Homework Help

How can "Ode to a Grecian Urn" be said to be a poem written in the Romantic era by a...

user profile pic

reenakinshuk | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted December 18, 2012 at 4:54 PM via web

dislike 1 like

How can "Ode to a Grecian Urn" be said to be a poem written in the Romantic era by a Romantic poet?

please mention the essential characteristics of a Romantic poet and a Romantic poem and how this ode adheres to the precepts of Romanticism.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:37 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

A movement that emphasized emotion and intuition and the importance of the individual experience, Romanticism validated strong emotion as an aesthetic source of experience and knowledge. Certainly, John Keats's "Ode to a Grecian Urn" evinces many characteristics of a Romantic poem.

  • Emphasis upon the dream, or inner world of the individual

The poet's observations of the Grecian urn elicits high emotion from him as he "listens" to "unheard melodies" that are "sweeter" of "Forever piping songs forever new/More happpy love!...."

  • Valuing of intuition and emotion

The poet reaches beyond the rational and arrives at knowledge through feelings. The timeless perfection of the urn touches the aesthetic appreciation of the poet:

  • Validation of strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience

Ah, happy happy boughs! that cannot shed

Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu:

And, happy melodist, unwearied

Forever piping songs forever new

  • A reach beyond the rational

There is a mysticism to the poet's contemplation of the urn as in his imagination the figures exist in an aesthetic eternity, expressing the truth of an ideal in a sententious statement:

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"--that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes