the fact that it is unfeeling and inanimate. That Keats uses something human made and artificial to relay his message, instead of nature itself is notable. The urn can be seen as a bridge between humans and nature, something that contains both qualities. Perhaps that is why Keats honors it so highly.

  44. Oh, by the way, galator_dark is Clara. hahaha

  45. Of the romantic elements present in "Ode on a Grecian Urn", I found Keats’ spontaneity in, and expression of, thought and action to be most notable. Keats employs this element through use of punctuation and rhythm in his work. The first example comes after his conclusion of the second stanza, after which he exclaims, “Ah, happy, happy boughs!” and then continues later in that third stanza to cry out, “More happy love! more happy, happy love!” It is reminiscent of the spontaneity of a child’s unrestrained thought that manifests what it is currently thinking. Keats also facilitates his romantic theme with the multiple allusions to nature such as the tree and its boughs or the near entirety of the fourth stanza’s content and by hinting at the primitive and uncivilized way of life when he remarks “What wild ecstasy?”

  46. "ODE ON A GRECIAN URN" Response

    "When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
    Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
    'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know (46-50).'"

    Keats main point is that beauty is the eternal truth. This is a romantic poem because it expresses the poet's view on human nature. If we assume that in these last five lines that the urn is the one lecturing, it tells the reader that we are all destined to die. Thus, only beauty shall remain. This was earlier established by Keates when he supported his theory using imagery. He did this by describing the various paintings on the urn. One displayed a man, who never quite reach his lover to embrace her. However, Keates believed that these lovers are no longer sad because "She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss/ For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair (19-20)." Keates supported the urn's final judgment that beauty is the only eternal truth to the world. After-all, this is the only thing the lovers retained.

    Keats used personification and brought the urn to life. He gave it many characters and added his interpretations. The story of the urn caught the poet's interest, and came from a painted man on the urn. The man is frozen in time but still gives the urn it's unheard, beautiful melody. Keats admitted that "heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter (11-12)." Even if the urn cannot speak physically, it still shares an interesting story of eternal melody, and that is why Keates was attracted to it.

    I like this poem because of the message it gives. Basically, it tells humans to not look past beauty, and that the beauty of things is all we need to know. If I look back to the second stanza, Keats tried to convince his readers that the piper's melody is more beautiful than any other. This is because the song is unaffected by things such as time or death, and only beauty. I like Keats' theory that only beauty is eternal, and that we should strive to see the natural beauty in everything, because "'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know (49-50).'"

  47. "Ode on a Grecian Urn"- John Keats

    Keats ties together many aspects of Romantic ideology using a variety of motifs and circumstances. Imagination is one of the most obvious elements, for Keats is able to bring to life the pictures on an old urn. Rather than viewing it as an artifact, Keats sees it as a snapshot in time filled with passion and natural wonder.

    In the first stanza, Keats introduces the silence motif. He says, "Though foster-child of silence and slow time," which effectively ties it together with the immortality motif. Keats also uses nature imagery, for phrases such as "flowery tale" and "leaf fring'd legend" do not directly describe the natural world but are used to describe and glorify the urn's story. Before he begins telling the story, Keats is already interested in the emotional appeal. Diction such as "mad pursuit" and "wild ecstasy" show the turbulent and celebrated side of human emotion in Romantic literature. The stanza closes with a reference to "pipes and timbrels" which invokes audio imagery and seems to contrast the silence motif in the beginning. Keats does this to show the complexities behind his idea of quiet and timeless, for he views them more as frozen moments in a tumultuous story as opposed to a static picture.

    When Keats says, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter," he emphasizes the importance of timelessness. Songs will end, but the urn will not. Similar reasons are used to exalt the state of the lovers, for although they will never kiss, they remain everlasting together. Spring is used to symbolize their youth and immortal qualities. Keats says, "happy boughs! that cannot shed/ Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu." This embodies the situation of the lovers, for they too must never say goodbye. Keats takes their description to an individual level when he focuses on their emotions. He says, "For ever panting, and for ever young;/ All breathing human passion far above," which incorporates the emotional and individual emphasis of Romanticism.

    Although many find the poem depressing, I think it is meant to preserve the joy of human life. The lovers may never kiss, but they are also spared the pain of separation.

  48. Ode on a Grecian Urn is romantic in how it focuses on types of art and how they are expressed and analyzed. He says that poetry is a much sweeter form of art than song or any other type of art: “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on” (11-12). In this quote he doesn’t use any type of literary technique to express his love to art, but instead simply says it in a straight forward manner. Keats does, however, express his love for poetry using a metaphor: “Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave/ Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare:/ Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,/ Though winning near the goal” (15-18). Keats uses the metaphor of being trapped in the moment of being about to kiss, to Keats this is the best part of a kiss. Keats says how this feeling of ecstasy and joy from this moment is the same feeling he gets from the art poetry. Keats uses an excellent metaphor here that many readers can relate to, to emphasize his love for poetry. The first emotion I receive from this poem is one of the ecstasy and joy, similar to that of Keats. He portrays this happiness so well and gives the reader, me, and new understanding and appreciation for the art of poetry.

  49. John Keats praises a Grecian urn in an attempt to understand its beauty and form in relation to the world around him. The urn is elegant with “men of marble and maidens overwrought with forest branches and trodden weed” (42). Keats believes that what we seek in life is beauty and according to his theory, this small rendition of a perfect past is what contains the eternal, unchanging truth of that beauty. The man in love with the beautiful maiden will never reach his loved one, but he will always be in love, and the maiden will remain just as true to her grace and loveliness of form. The streets of this utopia will always remain desolate and the Citadel left empty of all men. This rendition of silent pipes, eternal love, and desolate roads will remain untouched by time.
    Keats first refers to the urn as “unravished bride of quietness, and foster-child of silence and slow time” (1-2). The reference speaks of this eternal Eden which does not whither with time or dissolve through the forces of nature. The piece set in place by one moment in time will remain for all generations to marvel at for its perfection of line and form and color and its exquisite rendition of human emotion.

  50. Ode on a Grecian Urn is a romantic poem glorifying the arts, specifically poetry and the visual arts. The main theme of the poem, of course, is that beauty is the ultimate truth in life. Keates even says it outright, when he says, "'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' -that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." By saying, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter," Keates is saying that things spoken are beautiful, but things that are written or painted or sculpted are even more beautiful because they will last longer than the spoken word. This is shown more when Keates writes, "Ah, happy happy boughs! that cannot shed/ Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu," which is saying that the leaves on the urn will never fall during Autumn, and on the urn, Spring is eternal, and since Spring generally conjures up images of beauty, on the urn, beauty, the ultimate truth, is eternal.

  51. The mood of this poem, and what it evoked in me was wist. The poem speaks longingly of the perfect weather, the beautiful, perpetually pursued/pursuing lovers, and the unheard music, cementing in us the beauty of memory. I don't think the ode is to the Grecian urn. I think it is to the memory of the Grecian urn. That is purer than the actual vase, and more worthy of poetry, because "beauty is truth, truth beauty -- that is all you know on earth, and all ye need to know.

    by Lena Melinger, not Lena Ray.

  52. Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is particularly romantic because of its overwhelming description of the natural, classic, and divine aspects of the art on the Urn. Although throughout the entire poem Keats is describing the Urn, it is only the first and last stanzas that Keats strays from the scene depicted on the urn, to the pottery's significance. Keats’ final lines, his interpretation of the eternal wisdom of the Urn, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all /Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,” (49) are the strongest lines in the poem, and give off the pieces most romantic qualities. His repetition of ‘truth’ and ‘beauty’, the repeated structure of the clauses (“all ye”), and his assonance of ‘ye’ and ‘need’, along with placement at the end of the last stanza are all tools for the reader of the poem to recognize the message, as spoken by the urn. Keats, through the urn, is stating his romantic truth, that beauty, especially the natural, is much more eternal, and much more important than the artificial created during his lifetime in the industrial revolution. Keats

  53. Peter Wei's (Period 6) response to "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats:

    Romanticism is clearly displayed in Keats’ poem “Ode to a Grecian Urn”. First of all, the poem demonstrates a coherent focus on nature, beginning with the phrase “Sylvan historian” (3), Sylvan meaning wooded or pastoral. In the third stanza, the words “… happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu” (21-22), indicates the evergreen trees, which stay green even after Spring has passed. Another exhibition of romanticism exists in Keats’ portrayal of the relationship between life and nature. The poem reads “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter…” (11-12), describing life and nature. Society thrives on the people who do good but are not known, like the people who pick up trash for no pay. The Earth maintains a tranquil environment through the uninterrupted forests and plants, which trade in the rising numbers of carbon dioxide for oxygen.
    The poem shouts out to the reader that truth has kept the world balanced, and when deception is added chaos erupts. Stanza five reads “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,-- that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know’” (49-50), representing the minimum that needs to exist on earth to keep the earth calm. The power of this poem comes from the stark representation of modern society, with politicians and actors hiding the truth behind every global action.

  54. "Ode On a Grecian Urn"- John Keats uses a variety of rich words in this poem to convey his ideas of romanticism. Often times Keat makes many references and comparisons to nature, to make the point that romanticism is strongly tied to nature. Lines such as "happy happy boughs" and "green altar" are Keats way of tying nature and romanticism together. Keat's usage of language and his tone such as "What little town by river or sea shore,/Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel" shows that Keat associates peacefulness and calmness with nature. Another quote "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave/ Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare/ Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss" is where Keat uses nature as an allegory for an aspect of love. The quote talks about the lack of physical content between the two lovers but also points out that "Nor ever can these trees be bare" which means that even if they can't touch they'll never stop loving each other.

