"Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a poem written by the English Romantic poet
John Keats in May 1819, published in January 1820. It is one of his
"Great Odes of 1819", which include "Ode on Indolence", "Ode on
Melancholy", "Ode to a Nightingale", and "Ode to Psyche". Keats
earlier forms of poetry unsatisfactory for his purpose, and the
collection represented a new development of the ode form. He was
inspired to write the poem after reading two articles by English artist
and writer Benjamin Haydon. The poem focuses on two scenes: one in
which a lover eternally pursues a beloved without fulfillment, and
another of villagers about to perform a sacrifice. The final lines of
the poem declare that "'beauty is truth, truth beauty,' – that is all /
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know", and literary critics have
debated whether they increase or diminish the overall beauty of the
poem. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" was not well received by contemporary
critics. It was only by the mid-19th century that it began to be
praised, although it is now considered to be one of the greatest odes
in the English language. A long debate over the poem's final statement
divided 20th-century critics, but most agreed on the beauty of the
work, despite various inadequacies that kept it from perfection.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Sergius III, whose pontificate was marked with feudal violence and
disorder in central Italy, came out of retirement to take over the
papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher.
"The Raven", a narrative poem by American poet Edgar Allan Poe about a
talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, was first
published in the New York Evening Mirror.
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom issued a Warrant under the Royal
sign-manual that established the Victoria Cross , originally to
recognise acts of valour by British military personnel during the
The Battle of Rennell Island, the last major naval engagement between
the United States Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the
Guadalcanal campaign, began.
In his State of the Union Address, U.S. President George W. Bush
described governments he accused of sponsoring terrorism and seeking
weapons of mass destruction as an "axis of evil", specifically naming
Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. To guide people to their seats.
2. To accompany or escort (someone).
3. (figuratively) To precede; to
act as a forerunner or herald
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf
of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers,
and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all.
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