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Reading and Writing Skills for
Students of Literature in English:
Romanticism
Enric Monforte
Jacqueline Hurtley
Bill Phillips
http://garts.latech.edu/tamaram/102/
PoeticLanguage1/GrecianUrn.jpg
“Ode on a Grecian
Urn” (p. 1820)
John Keats 17951821
http://opioids.co
m/opium/johnkeats.jpg
What does it mean?
the poem provides “a violent contrast [...] between
the form of the vase, a perfect and unchanging
definition, and the tumult of action inscribed upon
its surface” (William Walsh, Pelican Guide to
English Literature p. 233).
the Ode imagines “a world of process halted in a
moment of ecstatic intensity” (Leon Waldoff in
Duncan Wu’s Romanticism: A Critical Reader p.
319).
the Ode is a “calculated inquiry into the function of
art - and of its relation to life” (Andrew Motion
Keats p. 389).
What is happening in the first
stanza?
http://garts.latech.edu/tamar
am/102/PoeticLanguage1/G
recianUrn.jpg
Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loath?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
It’s an orgy
Nicolas Poussin 1594 - 1665
A Bacchanalian Revel before
a Term, 1632-3. London, The
National Gallery.
http://www.national
gallery.org.uk/Web
Media/Images/62/
NG62/eNG62.jpg
Bacchus and
Ariadne
1522-3
Titian
(Tiziano
Vecellio)
c.1485-1576
National
Gallery,
London
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/collection/features/potm/2004/feb/img/feb_screensaver.jpg
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone.
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal---yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Apollo and Marsyas
Pietro Perugino
1448-1523
http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/
Pietro_Perugino/apollo.jpeg
http://www.italica.rai.it/rinascimento/iconografia/img/prot_1068.jpg
Luca Signorelli, Il regno di Pan, 1490
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands dressed?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
http://web.grinnell.e
du/courses/eng/s05
/eng22401/images/elginmar
bles2.gif
Detail from the Parthenon Frieze (Elgin Marbles) in
the British Museum since 1804
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity. Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
“It is a commonplace that Keats’s knowledge
of ancient Greek was negligible.”
Martin Aske in Keats and Hellenism (Aske 35)
http://www.sje.wednet.edu:16080/~
kthrashe/images/keats.jpeg
Orpheus
http://www.uco.es/~ca1lamag/
Galerias/zeus-posidon.jpg
Zeus
http://www.wolfson.ox.ac.
uk/clubs/music/images/or
pheus.jpg
http://www.nationalg
allery.org.uk/WebM
edia/Images/62/NG
62/eNG62.jpg
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delv’d earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim
from “Ode to a Nightingale”
http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b143/humanrights/child
labour/Images/millworkers.jp
http://www.historyplace.com/u
nitedstates/childlabor/full.jpg
ensaver.jpg
“He [the poet] is the rock of defence for human
nature; an upholder and preserver, carrying
everywhere with him relationship and love” William
Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads 1800
Does Keats see
himself as the poetpriest, leading the
people to Arcadia?
http://web.grinnell.edu/courses/eng/s05/eng22401/images/elginmarbles2.gif
What does “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”
mean?
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity. Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
“beauty is truth, truth beauty”
“...this statement of equivalence means nothing
to me. But on re-reading the whole Ode, this line
strikes me as a serious blemish on a beautiful
poem, and the reason must be either that I fail to
understand it, or that it is a statement which is
untrue.”
T.S. Eliot Selected Essays 1932
Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loath?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
“legend”
“old story handed down from the past”
“an inscription on a coin or medal;
explanatory words on a map, a picture, etc,”
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