  55. "Ode on a Grecian Urn"-John Keats

    "Ode on a Grecian Urn" uses many characteristically Romantic devices to explore the meaning contained in an old vase. Keats entwines natural imagery with the story of a young couple to show how nature and human emotions are connected. An example of this is when the poet says "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave / Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare" (15-16). The youth's emotions are tied with the condition of the trees around him. If he ever stopped his metaphorical song, then the trees around him would drop their leaves, and if the the trees were to become bare, then the youth would be affected as well. This demonstrates the Romantic concept that humans moods are associated with the "moods" of Nature. Without the trees around him, the youth sitting beneath the trees would not be as potent of a Romantic symbol.

  56. In "Ode to a Grecian Urn," Keats praises the eternal life found on the urn which is ironic, considering the ashes of a former soul that the vessel itself contains. The urn depicts many beautiful things eternally stuck in one place, both of the human and natural world.
    For example, Keats speaks of "happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed / [their] leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu" (21-2). Spring never has to be overcome by autumn, as the urn is one of the only places where time truly stands still. Two lovers sit poised, ready to kiss, yet are never able to so because of this frozen moment. But Keats rejoices in this, pointing out to the couple that they "cannot fade, though thou hast not they bliss, / for ever wilt thou love" and that is pure joy within itself. Both of these elements, the human and the natural, never have to part from their life, their love. Keats uses these two to contrast the elation that is found in human life by literally juxtaposing it to the death found on the other side of the urn.
    These two sources of beauty and life are what make Keats' poem romantic. The many references to the good in human nature and earth-bound nature itself are strong characteristics of a romantic poem.

  57. Ode on a Grecian Urn

    Although Keats is writing about death, it is not death in its usual bleak form. The tone is curious and almost dreamy - at least in the first half of the poem - and somewhat energetic as it describes the "happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed your leaves, or ever bid the Spring adieu." These are clearly romantic elements, celebrating the upsides of life and the emotions that come with it.

    Knowing of Keats' impending death, this reads more as an optimistic march forward than a dreaded, unavoidable approach of death (if one can be optimistic about death). Keats also seems to be dispensing some words of wisdom - and perhaps when he says that "heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter." The ideas of the romantic period would have supported this claim, as it encourages a more emotional, imaginitive response.

  58. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" - John Keats

    The manner in which Keats applies the concepts of romanticism to the poem is astonishing. When read, the poem calmly and beautifully relates the idea of everlasting moments, human emotions, and the all to beautiful pureness of nature in one. Keats begins the poem admiring the Grecian urn because of what it represents, its ability to tell a story unharmed by time "still unravish'd bride of quietness, thou foster-child of silence and slow time, sylvan historian" . In the 2nd stanza Keats notices the rest of the pictures on the urn, in which there is a pipe player, a boy along with his lover lying beneath a tree. Keats in a sense proposes two things, that time is forever and that in the urns case its been frozen. Bringing us back to the second stanza "Heard melodies are sweet but, those unheard are sweeter" meaning that the things unexplored strike an intense curiosity. In lines (16-20) Keats nicely links blooming young love to natures imagery, he mentions that it's far more thrilling the anticipation of coming close to a kiss than once it has occurred. Suspense can be wonderful. In the last two stanzas reality hits, making the poem take a more serious tone. After he is no longer present the urn will remain true and thus beautiful.

  59. Ode on a Grecian Urn, John Keats
    This poem rings with longing for that which will never be. It speaks of the trees forever bearing fruit, with the implication that this fruit, though it will never rot, it will also never be enjoyed. There is also the piper whose perpetual song will never be heard by anyone, and the lovers who will never be fully with each other, though never fully without. The literally timeless beauty of the scene, mixed with the tragedy that it will never climax, always be stuck in that moment of anticipation. This reads almost like nostalgia, though clearly it is not. Keats, instead of taking this as a negative, encourages the reader to bask in this constantly imagined world, saying things like the imagined tune of the piper is infinitely sweeter than any possible melody. IT also points out that this world, like the urn on which is resides, is a hollow thing, something to indulge in not to idolize.

  60. Sorry, Matti is Matilda Hankinson

  61. When reading this poem, the main thing that presents itself to me is the concept of death. It is the underlying theme of the poem. Even though it speaks quite a lot about the beauty and pain of life, it is death that is brought to mind. More than anything it seems like the author is lamenting the sweetness of life and how that can be so easily lost or never even gained. Although there is much stress put on 'happy', when I read this poem it is clear that it contains an air of sadness. It is only in the last stanza of the poem where the mood seems truly happy. This is where the author is concluding the message of the poem as a whole - that life is simply a culmination of beauty and truth. I cannot fathom whether the author believed this to be the reality of the world, or whether he was merely making a joke of the way some people view the world, but either way it is quite a lovely sentiment and a beautiful poem. If I can observe that the poem is beautiful and that makes it worth reading, than am I not solidifying the authors concluding statement? I think not, for the beauty comes from the meaningful nature of the words, not from the pleasant feeling I get in my gut as I pronounce them. In any matter, this poem is imbued with hidden meaning and only by deciphering that meaning (or by reading someone else's analysis of it) can the reader grow and truly appreciate the wisdom of John Keats.

  62. There is a good deal of sorrow within Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn". It plays out in a multitude of manners, but the there is a nugget of longing in every stanza.
    Keats longs for better craftsmanship, when he writes of how the urn "can thus express/ A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme". He longs for steadfast love, and therefore bids the painted lover appreciate the fact that his devotion will never wilt.
    The poem stands as an ode to perfection, but that perfection, coming out of lack of vitality, ends up being a flaw Keats can no more tolerate than the flaws of day-to-day living.
    Though all the verses previous praise the Grecian urn, in the last stanza, Keats chides it as something "cold", and unreachable. Though that unheard music is sweet, the urn only ends up taunting those actually living life, as it stands witness to generations of woes.

  63. In his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” Keats includes a number of key Romantic concepts. First, he places a strong emphasis on nature with the use of phrases such as “leaf-fringed” and “forest branches and the trodden weed.” These descriptions of natural scenes also show a focus on scenery. The importance of imagination is included when Keats envisions the lives of the figures painted on the urn. He wonders “Who are these coming to the sacrifice?...What little town by river or sea-shore,/ Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,/ Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?” Especially in this fourth stanza, Keats attempts to bring to life the scene painted on the side of the vase, conjuring up a whole other world.
    To me, this is an interesting technique to use, especially since the final stanza describes the urn as an unfeeling, unresponsive object, using expressions such as “marble men and maidens”, “silent form”, and “Cold Pastoral”. The juxtaposition of the urn as both an indifferent object and a work of art come alive could illustrate the internal struggles of the writer and even of the readers themselves. For, although the scene painted on this Grecian vase “cannot fade”, the characters never forced to face the challenges of age, these mere images can never live or experience life fully as we can.

  64. “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
    This poem is closely related to the ideas of Romanticism, for it shows an emphasis on nature and the natural beauty of things. Keats makes clear the floral appearance of the urn, describing its “leaf-fringed legend” and decorations of trees and plants. These plants are important to the story of the urn, for not only do they form the background for each individual scene on the urn, they seem almost to set the tone of Keats’ interpretation of the urn’s message. One can imagine the lovers seated beneath pine trees, eternally green, a symbol of everlasting nature, and it is easy to understand why Keats connects these natural scenes and the endurance of the urn’s message. Keats also compares the change in human life with the changes in Nature, which is another example of the Romantic tendencies in this poem. He first says “Ah happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed/your leaves” and then “more happy, happy love!/For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d”. He is saying that both Nature and the lovers could be unpredictable if they continued, but frozen on the urn we see their eternal beauty, before anything can go wrong.

  65. John Keats: Ode on a Grecian Urn

    In Keat's "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the theme between ideal and actual play a big role. When he writes "heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on" he is commenting on the reality and his imaginary ideal life he continues to dream about. Another instance where Keats compares the Grecian Urn to an ideal life is when he writes "thou, silent form! dost tease us out of though as doth eternity." This "silent form" is the urn which he begins to confuse with eternity.
    The romanticism from John Keats' poem comes through in his nature description when he writes "a flowery tale," "leaf-fringed legend" and "with forest branches and trodden weed." Another concept of romanticism that appears in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is the primitive and uncivilized way of life. This appears in the second stanza when he writes about the "fair youth, beneath the trees" who are always youthful and about to kiss.

    ~Chelsea O'Hara

  66. This poem is obviously romantic, in that it celebrates the beauty of nature, life, and more primitive things throughout the poem. In the first stanza, he speaks of "mad pursuit," and "wild ecstasy," implying a more spontaneous and free feeling, which is connected to romanticism.

    This might not be correct, but while reading this poem it seemed to me that Keats what more reflecting on his time left on earth than celebrating life. He describes two lovers who are about to kiss, but because they're frozen in the painting on the urn,their lips will never actually meet. All that will be there is anticipation for their entire existence. From this, I gather that Keats might have felt there were so many things he had yet to experience in life, but it was probably better that way. He could never be disappointed, and could just imagine how wonderful things he hadn't experienced would be. But it seems that this is true happiness to Keats, because throughout the poem as he is imagining and questioning what is going on in the image on the urn, he sounds very joyous and almost giddy with his free use of exclamation points ("More happy, happy love!" "O Attic shape!Fair attitude!" "forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!). In the end, Keats concludes that "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." Connecting back to what I said previously, if you can imagine something to be beautiful, then it will remain beautiful, just like the two lovers about to kiss.

  67. Ode to a Grecian Urn- John Keats

    This poem is full of mystery and wonder about the urn. All the events that are depicted are full of "happy love," and "forever young." The events, however, never actually occur, like how "thou hast not thy bliss" when the couple is caught forever before their kiss. Nothing can go wrong when nothing happens, but no one is ever completely pleased. The scene depicted on the urn is timeless, and will never age, even when countless generations of men die, showing that art is eternal.
    Keats also uses lots of natural events, like the trees who never lose their fruit, to show his appreciation to nature, a romantic concept.

