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Ode on a Grecian Urn. Conlan Campbell, Andrew Brinkmann. By John Keats. !. Summary. You unchanged, quiet work of art You adopted child of history Historian who is mute A tale that is sweeter than our rhyme What old message is on you Of men or gods or both In places of rural beauty

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ode on a grecian urn

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Conlan Campbell, Andrew Brinkmann

By John Keats


You unchanged, quiet work of art

You adopted child of history

Historian who is mute

A tale that is sweeter than our rhyme

What old message is on you

Of men or gods or both

In places of rural beauty

Who are these men? Who are these reluctant women?

What chase is this? What attempt at escape is this?

What drums and flutes? What excitement?

Music that is heard is sweet but unheard music

Is sweeter so your pipes play on

Not to the refined taste but instead

Play simple songs that have no complication

Child beneath the trees, you can't leave

Your song and the trees will always have leaves

Lover you can never kiss

No matter how close you get, but do not be sad

She will never leave though you can't be with her

Forever you will have your love and she will be beautiful

The happy trees cannot not lose

Their leaves and spring will not end

And the musician

Will forever play songs that will stay new

There will be love

Forever and never losing it's impact

Forever new

All human feelings will stay

That make your heart feel almost ill

And make you feel nervously sick

What people are going to the ceremony?

To where are they going, priest

Do you lead that cow mooing

With her fancy attire

What small seaside town

Or mountain fortress

Is missing it's people this holy morning?

The small town, which is empty

Will be completely silent with no one to say

Why it is empty and none will return

Oh elegant shape! Good attitude! With interwoven design

Of stone men and overexcited maidens

With nature effected by man

Your form takes us out of our thoughts

As does our time you cold work of art

When we become old

You will remain, never fully experiencing troubles or love

You will be ours and you will say to us

"Truth and beauty are the same

That is all you know, and all you need to know"

john keats
John Keats

"Here lies one whose name has writ on water"

  • Born near London in 1795
  • Lost his biological father and many siblings to disease or accidents
  • Left a career in medicine to write when he was twenty
  • Earlier works received harsh feedback
  • Between 1880 and 1820, Keats published his most well-known works
Keat's work was never fully appreciated or realized until after his death
  • Keats knew before his death that he would be remembered as a far greater writer than when he was alive
  • Died at age 25
  • John Keats was a romantic, writing near the end of the Romantic period.
  • Feelings, nature, impulses
  • Keats admires the trees, the music
  • Deals with feelings and other concepts
  • Love, music, beauty
  • Ode on a Grecian Urn is in fairly strict iambic pentameter with only a few variations.
  • There is consistent rhyming in the poem despite an inconsistent rhyme scheme.
  • One theme that Keats emphasizes in this poem is the fleeting nature of time and how people should appreciate things before they are gone.
  • Beauty in youth
  • Timelessness
  • Frailty in mortality
  • Another theme is the tie between truth and beauty and how both come from one another
  • There is much debate about the meaning of the last two lines of the poem
  • Speaks of beauty being what is true
  • Presumably how truth appears in youth versus old age; looking back
annotated bibliography
Annotated Bibliography

"Biography." John-Keats.com. N.p., 26 Feb. 2000. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <http://www.john-keats.com/>.

A. This source deals with John Keats's life and career, along with some of his motivations and downfalls.

B. This source contains factual information published by a poetry authority, amd has its own domain name.

C. This source will help to gain further insight on Keats’s life and the context of his poems.

"A Brief Guide to Romanticism." - Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5670>.

A. This source is a definition and description of literary romanticism.

B. This source is published by an esteemed poetry association and it’s credibility rests on its good reputation as a source of information and regular site maintenance.