John Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale Essay

1326 Words 6 Pages
John Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale

John Keats, in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale" attempts to connect with two objects of immortality to escape from the rigors of human life. In "Ode to a Nightingale", Keats attempts to connect with a bird's song because the music knows nothing of aging and mortality. Keats has the same motivation in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" while trying to connect with three separate images on a mysterious urn. Connecting in this sense means to either fully understand the object or become the object itself. For example, when Keats attempts to "connect" with an image on the urn, he attempts to fully understand the origin of the image. While
…show more content…
The narrator believes that the bird's music has dated back to "ancient days" (64), when emperors and peasants filled Earth. It is even possible, Keats says, that the biblical Ruth heard the same nightingale's song as Keats did at that moment, as Ruth gathered corn in the fields. Furthermore, Keats said that the bird would continue to sing long after Keats' had "ears in vain" (59). By putting the bird's music in the past, the present and the future, Keats universalized this song throughout time, making the bird immortal. Therefore, the song will live far beyond the "last gray hairs" (25) of man. It also seems fitting that a poem that focuses around the celebration of music takes away sight in favor of other senses. Keats was captivated by the music from the bird, not the physical flight of it. When he mentions flowers and the moon, he can only imagine them and cannot see them.

While Keats attempted to portray his connection with the immortality of music in "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode on a Grecian Urn" explained his relationship with the static nature of sculpture. Embedded in the urn is an image of revelry and the sexual pursuit, a piper and a lover in
Open Document