  68. In “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, Keats incorporates many aspects of Romantic poetry. One his major focuses in the poem is the paradox found between the frozen images on the urn and the lively scenarios they depict. He refers to the urn using phrases such as “marble men and maidens” that reinforce the fact that the urn is inanimate. Yet every scene from the urn is full of life and love, such as the piper under the trees and the lovers so involved in each other that nothing else seems to matter. This juxtaposition falls within the realm of Romantic poetry because Keats is demonstrating the power of imagination. A person viewing the urn can imagine what it would have felt like to be in each picture, even though they are only looking at a piece of pottery. The scenes on the urn also focus on Nature, another key aspect of Romanticism.

  69. There is a potent air of Romanticism in Keat’s poem, “Ode to a Grecian Urn”. For one, the main theme of the poem is scenery and nature depicted on the urn. In stating that “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter,” Keat emphasizes the romantic concept of natural elements versus man-made entities. The heard melodies represents all that are materialistic and provide superficial enjoyment, while the unheard melodies are more obscure aspects of life that provide even greater satisfaction not for the body or mind but for “the spirit.” Using phrases such as “leaf-fringed” and “green altar” and making various arboreal references, Keat highlights the combination of nature and art (the urn) as a beautiful and eternal combination. On the urn, the leaves of the trees will “never bid Spring adieu” nor “wilt thou love, and she be fair.”

    To communicate his message, Keat generates various rhetorical questions – “What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?” In a way, he is invoking the imagination of the reader as well as his own imagination to weave a story from the art depict on this inanimate object, “unravish'd bride of quietness.” From there, imagery is used to detail the beauty of the urn. Another unique technique employed by Keat is calling out to various things such as the urn, the trees, the lover, and the priest as if he were speaking to them. This helps breathe life into the pictures on the urn and brings various aspects of the scenery into perspective for a more vivid impression.

    In reading the poem, I was especially drawn to the melancholic sense of loss for past times. In the poem, the author sets various snapshots into motion, which reminds me of a person looking through old pictures and recalling happy memories from the past. The beauty of these images is frozen in place, never to be polluted by the passing of time or the fading of memory.

    -Angela Liu

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  71. Josh Trubowitz
    John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn"
    Keats poses an interesting question, examining whether it is better to never have experienced than to have felt the pain or sorrow that often accompanies experiences. The lovers, for example, will never have their kiss, stuck forever in a moment, but they will never have to exhale, to succumb to "breathing human passion," the disintegration of their love. Keats describes this existence by capturing the paradoxes of the pictures on the urn. The lover "[pipes] songs forever new," the trees "that cannot shed [their] leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu," give a clear, surreal, picture. This conundrum posed by Keats brings to mind the oft-cited quote that "it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved," one that captures much of the essence of life experience. While the poem questions this ideal, I, at least, was left with the feeling that the people on the urn were impossible to identify with, their lives, bottled in an instant, inhuman.

    William Blake's "The Tyger"
    In one of the Romantic Period's most defining features, "The Tyger" depicts the beauty and power, the "symmetry," that Nature holds. Blake raves over the perfection of the Tiger, of Nature, comparing the awe he holds for God to that which he holds for the tiger, asking "what immortal hand or eye dare frame [the tiger's] fearful symmetry." Blake uses striking imagery to convey his message, noting the tiger's "fearful symmetry" and its burning aura.
    I was struck by the way Blake captured the essence of the tiger, its grace and strength. The poem brought to life by Blake's imagery, I could picture the tiger in my mind and felt a connection with Nature, much like the artists of the Romantic Period.

    William Blake's "The Sick Rose"
    Blake takes a hard look at death in this poem. The rose represents the beauty, passion, and vitality of life, something that would have been quickly recognized in the Romantic Period. The "invisible worm/ that flies in the night" is death, striking in the "bed of crimson joy," when people are sleeping. This imagery creates a juxtaposition between the "howling storm" that the "worm" of death flies in and the peace and quiet of sleep, showing that to Blake, death is a clearly an aggressive, harsh ending to the fragility of life. It is not slid into gently, but in a storming fashion. Interestingly, Blake maintains this view even when saying that it is God who controls this death, writing that it is "[God's] dark secret love/ does thy life destroy." Clearly, Blake is wresting with the idea that God, who is supposed to represent all that is just and good in the world, would "destroy" the beautiful phenomenon that is life. Blake gives no direct answer to this question, leaving it up to the reader to decide where they stand on such a charged paradox of religion. This is similar to many problems posed by religion that I myself have struggled with, and often, such as in this poem, there is no textbook answer. For me, the jury is still out.

  72. Ode to a Grecian Urn - John Keats

    This poem seems include many features often found associated with Romanticism, particularly its stress on nature and human interactions. The questions presented in the first stanza give the sense that the author does not fully understand the object he is writing about, which relates to the simplistic ideals of Romanticism. The second stanza includes the aspects of imagination and spontaneity and also is an example of personal expression. The scene depicting the lovers about to kiss allows one to make his or her own conclusions about their history and their future. It displays innocence, again showing a more primitive mindset, and suggests that those two individuals only have their moment of bliss and will know no pain in their spot on the urn. The third stanza ties in the aspect of Romanticism which focuses on the human moods with the ‘moods’ of nature when Keats speaks of Spring. The lovers will always be in love and it will always be spring: the moods match and support each other. Toward the end of the poem Keats focuses on other images that appear on the urn and speaks about how it has and will endure. How it will witness human suffering and joy and view the change in its place on earth and those around it, yet it will remain a steadfast representation of simplicity.

  73. Ode On A Grecian Urn -John Keats

    This poem encapsulates the base aspect of Romanticism poetry. This is the concept of capturing nature in one's words. Throughout the ode, Keats describes aspects of nature that make up the scene depicted on the urn. Describing the nature around the humans as happy and joyful is also a way of indicating the mood of the people on the urn. By displaying the scene as peaceful and content, Keats is signifying that the two lovers on the urn are also just as peaceful and content, even though they are frozen in time. Keats indicates that though the two lovers will never reach each other, as long as time is stopped, all is perfectly satisfying to both nature and to the characters.

    -Hannah Roberts

  74. In the Romantic poem "Ode to a Grecian Urn" Keats makes reference to many common Romantic motifs. He congers visions of nature with diction such as "leaf fringed legend" and "green altar". Keats here is paying homage to the nature worshiping pagan religions of the past. In an era of ever increasing mechanical advancement and visible detachment from the land, many people felt called somehow to return to their roots. Keats heeds this call through his poetry, painting scenes of mountainsides and sea shores. The people all depicted on the two dimensional plane, exist in a simpler time and represent the ideal. All they know is the truth of that moment that they are eternally frozen in, and according to Keats, that is all they need to know.

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  76. In his poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” John Keats uses romantic styles and views to display the poem’s meaning. One of the elements of this romantic poem was Keats’ focus on the scenery displayed on the urn. From his description of the trees in spring which can never shed their leaves to the image of the town established near the water front and the “peaceful citadel” situated on the mountain, Keats’ concentration on the imagery provided by the urn represents one aspect of Romantic writing. Keats also uses his imagination in picturing the scenes and figures on the urn as actual, moving, real-life situations. Although each image presented on the urn is still, Keats imagines and anticipates their next movements.
    The overall meaning of this poem which Keats conveys is that everlasting beauty is kept in the most simplistic and true forms of art, such as the urn. As a Romanticist, Keats believed that Truth was found in closer association with Nature and with less involvement in civilization. This is why he views the urn as absolute and true beauty. To Keats, the urn is simplistic art, uncorrupted by the arts of civilization such as language.
    Keats conveys this message through his descriptions of the urn’s artistic display. He uses visual imagery when he describes of the spring trees, the piper, the two lovers about to kiss, the procession of those coming to the sacrifice, and the small town located by the sea shore and the mountainside. He also conveys this message when he describes of the piper’s song. He states that “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ are sweeter.” “Those unheard” melodies are forms of art like the urn, which display true and simplistic beauty.
    The tone of this poem is almost hopeful. The urn shows images frozen on an action so that the true outcome of their actions is left to imagination. The reader can hope for a beautiful spring, the piper’s melodious song, and the lovers’ kiss to come and their goals to be reached.

  77. Ode to a Grecian Urn is a distinct example of Romanticism simply because of its stress on natural objects and the particular emotion of happiness it represents. The poem explains, in detail, the simple aspects of life, not in any relation to the technology of the time or the sophistication of human culture. As Keats describes the paintings on the urn, he focuses on the true happiness and simplicity of it. He uses words such as “bliss”, “human passion”, and “wild ecstasy” to represent the positive outlook the urn expresses to those that look upon it. He focuses many stanzas on love, such as when he writes about the lovers forever trapped in the moments before an embrace, and more obviously as he writes “More happy love! more happy, happy love!” in the third stanza. Keats sees the urn as a message of the simplicity of love and life itself, untouched by any outside cruelties.

    Not only is Keats praising the urn, but wants those that read his poem to understand the message that “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”. The beauty of the urn is that it is simply beautiful and expressive of what is, leaving no concrete thought or opinion of someone forced onto someone else. After a few read throughs, I felt an almost sad or envious feeling because I realized that the ideals of this world represented on the urn are not completely realistic. This intangible view is what makes it so beautiful. As he writes “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter” he is informing us that the imagining of the melody is much better that the real melody because of how powerful the imagined one is in comparison to one that will always disappoint. This key concept of romanticism, the power of imagination, along with the open expressions of love, define it as romanticism.

  78. The first time I read this poem I barely could understand its meaning. Grasping at strange phrases such as "thou still unravish'd bride of quietness," I slowly understood that its focus was the timelessness of art and its ability to capture the silent beauties of nature forever. This made even more sense as I paid attention to the title, "Ode to a Grecian Urn."
    Keats' use of intangible ideas such as time and sound are what impress me the most in this ode. His acknowledgment of these two dimensions as the playing field for art and nature (by this I mean that time and sound are what give art and nature importance and beauty- freezing beautiful moments in time for all to enjoy, and expressing so much even in silence) allow him to create intriguing phrases like "therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;/ Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,/ Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone."
    The idea that such delicate things as love, a kiss that is about to happen, or Spring, an arching bough laden with leaves, can live on, is immaculately expressed in this ode. I wouldn't have expected a poem about an urn to convey such timeless and impressive messages.

  79. “Ode to a Grecian Urn” is a great example of Romanticism in poetry because of the poetic tactics that Keets uses. The main concept of Romanticism seen in the poem is that it is talking about nature. Keets uses the words to paint a scene from the author’s perspective describing the importance of nature. Keets also uses moods and emotional language to add emphasis and meaning to the poem. In addition, Keets brings up love and ties that concept into nature and the scene on the urn. I think that Keets does a beautiful job using pretty much all of the key concepts of Romanticism in this poem. He creates lovely phrases that paint pictures in your head for the effect of an overall wonderful and moving poem.

  80. Two main ideas associated with romanticism are the power of thought and the power of imagination. The entire poem is a reflection of just this- Keats is able to craft an intricate poem because of a single object- A Grecian Urn. What begins as a simple description of scenery (this also makes the poem romantic, since an interest in scenery/nature was a big part of this movement) on the urn grows to represent something much greater as the poem goes on. The last two lines " 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,'"- that is all / ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" give the audience a lot to think about. How did the author even reach such a conclusion? Had he been thinking beforehand or was he actually inspired solely by the urn? Keats does a good job of tying his descriptions of something concrete with thoughts that are much more abstract.


  81. In “Ode to a Grecian Urn”, Keats fuses the beauty of nature with the idea of love to convey his message with the audience. This poem strongly belongs to the Romantic time period because of its heavy reliance on nature and human emotions. The narrator of the poem is looking at an ancient urn etched with scenes of everlasting love and passion and reflecting upon it with awe. He believes that the lovers on the urn will be forever happy because they are “forever young”.
    Keats’ flowing word choice is essential to the poem’s light and breezy feeling. His descriptions such as “flowery tale”, “leaf-fring’d legend”, and “silken flanks” use nature’s beauty to paint a vivid story in the readers’ minds. The poet uses personification to show the urn as an “unravish’d bride of quietness… who canst express a flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme”. The urn is telling a story of love more beautiful than can be written down in a poem.
    The narrator has an obsession with time running out, so whenever he describes the urn as immortal, he calls it beautiful. To him, “beauty is truth, truth beauty” which the only thing the urn knows and needs to know.
    When I first read “Ode to a Grecian Urn”, I was confused by why the narrator seems to think the people on the urn are happy. Youth does not ensure joy. The pipe player and his lover never being able to kiss, frozen beneath a tree, are not happy. The men and women in the beginning are forever in a “mad pursuit”. Being frozen on the urn is a curse to them, and I think they would rather finish their actions and age than be immortal on the urn.

  82. The most distinguishing quality of Romantic writing is the focus on Nature and the primitive, uncivilized way of life. By describing the scene of uninhibited lovers, fanciful music, and “leaf-fringed legend” that is forever etched into the pottery, “Ode to a Grecian Urn” exhibits just such a quality. Rather than glorifying the idols of religion like the texts of previous periods, this poem celebrates basic human passion and humanity’s ability to create such expressive art that it surpasses and outlives the original emotion.

    The tone is this poem is one of reverent awe. Keats is blown away by the power of the urn, its ability to freeze time and relay the passion and emotion of the scene even centuries after it is crafted. He writes as if speaking to the depictions on the urn, for he is so enraptured that he feels almost a part of the art, in the scene, observing the events first hand. This feeling is conveyed to the readers so that they not only perfectly see the pot in their head, but feel as if they are a part of it as well. Ironically, for all Keats assurances that the urn will last forever, the poem still remains while the pottery is lost.

    This poem makes me feel a bit sad. The urn is described as so beautiful that I wish I could see it first hand. However, perhaps the beauty of it is that everyone pictures something different when they imagine the urn. If it was a concrete object, I do not believe this poem would hold as much value or have such a great impact, for, through ekphrasis, it both describes art and is art. If the urn existed no would need the poem to illustrate it, so it would lose meaning.

  83. "Ode on a Grecian Urn"
    Keats uses romantic themes throughout the poem, even in his diction. When describing an object or event, he creates natural imagery, which reflects the romantics' increased interest and appreciation of nature. This natural word choice can be found in lines such as, "forest branches and trodden weed"(43), and when he describing an object, as he does in the line, "To what green alter..."(32).
    When Keats says, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/are sweeter"(11-12), and "thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought/ as doth eternity"(44-45), he is admiring art's ability to embody passion for what seems like eternity, though the passion itself may only be felt for a short time. His admiration is reflective of the romantics' emphasis on human moods and personal expression.
    The fact that he has found so much in a single piece by a single artist is very reflective of romanticism, as well. Because he has put so much emphasis on the creation of a single person, his poem illustrates the importance of the individual and the individual's needs. Had he viewed the urn as general representation of an age, or its relation with other similar works, this would not be the case. Because he is able to admire it even though it is only the creation of one person, he still carries the romantic value of individuality.

  84. John Keat's words describe the intricate designs of an unkown vase. He describes the scene in detail putting an image of beautiful piece of art into our minds which the real vase would not be able to compete with. Despite that, Keat's message is that the vase, which depicts a piper, trees, sacrifice, and nearly embracing lovers is much better than the real world because it is the anticipation before the moment is exciting and wonderful. While "Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss," Keat says that the lovers will always have the moment before the kiss and will always be facing each other, always leaning forward in anticipation.

  85. Ariel's mom here... we've spent quite some time trying to get the login to work (the "word verification" graphic not showing up, etc. etc.) In the process, a longish comment was vaporized.

    A word to the wise, gang: write offline, THEN post.

  86. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn", Keats makes references to nature that allow the poem to be classified as Romantic. He uses the archetype of spring to emphasize the eternal youth and the blossoming life he describes. Keats uses his imagination to paint a beautiful, yet frozen world. His description is a bit wistful, a bit dreamy, as he plays out the scenes on the urn. The state of timelessness is unreachable for humans because we live and die, experience life and lose it all. The urn Keats describes suspends life in a everlasting state of beauty, one that is unattainable.

  87. As Keats reflects upon the dead lovers depicted on the urn, he confronts passionate realizations of woe that are fashioned through consistent imagery of natural phenomena, such as sound, time, and scenery. For this reason, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” can be clearly seen as an example of Romanticism, where nature is a key concept. Keats uses elements of nature to symbolize the situation in which the lovers stand, where “beneath the trees, thou canst not leave” and “cannot shed/ Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu.” Here, Keats establishes his central idea, that while death is permanent, beauty is also eternal, and thus “beauty is truth.” That these lovers’ place in nature cannot be undone, though is of beauty, is significant in allowing romanticism to deliver Keats’ tone of the combating emotions of frustration and peace with the lovers’ death. As he expresses these sentiments, he utilizes striking diction, such as with “thou art desolate” or “all breathing human passion,” to allow the reader to feel the grief he interprets from the urn.

    --Alec Herskowitz

  88. Keats' poem incorporates many ideals and themes of associated with Romanticism to make the urn appear alive and filled with human passion. He glorifies the urn by even placing it in front of himself as the writer and says the urn can "express/ A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme." Keats is saying how art is beautiful by taking a simple object such as the urn and filling it with such intricate human depictions and descriptions. Further glorifying the urn, he says "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

    Keats' entails over the scenery on the urn (a key concept of romantic art and thinking) and wonders throughout stanza four what further actions those depicted on the urn could have done had they not been frozen in time, however there is "not a soul to tell" what could have happened. Keats exemplifies the power of the imagination, which is the real captivating force of the urn for it is his imagination that makes the characters live and act.

  89. "Ode on a Grecian Urn"
    Keats' uses explosive diction to create a sense of natural wonderment. He describes an urn so beautiful that it is as if the scenes depicted there are forever trapped in time. Particularly lines like "More happy love! more happy, happy love!" and "Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies" illustrate the romantic explosiveness of the poem.
    My reaction to the poem, at first, was confusion. I did not understand why Keats loves this urn with such passion. Now however, I realize that in those simpler times one could appreciate a beautiful piece of pottery more easily because there was no such thing as winterbells.

  90. Sadie Wolfe

    Music, nature, love, beauty, truth. These bohemian ideals are presented as the ultimate in life in John Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Keats grasps the ephemeral aspects of life, fleeting love, fading melodies, decomposing nature, and freezes them before they age and lose their beauty. The concepts written about in Romantic writing all go hand in hand. They are the epitome of the core of human’s potential, yet they are all temporary.
    All in the world is beauty and truth, but all is destined to become decrepit and deteriorate. Keats seems to want youth’s unabashed love, nature’s physical perfection and unheard melodies preserved to keep beauty eternal. The ideals Keats depicts on the urn are also preserved on paper, and seem to resonate the idea that nothing lasts except what isn’t organic or even real, such as the scene on the urn.

  91. The romanticism in Keats' piece is derived from the association of human moods with those of nature. This is achieved by the juxtaposition and inclusion of reference to love and lovers. Specifically in the end of the second, and third stanzas the poet utilizes an effective metaphor comparing a love which is not to be had and a tree whose leaves cannot be shed. As one who is constantly ravished and distrait by the ebb and flow of the tide of love, this poem struck a chord with me. I found Keats' words able to be used as sound advice in future ventures, and the mood evoked in myself to be slightly optimistic.

  92. Ode on a Grecian Urn -- Aaron Pellowski
    Keat's understand the complementary nature of tone and setting, that is, that each affects the other. The tone of his poem ranges from sanguine to pensive as his subject rotates from bucolic to festive. He creates tension between the lips of the unmoving loves where otherwise there is vacuum. The mere leafy trimming of the urn serves as a symbol for romanticism, in that it is a natural symbol, and is meant as beautiful, and creates a feeling for the entire situation to follow.

