Line 6: Of deities or mortals, or of both. “Ode on a Grecian Urn", then, is a journey into the interior of Keats’s mind and the soul, as well as a disclosure of his most closely held beliefs. Other Ekphrastic Poems Line 29: That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d. The poem's ending has been and remains the subject of varied interpretation.          Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought The final two lines of the poem, "'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -- that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know'" (49-50), have been a source of contention for scholars since the "Ode on a Grecian Urn" came into popular circulation. The urns that were made in classical times, by the Greeks and Romans, had decorations on them of figures dancing, playing sports, fighting, and even having sex. 33Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies. — A sketch by John Keats of the Sosibios urn, which is thought to have partially inspired the poem. About the equation of truth and beauty, this is an older idea that was proposed by Plato. A dale is also a valley. dost tease us out of thought. With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form! Instant downloads of all 1383 LitChart PDFs Boughs are branches of a tree. Passion can make you feel ill, as if you have a fever, with your forehead burning, and your tongue sticking in your mouth (“parching” means dried out/very thirsty). The subject of an ode is something that is loved; and something serious that invites thought. They’re probably dancing wildly. The combination of the true urn and the imaginable beauty are a completion one with the another . Now, read the passage from Keats's poem "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles." And this was way before the time when famous singers and rockers became immortal (= live forever) when they died of drug overdoses. The figures on the urns could be humans or gods. The branches will never lose (“shed”) their leaves. Then it stresses the idea that as little as human passion is not a part of the scene on the urn, neither is human suffering “all breathing human passion far above.” Passion and suffering go together, is the idea here, and art is clean of that. The truth and all the secrets of life and world lie in the nature itself. This stanza develops the thought from stanza 2 that nothing can change in the world of the picture on the urn. I agree with you. He was looking for a way to say something meaningful about how art could talk about life and how art can help us tolerate suffering. The final two lines, in which the speaker imagines the urn speaking its message to mankind—”Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” have proved among the most difficult to interpret in the Keats canon. Thanks! What maidens loth? The word has a pleasant, peaceful connotation. 30                A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" was written by the influential English poet John Keats in 1819. The pipes (= flutes) in the picture on the urn play not to our physical (“sensual”) ears, but to the ears of our imagination. Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats: Summary and Analysis Ode on a Grecian Urn is an ode in which the speaker addresses to an engraved urn and expresses his feelings and ideas about the experience of an imagined world of art, in contrast to the reality of life, change and suffering. 7               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? more happy, happy love! It was his conviction that without the light of beauty no truth can be apprehended by the heart. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the speaker observes a relic of ancient Greek civilization, an urn painted with two scenes from Greek life. No one (“not a soul”) will ever come back to explain what the reason is the town is empty. The speaker of the poem draws our attention to this, and he says the music that you can’t actually hear, that imaginary music, is actually better than real music. This is explained so beautifully. — A collection of poems that also use an ekphrastic approach. 1Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness. 35What little town by river or sea shore. The happy musician, unwearied (= not tired), is forever playing his flute songs that are also forever new. Even the urn is in the imagination. And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? 12       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; 13Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd.        Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; The urn is addressed (= talked to). Soon he was writing poetry. You'll get access to all of the Ode on a Grecian Urn content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. I’m beginning to doubt it. And these are better loved (“more endear’d), or at least the speaker of the poem thinks so, than our real ears. 32         To what green altar, O mysterious priest. All the human love beauty, this is the very much truth of life. The speaker wouldn’t say “That is all you know on earth,” as if he himself weren’t a human being who lives on earth. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is one of John Keats' most famous poems. Some people are coming to a sacrifice = event of animal burning as offer to the gods. All breathing human passion far above, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” as a Representative of Life and Beauty: The poet presents urn to understand the transience of life and the quest for beauty. Line 2: Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time, Line 3 & 4: Sylvan historian, who canst thus express, Line 5: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape. Attic means from Athens, the capital of Greece. It’s clear to me that the ode tries to answer the question why we need art. 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