What is the use of sensuous language and imagery in John Keats' poetry? Comment on "Ode on a Grecian Urn".

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats is full of sensuous language and imagery.  Of course, since imagery evokes sensory images, the images will by related to and interwoven with the sensuous language.

You could pretty much take your pick of lines.  In stanza one alone we find:

  • still unravished bride of quietness
  • Sylvan [rustic, woodsy] historian
  • leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
  • Tempe [beautiful valley, represents supreme rural beauty]
  • Arcady [region, represents supreme pastoral contentment]
  • maidens loath [resist]
  • pipes and timbrels [tambourines]

The language and imagery here evokes both the visual and the auditory.  You could do no more than follow this language and imagery as it is echoed in the remainder of the poem and you would gain a good understanding of sensuous language and imagery in "Ode on a Grecian Urn."

Note:  info within [] is from Prentice Hall Literature:  The British Tradition