  93. Amy Anderson

    "Ode on a Grecian Urn"
    The poem makes me feel both sad and wistful. Keats uses phrases such as “Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,” and “fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave” to convey a sense of being trapped. The urn may be pretty, but everything and everyone on it is trapped in its world. The lovers will never be able to enjoy each other’s company and conversation, the youth will never rejoin his family. Even the though the world in the urn is “forever warm and still to be enjoy’d,” I would not want to be there, frozen forever and unable to live out the rest of my life.

  94. "Ode to a Grecian Urn" - John Keats
    John Keats illustrates many different points of romanticism in his poetry. The sheer amount of emphasis he puts on the different aspects in nature shows his interest in the classic being of romance. Nature has long since been a representation of beauty and health, from the many different types of life that thrive from it. The two young lovers that are about to embrace are able represent a more modern state of romance, for kissing in public has not always been tolerated. This new romantic view could also be counted as nature, because of the natural activity and desires of humans.

    When reading this poem for the first time through, the quick change of scenery baffled me. However, after rereading each stanza a few more times, one specific line jumped out at me, and everything made sense. The urn in this poem not only represents the physical structure that is holding ashes, but also the stories of that, and other historical people. These “unheard melodies” are the tales of the dead, which never got to be passed on to the next generations. More specifically, the newer generations heard the advice and chose to ignore it, for the previous knowledge went to “waste” because of their choices.
    -Sarah Laves

  95. Sorry, I didn't put this- the poem I'm referring to in my post is "Ode on a Grecian Urn".

  96. “Ode on a Grecian Urn”-John Keats

    This poem is a well-written example of Romanticism. Keats appeals principally to nature and its many qualities to express his ideas. He uses diction, such as “flowery tale,” “leaf-fringed”and“green altar” to depict multiple scenes throughout the poem. Apart from this, his diction and syntax also help him create a mood of sweetness and peacefulness. He alludes to “sweet” sound of music when he writes, “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on.” He provokes a feeling of calmness and tranquility within the reader. In the second stanza, through the words, “Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;/ She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,/ For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!” Keats manages to create a certain sense of hope. He, also, in the following stanza uses phrases such as “Ah, happy, happy boughs!” and “More happy love!” that bring about an air of joy.
    The third stanza feels as if it was overflowing with certain feeling of fullness, or perfection, as if everything seemed perfect as it is. Connecting this stanza to the first one, where Keats says “Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,” the reader gets the sense that he longs for true happiness. Although he knows that his time is coming to an end, he wants to believe that love and happiness can be forever. Even though this poem presents an air of happiness, there is an obscure veil of despair flying over it. It is as if Keats hopes for life were being illustrated here.

    “The Sick Rose”-William Blake

    This poem incorporates nature by using a rose as the main subject. In this poem, the rose serves as a symbol of beauty and fragility. Blake creates this mood of pity by the first sentence, which reads, “O Rose, thou art sick!” The “invisible worm” takes the role of death, it symbolizes death. It has come to take and “destroy” the life of the rose. This poem manages to awake a certain feeling of hopelessness, and despair. By using words such as “crimson,” “howling storm” or “dark secret” he constructs a dark mood that persists through out the poem.

    “The Half of Life”-Friedrich Holderlin

    Once again, this poem is an example of Romanticism. It alludes to nature, as most, by using phrases as “yellow pears” and “wild roses.” Religion forms also part of this poem. Holderlin uses the words “sobering holy water.” These words give a sense of captivity. In the second stanza he writes “Walls stand cold and speechless,” which only adds to the feeling of captivity and imprisonment. Even the title “Half of Life” tells of incompletion and incarceration that keeps a being from living fully. Holderin commences the poem with diction that doesn’t give much suspicion of captivity. It rather gives the sense of forfeiting. He uses the words “hangs” and “dip your heads” which lead the reader to think that he is giving in. My reaction gathered by this poem is that of imprisonment and hopelessness. Holderlin manages to obtain this reaction by using vivid diction and imagery.

  97. "Brevity" - Friedrich Holderlin

    This poem addresses an unknown subject and the songs they used to sing, drawing comparisons between youth and creative expression. Now the subject's songs are shorter, and because the poet's joy is like his song, this poem seems to say that his happiness is briefer as well. Romantic influences can be seen in this poem with the second verse's descriptions of a presumably now songless evening, with phrases like "cold earth" and "bird of the night." Without song, man's creative expression, nature itself also becomes barren, linking human moods with those of Nature. The poem's switch between addressing the singer and describing the present gives it a melancholy feel. Holderlin's poem itself is brief, which cuts the reader off and leaves them feeling a lack of warmth and joy themselves.

    "My Last Duchess" - Robert Browning

    This poem expresses Romantic ideals not through direct description, but from a secondary source. The titular duchess is described as being "too soon made glad," as when she sees a sunset, walks in a cherry orchard, or rides on her white mule. The activities described are all tied to nature, as Romanticism idealizes the connection between man and the wild. A twist appears, however, as the narrator is portraying these ideals in a negative light. While trying to cast himself as the positive role, his dramatic monologue makes the reader instead more aware of his possessive nature and sympathetic toward the duchess. As was the poem's intent, the reader takes a sense of unease away from the poem, which treats the Romantic ideals with a callous and unfeeling air.

    "The Lamb" - William Blake

    The focus of this poem lies on a lamb and its various good qualities. Describing its woolly fur and soft voice, this poem can be seen as an ode to the gentle lamb. In true Romantic style, Blake does not tie his poem to any specific Church, instead exalting the mere beast as a creature of God. This ties in with the Romantics' interest in natural religion and communication of man with the wild. It reads somewhat like a children's poem, placing the lamb in a very positive and gentle light, with the simple admiration of its being that is trademark to the Romantic style.


  98. “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is categorized as Romantic literature primarily because the motif of nature and scenes of Eden-like paradise frequently occurs in the lines of the poem. After reading “Ode on a Grecian Urn” the first time, I got the sense that Keat’s tone was one of bliss and harmony, as he consistently referenced such emotions (“more happy love! More happy, happy love! Forever warm and still to be enjoyed.”) But just as it’s flowery, fairytale embellishment masks what the urn really contains, the light tone that Keat utilizes is meant to hide the underlying theme of mortality and grief. This is evident when the poet paints the sullen picture with the words, “And, little town, thy streets for evermore/ Will silent be; and not a soul to tell/ Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.” I perceived that one of the overall messages of the poem (no doubt there are many) is of the inevitability of mortality and the irony of the images of flourishing, unending life decorating a symbol of death. On an emotional level, I find the piece thrilling and out of the ordinary because of contrasting illustrations of aggressive life and mournful death using exciting language such as “what mad pursuit?/ What struggle to escape?/ What pipes and timbrels?/ What wild ecstasy?” I also enjoyed the phrase, “And, little town, thy streets for evermore/ Will silent be; and not a soul to tell/ Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.”

  99. In John Keats’ Romantic poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, Keats uses multiple literary devices to address his love for the beauty of nature, embodying all aspects of the style of Romanticism. When Keats writes “More happy love! more happy, happy love!” (25), he uses repetition and simplistic vocabulary to set up a simple and joyful scene. The poem beautifully associates nature and the environment with the human feeling of love, two necessary components of poetry in the Romantic period. This is evident when Keats writes “Fair youth, beneath the trees” (15) or refers to a “leaf-fringed legend” (5) within the urn. My personal reaction to this poem is one of curiosity, as Keats describes in detail his own response and feelings when faced with the urn, but only vaguely describes what is actually pictured on the urn. I can only wonder what images could conjure such vivid a response from Keats.

  100. In the opening stanza, Keats illustrates the urn as a "foster child of silence and slow-time." At a first glance, I did not know what this or any of the other stanzas were talking about. However, I now realize that Keats describes the urn as a sort of story teller of forever lasting history. He questions all of the stories behind the engravings on the exterior of the urn, giving stories for each picture through almost natural imagery and scene setup. Keats states that even when his generation and hundreds of generations to come are long dead, the urn will remain, speaking to all future generations with its imagination-sparking content. I enjoyed the poem thoroughly after the third or fourth read through it.

  101. “Ode to a Grecian Urn”-John Keats

    "Ode to a Grecian Urn" creates either a sense of joy at the sight of the art upon the urn, or a sense of sympathy and sorrow. On one hand, the urn is a thing of beauty and of nature, as seen in the phrases “flowery tale” and “leaf-fringed,” with clear depictions of a lovely scene in the “little town by river or sea-shore”. On the other, it is a near dead end for those depicted upon it. Though the lovers shown are in a beautiful setting with all they may wish for, they can never be together. Keats uses phrasings like “bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss” and “thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe” to create such emotions in the audience. Personally, I cannot get past the true plight of the people to see the further beauty of the scenery within the parts of the poem not discussing the humans.
    -Lydia Truitt


    The poem "Ode on a grecian Urn" is a perfect example of romantic
    literature. Keats achieves this romanticism through the connections he makes between emotion and nature. This connection is prevalent throughout many romantic poets' literature and Keats' serves as no exception. He continually compares the lives and the experiences of humans to the natural world, "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave/ Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare". These comparisons ultimately lead to the conclusion that the natural world is at the essence of beauty.

  103. The main subject of this poem is of course, the image on a Grecian urn, but more than that it is about the romantic concepts of the primitive life and the cult of the noble savage. This entire poem is about a Grecian urn, and the story depicted on the urn being far more descriptive and deep than words can ever be. Keats says “Hear melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter”, and he talks of the urn as being a lover that can never be reached, but that will never grow old and fade. This poem is one of my favorites—Keats use of descriptive language creates vivid imagery of the Grecian urn. Like Mr. Sharp said in class, though no one will ever know what urn Keats was writing about, his poem has survived to tell of it, and describe its story.

