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Ode on Grecain Urn is a very famous poem which covers romanticism in depth. The poem is written by the king of romanticism called John Keats. The poem was written in 1819 and it was published in the month of January 1820. An Ode is a sort of lyric poem and it has three parts Strophe, Antistrophe and Epod. Further an Ode focuses an object directly and in this case we will have to face the Grecian Urn. All the stenzas in the Ode are consisted of ten lines and the whole poem is in an iambic parameter form. The rhyming scheme of first seven lines in all the stanzas is in the form of ABABDCE while in the remaining lines it differs a little bit in the form of DCE, CED, CDE, CDE, and DCE. The very poem is being written by the poet when he was on a visit to British museum and there he got inspired with the artefacts or objects which were placed there for the sake exhibition.
The first stanza of the Ode is actually a descriptionof the story which is shown in the form of pictures on the Urn. John Keats has got immense insipiration about the images which are drawn on the Urn and he thinks about the origin of these images. John Keats depicts the very purpose or truth of the image that how the men pursue the women as depicted in the Ode.
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
The Urn is depicted as a bride by the poet and the bride is waiting for her newly married husband that he will come and they will enjoy their wedding night. There is the need to discover the relations between them. Keats is of the view that there is the need to explore the story of the Urn because nobody has exposed the truth about it. Keats is symbolically calling the Urn as a foster child which is not given due care. The Urn is being called by him as a lonely child and no one is paying due attention to the child and the very child is being looked at a slight glance. Then afterward that Keats expresses his sense of imagination about the images which are depicted on the Grecian Urn in the form that “Who are these gods, men and deities whose images are shown on the urn. So from here Keats starts thinking to known more about the historical background of images.
Keats has shown his expression about time that time is a horse which is running very briskly. Couples have to fall in love and the music is being played for their romanticism but very moments are so sensitive that they pass with each and every tick of the time but those moments have gone now and a sense of imagination is depcited by Keats in a more beautiful way. Keasts says to listen the music is a very good habit and when the song overs the joy of the song also ends with the passage of time and there is no more joy for you and me. But the song which is sung by the piper, engraved on the urn, is an everlasting song and its moments are stopped and the musicain will ever sing this song and the couples will enjoy this song for ever. The use of imagery is being shown here and the cause of enlivenment of this very song is because it is forever embedded in the Grecian urn or in the artisitc piece. The musicain will be there forever and the loving couple will enjoy it for ever beneath the tree. John Keats speaks here about the unchanging or everlasting scenery.
The boughs of the tree are hanging over the lovers and Keats called the tree symbolically as a happiest one because the tree will never shed its leaves and for it each and every day will be of spring and there will be no autumn for the tree due to its ever green nature because the very tree is also engraved on the urn. Keats is showing here his envy for the tree and he is longing for spring and also for everlasting love. The image of calf is most important one in the ode and is showing a sense of modernism. The claf is brought to the slaughter for sacrifice and Keats is describing this very calf as an exalted one. Keats is thinking about the town where that very cow or calf will be sacrificed and this thing would bring prosperity for the nation which is engraved on the urn. Keats is of the view that life is running very fastly and many generations have past but the urn is still alive with all its images and he is also engage to study this very urn. He is of the view that generations have become the part and parcel of the dust but the Grecian Urn is still alive with its entire splendor and it is being kept here for the coming generations and the new generations will enjoy the everlasting stories which are depicted on it. Keats ends the poem with the lines:
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know
The whole Ode is revolving around imagination, symbolism and imagery. There are three scenes which are depicted i.e. revelry and sex, a piper and the lover’s pursuit, and last scene is about the sacrificial ritual. Keats presents a lot of imagery and presents the Greek culture in a more beautiful way and he tries his best to show the importance of beauty. The picutres or the images which are engraved on the urn are showing the lasting beauty because the time has stopped all the images in their current state or simply for the creatures which are depicted on the urn the time has stopped and they will ever remain in the enlivenment. Actually John Keats is longing here for an everlasting life which is full of beauty and happiness.
Keats has shown a connection between beauty and young love and called the Urn as a historical one because the Urn itself is telling a complete story. The words in the poem are focusing continuously on the importance of the theme of lasting beauty. Each and everone is of the view that he or she must remain young and beautiful till eternity. He is presented the love with a beautiful imagination that the amusement of love must be in the form of an eternal blessing. Eternity of art is a sort of way to express the views about the longings or ambitions that are embedded in the heart and mind of a human being that how one can enjoy beauty forever. Symbolically speaking Keats celebrates the idea of love and this idea of love is perceptualized by the images which are being drawn on the urn. The poem is a personal expression of John Keats about eternity. His hope for life is evident in the whole depiction of the imagination and he is living in a world of fantasy for some time and this fantasy indulges him in the mania of love.