Ode on a Grecian Urn

By John Keats

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"Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a poem written by the English Romantic poet John Keats in May 1819 and published anonymously in the January 1820, Number 15 issue of the magazine Annals of the Fine Arts (see 1820 in poetry).The poem is one of several "Great Odes of 1819", which include "Ode on Indolence", "Ode on Melancholy", "Ode to a Nightingale", and "Ode to Psyche". Keats fou "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a poem written by the English

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Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.


Now I'm just counting the poems I'm reading in class under my reading challenge because I'm currently reading like 7 books but Goodreads says I'm 3 books behind on my goal so I'm just counting that *gasp* that was all one breath.

This poem was... interesting? It's kind of funny, that Keats is waxing poetic about an urn. It's like writing a poem about your true love and finding out that the poem was addressing a sandwich.

Not bad, but I know I'm not fully appreciating it as of yet. We shall see.

Benjamin Goldman

This poem, while complicated, is a great way to open up middle school students to understanding more profound themes and imagery in poetry. Secondly, this particular poem employs a variety of figurative language, which could be a good practice exercise for students to analyze and interpret. This would help students understand the structure of how figurative language works into poetry, which could be reflected in a writing exercise where this poem would be the model text. However, the concluding two lines of the poem are most useful for the students to learn more about the concept of perspective in reading and writing. They state: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty -- that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." The students could be tasked with completing a writing exercise that employs the strategy of a RAFT. The way that perspective is incorporated into this assignment is what the student chooses as their "role." For example, they could choose to write from the perspective of 'beauty' or 'truth' as they are defined in the mind of the student. Alternatively, the student could compare and contrast would beauty is defined as for Keats in his time period, and a more modern definition.

Iarap Nongrum

This poem is one of my favourites from all the poems of Sir John Keats...I learn so many things out of it..and I long to see the beauty of the UrnJohn Keats is one of my favourite poet n I have fun reading his poems...He talk of truth and I only believe in things that are true ^_^

John Yelverton

The testament of a great poet is one who can find the extraordinary in the ordinary and make you feel that extraordinariness in their words and composition. John Keats achieves that in this poem here.

Pritam Chattopadhyay

Here, the creator speaks of intransience of art and the ephemeral nature of life. Truth and Beauty are considered, as an unremitting thought strung together in a sequence.

The poet is enthused by the Grecian urn, which is a bit of art and has remained unsullied and virgin for aeons. Time festers in its case, while cohorts of men have arrived, suffered desolation, and departed the stage. Above and beyond the exquisiteness of the urn, the poet is profoundly electrified by the bucolic scenes carved on the sides of the urn. There are trees laden with green and fresh leaves.

The young man would prolong singing unwearied, and the musician would persist playing pipes and drums. The youthful men would keep up their efforts in chasing the maidens, who would perpetually keep escaping. The lover will be on the brink of kissing the girl but will fail to satiate his craving. There’s nothing to be sad about it though -- his darling will never age. She will have the benefit of unending youth and timeless allure.

These moments of delight are captured and made eternal by art. Nevertheless, in real life contentment is transitory. Love grows cold, youth and beauty fade away, music grows musty, and all sweet things lose their appeal and men get tired of them.

Love does not remain warm and leaves the heart sorrowful and cloyed.

This leads the poet to surmise that man must know only one thing - Beauty and Truth –which is one and the same. What is beautiful must also be true and what is true must be beautiful.

The last scene, that is, of the sacrifice of the heifer is image-wise, the the icing on the cake in the poem for me, individually. The poet has created an atmosphere of legend about it. The priest is mystifying, and so is the ceremony. We can only imagine about the convictions and institutions of these people. The poet has added realistic touches. The young bull is unsurprisingly crying to the sky. There is a crowd of people and the grass and weeds are crushed under their feet. We can also imagine the town on the bank of a river or at the foot of a hill lying desolate. It is indeed the finest scene.


John Keats *baby face emoji* definitely my favorite Romantic poet so far (unfortunate that I haven't studied any women yet in my class but. u know)

I love how much more humble and down to earth he is than the others - there's no egoism in his writing, especially not in this one. I love his general outlook of nature being something that can be found anywhere - in the flower pots on windowsills, as one of his critics put it. The idea of nature being some sacred faraway place above other people is such a classist take tbh. Keats is the Marx of the Romantics and I love him for it.

This poem in particular is such a fresh take on the nature vs urban struggle that I've been studying in my class. Dismissing all of urban society just because it's not ~pure enough or whatever is so.. boring. I loved the line "cold pastoral" - to me, that embodied one of the main messages of the poem, which is nature is art, and the making of art is natural, and the Earth is the original artist, and her people making art (urns, poems, whatever) is the purest connection to nature there can be, whether sitting in a meadow or at a desk in an apartment. Ahh idk so much to think about this makes no sense but I'm the only one reading this anyway sldfsdkf so! Yeah. John Keats mwah


Ah, yes, one of the obligatory English-major poems. While I do enjoy Keats, this about sums up my experience with Ode on a Grecian Urn:

my experience

“Truth is beauty! Beauty truth, sir!” – Rommelwood Cadet

“They’re discussing poetry! Oh, we never do that at my school.” – Lisa Simpson

“But the truth can be harsh and disturbing! How can that be considered beautiful?!” – Rommelwood Teacher

my experience


This poem was written as a response to 'Ozymandias' and it suggests an antidote to the inexorable passing of time: art. I rather agree with this concept. Only that which we do has an effect beyond our lives. The author sees the art of an ancient urn as the only piece to survive the makers of it. I particularly love the last verse, where the author proclaims fearlessly: "All is beauty"! Indeed!