  104. Romantic literature seeks not only to stimulate philosophical thought in the reader, but also to ignite the senses. In the second stanza, Keats writes "Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone". Here Keats plays with the idea of silent sound that the reader hears when reading the poem. This line evokes a silence in the mind's voice, and mimics the attitude of a tortured artist's soul. Keats also keeps to the romantic genre by including nature exhalting phrases such as "forest branches and the trodden weed", "by river or sea shore", and "leaf-fring'd ". What really caught my attention was the main idea of the last stanza, that beauty will remain. Beauty will remain because it is loved by humans, and will be treasured. Keats considers this urn to be beautiful, as well as others, and because of this human quest for beauty, we keep it, and treasure it. And this urn "shalt remain, in midst of other woe ".
    --Amanda Haight

  105. "Ode on Grecian Urn" - John Keats
    This poem embodies many characteristics fundamental to Romantic literature. In his poem, Keats writes of the eternal youth of two figures on an ancient urn. The significance of these lovers, unlike those in poems past, is that their emotions are wound through the ode. Focus on an individual's emotions (lips yearning for a kiss) is a stylistic technique that bloomed in the Romantic period. Romantics wanted to reclaim the naturalistic way that things once were, in the face of the industrial revolution. We observe this search for the natural and uncontrolled in the "wild ecstasy"(11) and mention of deities and gods. Personally, this poem gives me mixed feelings. Reading it in class, I felt that it was full of despair, as the figures upon the urn were essentially trapped, never to meet. Reading it again later, though, I thought that perhaps it was actually a joyous poem. Given Keats's reference to imagined songs being sweeter than those actually played, perhaps the lovers were happy with their situation. The fantasy each of them held for their lover was perhaps better than the embrace they longed for.
    - Martin Hutchinson
    (Martin's account wasn't working)

  106. The crucial phrase of Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is found in the second to last line, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--- that is all/ Ye know on earth.” This concept of beauty’s importance, its irreproachability as the epitome of veracity, seems to be Keats’ contribution to the movement of Romanticism. The poem revolves around several themes of nature, purity, and as mentioned above, beauty. “Wild ecstasy,” and “happy boughs! That cannot… ever bid the Spring adieu” reflect all of these ideas, and particularly the connection between these themes. This demonstrates one of the concepts of Romanticism, of “the association of human moods (or rather humanity’s perceptions, and ideals) with the ‘moods of nature’” (Romanticism Concept Handout). Furthermore, Keats’ poem works well, aesthetically, with the reader, not only because of diction and phrasing, but it comes full circle, by beginning with the urn as the specific focus in the opening stanza, and then closing with the same focus. Additionally, it ends with a developed idea of truth and both its significance as well as its sufficiency “as all ye need to know.”

  107. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" - John Keats

    This ode is an example of Romantic literature because of its focus on nature and time. Rather than focusing on the practical uses of an urn (which is a type of pot, not a plant), which would have been the focus in an era that placed more focus on logic. Rather, he places focus on the timelessness of the pot, "Sylvan historian, who canst thus express / A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme." Though the pot will eventually break and crack, the story and images on the pot will last much longer. After this, he invokes imagery and imagination, other important elements of Romanticism, by describing the urn as though it were a real object, which is the main idea of the poem in the first place.

    //Max Timkovich

  108. "Ode on Grecian Urn" - John Keats
    The reoccurring theme of this poem by John Keats is that how the urn is immune to age--or at least that of the human time frame. He vividly writes of the tales and beauty on the urn, and how the human figures are "forever young", instilled this immunity from time from the urn. The unanswered questions and mysteries of the urn are brought up, "What mad pursuit? / What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?" In the next few stanzas, Keats identifies more with the figures on the urn, and deifies the immaterial nature of time that surrounds them. The final lines provide the ending note and summary for the entire rest of the preceding poem, telling how "Truth is beauty, beauty truth, that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." This, and the rest of the poem, lesson of the need for simplicity in human life, with "truth" being the ideal method of leading a human life.

  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. Oops... I accidentally deleted it...

    “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

    Keats juxtaposes two opposite ideas several times throughout the ode to convey the relationship between humanity and nature. The broadest example is the poem’s central theme, which is the everlastingness of a Grecian urn. This urn contains the ashes of one that is gone, yet Keats writes of its perpetuity. The contrast between the finiteness of life and the infinity of the urn symbolizes a human’s role in nature after death.
    Similarly, Keats writes of how “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter,” (Lines 11-12) suggesting that nature, the underlying unheard melody, is more beautiful than the more appreciated man-made ones, such as music and art.
    Keats continues to confront the delicate balance of nature and humanity by describing a society living in harmony with nature that worships through sacrifices. “Who are these coming to the sacrifice? / To what green altar, O mysterious priest, / Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, / And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? / What little town by river or sea-shore / Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, / Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?” (Lines 31-37), Through this depiction of the society, he hopes to evoke a nostalgic feeling inside the reader and make him think about whether or not a society like the one described would be better than the one in which he is currently living.

    -Alex Greaves

  111. One of the key concepts of romanticism is a focus on the imagination. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn" Keats goes beyond what is seen on the urn and tells stories from wat he sees. Keats does not explain everything though, and is seen when he writes "To what green altar, O mysterious priest,/Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies." In the spirit of romanticism he leaves some parts of the stories on the urn to be provided by the reader. He even uses blunt words like "mysterious" to allow that there is still something to be discovered about, in the scene specifically, the priest. Keats continues by asking "What little town by river or sea-shore,/Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,/Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?" Interest in nature is another key element of romanticism. Here, Keats describes the "peaceful citadel" concisely, but he keeps the beauty of the scenery in his description of the urn. The relationship between the mountain and the citadel also tells us of the men and how they manipulate nature to their advantage, which is another facet to the importance of nature in romanticism.

  112. I was absent last Friday, so I'm giving it to you now.
    Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats
    "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a romantic ode, a formal but highly emotional poem in which the author speaks to a person or thing absent or present. In this ode, Keats addresses the urn and the images on it. The romantic ode was written in a serious tone to celebrate an event or to praise an individual. In the 19th Century, English romantic poets wrote odes that retained the serious tone of the Greek ode. However, like the Roman poets, they did not write odes to be sung. Unlike the Roman poets, though, the authors of 19th Century romantic odes generally were more emotional in their writing. The author of a typical romantic ode focused on a scene, pondered its meaning, and presented a highly personal reaction to it that included a special insight at the end of the poem, like the closing lines of “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. " When old age shall this generation waste, thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'"
    Keats says that when death claims him and all those of his generation, the urn will remain. And it will say to the next generation what it has said to Keats: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” In other words, do not try to look beyond the beauty of the urn and its images, which are representations of the eternal, for no one can see into eternity. The beauty itself is enough for a human; that is the only truth that a human can fully grasp.

  113. In the ode to a Grecian urn the urn is described in a way similar to a teller of a story. except that the urn is portrayed a kind of legend, something that will live on forever showing future generations the stories of the past. the author also makes reference to how the simplicity and blank spaces left in the urns picture series tale simply adds to the beauty. "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter" it claims. For unheard melodies leave an open space for ones mind to fill in the music with the best possible music the mind can think of. the urn's story leaves similar gaps allowing the observers to fill in there own thoughts of the story. the Grecian urn, in short, honors the urn as a simplistic, yet great bard that will live on forever.

  114. Ode on a Grecian Urn-John Keats
    This poem demonstrates many of the traits of Romanticism, particularly with its emphasis on descriptions of nature and the importance of imagination. The entire poem involves Keats describing an urn, and deriving 5 stanzas worth of stories and questions involving the scenes and figures depicted on it. He ties together the images and stories of those on the urn to the spirit of the urn itself, linking his imagination to his actual thought on the physical object. In addition, he repeatedly makes references to nature while describing actions of humans, linking the two together in his description of the urn.

  115. (I was also absent Friday)

    "Ode on Grecian Urn" - John Keats
    Keats, by composing this poem, demonstrates a blatantly Romantic style. His use of phrases like "With forest branches and the trodden weed" place emphasis on the natural environs. Furthermore, by specifically using the term trodden, often applied to a man or woman so as to describe a dismal demeanor, Keats seems to imply a humanization of the natural object. Though this personification of the weed may not be intentional at all. The visual of a dismal patch of bramble still projects the same qualities and while initially reading the poem, helps to enforce abrupt changes of tone.

    "A Pine is Standing Lonely" -Heinrich Heine
    In the next poem, "A Pine is Standing Lonely", Heines uses a his subject (the pine) to display the human atmosphere that the (inanimate, but natural)pine creates. The pine itself, personified as first "drowsy" and later "asleep" is described using feminine pronouns. This leads me to wonder whether this air of femininity was calculated. Whether it was intentional, used so as to cast a certain image. Or if it was by nature of Heine's native German that the poem described the spruce as it does.

    "London" - William Blake
    By providing such a dreary, yet personal description of London, a city considered by most to be a venerable urban center, William Blake expresses a place shaped by the many individual's. His focus is on the "every man". On the solitary person and the woe which seems to bond them to their London community. Though upon first glance this poem does not seem to share the basis in nature which appears so crucial to the Romantic style. However, the nature of man, and our innate, infantile pain is definitely a theme present throughout the four stanzas. Additionally, the style of the verse itself, written with consideration to assonance (for example the third stanza uses the sounds "black-hap-pal")to show the sort of Romantic importance of natural recital and casual expression.

