Sunday 2 September 2012

Day 72: On Beauty

A classic choice for a Sunday: Keats. 

What many people don't know about Keats is that he was a really young poet. He died at 26, after completing so many poems and making a significant contribution to the Romantic movement. His everlasting and ever more relevant verse is one reason why I offer him as an example to people who think you have to be old to be a poet. 

He knew a lot about the nature of beauty and despondence and joy, all the staples of the human condition, and was able to write about them beautifully and truthfully and with a wisdom beyond his years - 'yes, in spite of all/ Some shape of beauty moves away the pall/From our dark spirits.'

Here's a poem that can be read and enjoyed many times over. 

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion) - John Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. 


  1. There is nothing more beautiful than the sight of an unfolding rose bud, nothing, that is, but the sight of a baby's radiant smile!


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