  116. Ode on a Grecian Urn- John Keats

    This poem from Keats illustrates perfectly the ideas of romanticism with its use of imagery and the emotions conveyed by nature. Keats is a masterful wordsmith in the fact that he can give us the complete image of the urn, but it is his breathing of life that allows us to connect with the urns images. Meaning that he is able to take one of the strong ideas of romanticism, that nature has “moods”, and bring forth the urn’s emotions in his poetry. In addition, Keats, through out the entire poem, actually gives us a sensual experience with his words. His imagery is so vivid and real that we can feel some deeper meaning in the urn, rather than dealing with the tedium of someone describing a pot. Romanticism is supposed to give us a feeling of connection with nature; Keats has done just that with this poem.

  117. Peter Washington's (Period 7) response to "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning:

    The poem is told in the voice of a Duke. This Duke is spontaneous in his thoughts. His thoughts transition rapidly, as demonstrated with the following quote from the poem:

    "She thanked men,---good! but thanked
    Somehow---I know not how---as if she ranked
    My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
    With anybody's gift"

    The Duke constantly interrupts his monologue with side comments or changes in thought. In the above example, he disrupts his own speech twice with impulsive remarks. This spontaneous language that defines the Duke is characteristic of Romantic literature.

    Browning wrote the poem using an AABBCC rhyme scheme. The ends of each line, however, do not conclude the sentence or thought that the Duke makes. The rhyme scheme is therefore used as a way to drive the poem and represent the Duke's dramatic character.

    The moment in the poem when I realized that the Duke had murdered the former Duchess startled me. Although the Duke slowly made it clear that he did not approve of the promiscuous behavior of his wife, the line that indicated that he had killed her was another spur of the moment comment by the Duke. Despite the fact that he comes of as a sinister murderer, jealousy is a universal emotion that is felt by all humans. I therefore think of the Duke as one who feels no differently than other humans, but is unreasonable in the actions that he commits in response to his emotions.

    - Peter Washington (This is my second blog post)

  118. Dan Liu (Topics ENG II Period 5)
    (Make-up work)

    "My Last Duchess" – Robert Browning
    "My Last Duchess" is a splendid work of literature featuring an incredibly free-flowing presentation given by the Duke himself. He appears to be talking to a guest arriving at his castle or quarters about his last dead wife portrayed in a special portrait. He is quite open with his secrets and reveals his jealousy forced him to order a planned assassination, a sign of exalting his individual expression as utilized in Romanticism. His moods of the past are indeed apparent in his interesting monologue such as the frustrating sadness he endured to see his wife not paying any special attention to him. The Dukes radical and perhaps hysterical response to his wife’s simple smiling at other people effectively illustrates the disoriented manifestations of romantic compositions.

    “Kubla Khan” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    This poem kicks off detailing the peaceful environment of Xanadu with its “scared river,” “sunless sea,” “fertile ground,” “forests ancient as hills,” and “sunny spots of greenery.” The description of the emperor’s summer palace is filled with so much nature at its best and is almost like a dream world rich with romantic nature. Suddenly the peace is interrupted by the powerful Kublai and his “ancestral voices prophesizing war!” Coleridge goes into spontaneous, non-stop exclamation in his emphasis-packed expression of the Kublai in all his power juxtaposed to the quiet environment. “Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice, and close your eyes with holy dread…” Coleridge ends the poem with the word “Paradise” as to wrap up the topic he started with in the beginning of the poem with an epiphany dramatic freestyle at the conclusion.

    “A Young Man Loves a Maiden” – Heinrich Heine
    This one of Heine’s poems represents the human emotion, mood, and personal expressiveness in the field of romanticism. The topic concerns the jealousy a maiden combats with angry vengeance towards a young man who selected another woman over her by marrying the first fine man she happens upon. Unfortunately for the young man, his real wife loves yet another person and the maiden’s marriage to someone else breaks his heart in two, just like how the entire relationship is going: both ends in vain. Here the poem shows the pained feelings and regret the young man must now endure forever: “The youth must rue it long.” There is a tint of irony to this: the younger the man is, the longer the pain lasts in his life. The poem is quite free in unrestrained expression and simplicity for the first line of the composition correlates with the identified title exactly.

  119. Peter Washington's (Period 7) response to "The Tyger" by William Blake:

    The first thing I noticed when I read "The Tyger" was that "tiger" was misspelled. This stylized spelling makes the word seem older, as if it was the spelling of the Medieval era. This return to earlier times shows an interest in the more primitive way of live, which was characteristic of Romantic literature.

    The entire poem makes references to fire. The poet states that the tiger is "burining bright," makes references to the "fire of thine eyes," and wonders "in what furnace was thy brain?" The constant allusions to fire help portray the contrast of a "buring bright" tiger to the "forests of the night" and create natural metaphors for the tiger.

    When I had reached the end of the poem for the first time, I felt that I had already read the final stanza of the poem. This is because I had. The first and last stanzas of "The Tyger" are exactly the same, except that in the final stanza, the word "could" is replaced with "dare." "Dare" is a more forceful word than "could," and so the poem is completed with a recapitulation that makes a statement rather than ask a question.

    I loved this poem for making use of literary techniques that are not typical. The misspellings of "tiger" and a repeat of the first stanza both caught my attention and forced me to dig deeper into the meaning of the poem, in an attempt to figure out why the poet would use these techniques in the clever way that he did.

    - Peter Washington (This is my third blog post)

  120. My Last Duchess - Robert Browning

    Though many poems including opposing sides often leave one leaning toward the poet's side, having just heard their point of view and none other, I can't bring myself to agree with Browning's reasoning. The poem is beautifully and skillfully pieced together, nonetheless. The poem sounds like ordinary speech when read aloud but, looking at the poem, Browning maintained his rhyming structure throughout. Man's jealous nature is prominent and well portrayed in this piece. It also shows that the Duchess was equally fond of things relating to nature as she was of society. When she rode her white mule, she smiled. When she was married, she smiled again.

  121. "Kublah Khan." Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    In this poem, Coleridge describes a "sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice"--a symbolic building, idealized to the highest level of imagination, that offers a complete spectrum of human sensual pleasure. The "sun" and the "ice" represent the extremes. The dome is representative of almost a bohemian lifestyle, or is a symbol of Mt. Olympus--the residence of the Greek gods. The last echoes the influence Ancient Greek culture had on Europe during the Renaissance. The Romanticism movement embraces many of the concepts and ideals developed during that period of artistic revival. The beauty of Kubla Khan's dome and the chaotic nature, represented by the spontaneously erupting fountain, qualify this poem as a work from the Romanticism movement.

    If the historical figure of Kublai Khan is considered, then the poem may be referencing the "cult of the Noble Savage." Kublai Khan was the Mongol horde ruler who established the Yuan dynasty in China in the 13th century. His affiliation with the infamous Horde may justify the ascription of the epithet "savage" to him by the West, yet his decision to abandon the raiding and pillaging that once were the sustenance of the horde and to settle down and create an artistic wonder such as the fictional dome may make him "noble" in the eyes of the Romanticists and the whole contemporary West. The poem's diction and syntax resonated with me, because they accurately captured the utopian feel of the pleasure dome.

    "Ode on a Grecian Urn." John Keats
    Keats' idolization of a Grecian urn suggests an emotional and intellectual attachment to the culture of Ancient Greece, whose arts and associated philosophical ideas were central to the European Renaissance and Humanism movements. Keats especially notes the scenery and the vivacity of the life lurking within the designs of the urn, which shares its focus on nature with Romanticism. Keats evaluates the urn from a hybrid of Expressionist and Formalist perspectives, because not only is he concerned with the movement suggested by the art itself, but he is also interested in the life and emotion the Greek artist tried to capture. Keats employs ornate imagery and uses numerous exclamation points to express his ardor. I thought that Keats deftly evoked the passion he felt, but his florid writing left much meaning to be desired. However, if his concern was to convey, "beauty is truth, truth beauty," then he was successful.

  122. London by William Blake

    While looking at my romanticism paper, trying to choose a poem to write about, I saw the word "London". My first thought was "Ok, finally something familiar." I cannot really relate to staring at a Grecian Urn, watching my dutchess check out other guys (obviously), etc. I thought that "London" might take a different approach, which is why I chose to read it.

    This poem does not seem to have the same romantic style as the others. "London" is less personal: millions of people walk through its streets every day. It's tangible, it's real, and it's not composed of thoughts running through some guys's head like several of other poems seem to be. Furthermore, it doesn't put near as much emphasis on nature. Instead, the emotions are drawn from an urban metropolis: a dirty, sad city from what Blake describes.

    Nevertheless, "London" is still romantic. All of it relies on scenery, and the emotion associated with it.


  123. Robert Browning-"My Last Duchess"

    while I should not mix my dukes up, the duke Robert Browning writes as reminds me quite a lot of the duke in the film Moulin Rouge. Both have an interest in a woman who does not return the favor and are very put off by that, to the point of possibly killing her. This then makes the poem successful as a romantic style poem in that it portrays numerous moods. Starting with a fond remembrance to suspicion to confirmation to action. As for nature, as far as human nature the poem is relevant in that, for some people, "a nine-hundred-[year]-old name" is worth little or a grate deal, and some people are simply jealous. The duke fails to realize that if it takes the god Neptune to "tame a sea-horse", he is hopeless taking his last duchess.

  124. This poem is comparably short when seen next to other romantic works of the time. The tone created by Blake is rather forlorn. The fact that "Rose" is capitalized leads me to believe that it is not, in fact, a woman. My guess is that the speaker holds feelings for Rose due to how he speaks of the other man's "dark secret love". He uses adjectives with negative connotations when speaking of him, and tells of the love's destruction. Instead of revering to the man politely, he calls him an "invisible worm" that dwells in the dark night. This poem is romantic due to how it blends nature with the topic of love lost. Despite the forlorn tone that "The Sick Rose" brings to mind, the imagery creates a romantic image of love and the traditional symbol of love and the creature that lives to destroy it.

  125. (NOTICE: This post is identical to the version posted 31 January.)

    William Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much With Us"

    This poem is, in short, a lament for Man's alienation from nature. The poet states this directly: "This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, / The winds that will be howling at all hours, / Are are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, / For this, for everything, we are out of tune; / It moves us not" (5-9). It also makes use of a topic of much interest to Romantic poets, paganism, to remedy this: "Great God! I'd rather be / A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; / So might I, standing on the pleasant lea, / Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; / Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; / Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn" (9-14). This poem advances more directly than Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" the Romantic ideal, annihilation of man into nature. It also advances a common notion that Man has become alienated and has not always been so--"We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!" (4).
    As in "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the author uses anthropomorphic terms but to a different end: nature is personalized in order to rouse a primordial nostalgia for simplicity in the reader.
    This poem is effective in its limited scope. It does expose a persistent problem with man, but it does not have didactic power: it does not propose a solution. I am impressed but only in a limited way.

  126. (NOTICE: This post is identical to the version posted 31 January.)

    Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Stanzas Written in Dejection near Naples"

    The Romantic aspects of this poem come through in its focus on man integrating with nature. It is even written from the perspective of a dying man, in the mind of a Romantic poet, a man as close to nature as possible before death.
    The author's use of a dying narrator is particularly important because it is "dehumanized"--it is less and less alienated from nature. In the last stanza, for instance, the poet writes, "Yet now despair itself is mind, / Even as the winds and waters are; / I could lie down like a tired child, / And weep away the life of care / Which I have borne, and yet must bear,-- / Till death like sleep might steal on me, / And I might feel in the warm air / My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea / Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony" (28-36). The personification of nature and the nature of dying are combined here magnificently to depict instants before a man's annihilation into nature. This poem, in its "dejection," is the Romantic hope, the Romantic ideal.
    I find this poem particularly moving in that it is not about despairing nor about joy but about a hope--that man will become one with nature.

  127. Heinrich Heine-"A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    It would be a simple task to suggest that the lone pine tree is a phallic symbol (the ice and snow would have been a nice touch) and that the palm tree is a symbol of a lady that Heine dreams of, as he uses the pronoun “her” near the end of the poem. However, he personifies the lone pine by using words such as, “sleeps,” “standing,” and “dreams,” which is something he would not do if he were describing the pine tree as a phallus. These verbs are not only human, but languorous and allude to a metaphoric hibernation, further emphasized by his use of the word "blanket." He is waiting for and dreaming of Inspiration, symbolized by a beautiful feminine palm tree on a “sunburnt rocky strand,” (Line 8). Inspiration is almost always portrayed as a woman, such as the muses that Homer so frequently invoked. He plans to find this inspiration elsewhere, in "the Eastern land,"(Line 6).

    Alex Greaves

  128. A Pine is Standing Lonely - Heinrich Heine

    Just a heads up: I found like 10 different versions of this online, so I just picked my favorite.

    I think this poem might be my favorite of any we have read so far. It's very simple, and we really don't have to look very far beyond the text to see what makes it romantic. It is entirely about nature and the emotions within it. Nobody would think twice about a pine or a palm tree, but this poem might make you think twice about cutting one down. The actual story behind it can also be applied to many real life situations- it represents the simple concept of "the grass always seems greener on the other side." The pine tree is cold, but the palm tree is hot.

  129. Ode On A Grecian Urn

    This poem strongly reflects a natural and almost sensual place. The way the poem touches on love and grief is very relate able to a reader. However what stands out the most to me is how this poem highlights a romantic style. While it seems relatively short in compassion to some of the other poems we have read it is quite powerful. Everything mentions has a rosy tone, no matter how dark it is intended to be. Everything in this poem is either extremely beautify or exaggerated, the way he describes things in such beautiful detail is touching to the reader.

    --ELiza Trono

    (This is quite late, I forgot to ask you when it was due and I just checked the website, oops.)

  130. My Last Duchess - Browning

    My first thoughts after reading this poem were of a charming villain. The Duke speaks so subtly and lightly of his actions that he might as well be discussing the weather. He is terribly polite and cordial, and when I say terribly I mean it with the negative connotation of the word. It is truly terrible the matter-o-fact way that he regards murdering his wife. He is charming and makes it easy to get lost in his eloquent and gentile descriptions. Its not hard to imagine that he puts more stress on his gentlemanly demeanor than the content of his words, almost as if he could forget what he is talking about and it wouldn't make much difference. To me this poem feels like a glimpse into the mind of a psychopathic ethical crusader. He justifies his actions through a combination of belittling the atrocity itself and advocating the righteousness of putting an end to her imagined treachery. Interestingly enough, the Duke represents the opposite of the "noble savage", aka; the "ennoble gentleman". By way of this unspoken comparison, the author devalues the societal virtues of the gentleman through a subtle indirect satire.

  131. Ode On A Grecian Urn

    Oddly enough, this poem made me sad. The author puts such an amazing amount of emphasis upon beauty and its connection to immortality that I feel it is almost anti-natural beauty. If beauty is truth, and beauty is immortality, than nothing mortal is true. Neither mankind, nor anything that lives, nor our world, nor anything that is a product of our existence. However, this does apply some of the concepts of romanticism in that it devalues our social norms because they are, like us, mortal and therefore less beautiful and less true. Seeing as we cannot hope to be immortal, or by extension truly beautiful or true, perhaps the savage who's unregulated lifestyle allows him to make the most of his situation is better off than anyone else.

  132. The Tyger (The Lamb)

    This was the most engaging poem(s) that I had the pleasure to analyze, I have always loved Blake, mostly because his poetry never lacks a brilliantly potent philosophical backdrop. In "The Lamb" and "The Tyger" Blake speaks of two animals whose spirit and characteristics highlight greater trends in all of existence, a key them of romanticism. When he questions their opposing forces, he questions the two-faced nature of our reality. How is it, that the God who created the deadly tyger and the virtuous lamb can be one and the same? How is it that the forces of humanity which gave rise to art, music, science, religion, and consciousness, could also have given rise to genocide, ostracism, terrible wars and weapons, and the conscious mutilation of our planet and each other? Which is the dominant power? The light or the darkness? Or is it possible that they are one and the same? Blake leaves this question unanswered, but the vivid and respectful awe that he expresses both towards the Lamb and the Tyger in turn suggests to the reader the importance and potency of both sides of this split personality.

  133. William Wordsworth: The World Is Too Much with Us

    This poem, like many other romantic poems, is about alienation from nature. the most interesting part of the sonnet however, are the lines:"Great God! I'd rather be / A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn / So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, / Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn" (9-12). in this part of the poem, Wordsworth presents the idea to his audience that Christianity (or at least his practice of it), is modern and unnatural. If Wordsworth is pleading to god to be a member of an old, almost forgotten religion so he can be happy in the pleasant meadow he is in, than his religion does not give Wordsworth the satisfaction of nature that he as a romantic craves, though he should be commended for questioning the naturalism of the church.

  134. (Ashley Potts)
    Ode on a Grecian Urn

    Upon reading this, the reason that is a romantic poem became clear. It seemed to make a lot more sense once I read it alone. It seems as though one must individually be able to connect with the poem--as it's written for an empty audience. The idea that nature possesses more beauty, perhaps, than regular man-made things, but that that beauty within nature can be brought out through the man-made things (such as the urn) draws out the romantic aspect of the piece. The way that nature, peace and the artistic ways of humanity come together in this poem immortalizes a feeling of good memories, which is what closes the poem so nicely when you've finished reading it.

  135. (Ashley Potts)
    My Last Duchess -robert browning.

    While you read this poem, it makes you wonder whether Browning's goal was to portray a very gruesome story through very light and soft words.
    As you read, the mood and tone are both kind. A little mysterious and off, but kind nevertheless. The main character in the "story" that the poem tells seems very confident and definitely knows what he's talking about, but he doesn't want you to know. When you finish the poem, it is almost that you are made to feel like a fool. It, in essence, captures emotions of regular people in every day life. Naivety and Gullibility happen to everyone at some point in small doses, but what would happen if you fell for a trick as terrible as this?
    In what seems to be an attempt at indirectly asking the reader this question, Browning successfully portrays a very romantic idea behind the story when introducing the duchess, and the beauty within the memories of her.

  136. (Ashley Potts)
    Heinrich Heine-"A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    The most ridiculous phrase that comes to mind here is "The Grass is always greener on the other side."
    Ironically, it is also probably the most fitting. Whether or not the trees in question are symbolic expressions of the author, it is definite that the reader can connect them to him/herself easily. It is common human trait to want what we cannot have, especially comfort. The pine tree would be more comfortable were he in a warmer place, and the palm would be more comfortable if he were cooler.
    As mortals, we can never have true happiness. That is what this poem depicts, while romantically connecting such a human trait to such an inhuman environment and situation.

  137. (Ashley Potts)
    “The Sick Rose” - William Blake

    William Blake's diction here are what truly romanticize The Sick Rose. He creates a harsh, dark environment for the Rose--symbolizing, mot likely, the harsh dark world that we live in ourselves. Our trials are of the philosophical sort. We must deal with stress and overcoming temptations. The rose must overcome simple death. The invisible worm can easily be related to death. It is inevitable, and though the Rose is beautiful, natural and romantic, it cannot last, much like everyday life for the reader and the author himself.

  138. Keate's poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" illustrates the key concepts of romanticism. He uses extremes in his poem to create a parallel with human emotions and the organic world. The underlying point to the poem is to express the natural beauty nature contains no matter what the circumstance.

    lauren germain

  139. ode on a grecian urn

    i believe the ode is telling the story that keats believes is engraved on the urn. He is not sure what is happening, but it is his best guess. he says "And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell Why thou art desolate, can e'er return." So on the urn there is a deserted city, but no one knows why it is deserted and the fact that it is engraved locks it in time and space forever. This, along with the many references to love for songs and melodies are keys to romanticism. A man is chasing after a love he can never have, and the song he sings (or plays, im not really sure i kinda got lost...) is all the sweeter and more lovely because she will never hear it.