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Critical and scholarly praise has been unanimous in declaring "To Autumn" one of the most perfect poems in the English language. placed it with "Ode on a Grecian Urn" as "the nearest to absolute perfection" of Keats's odes; declared it "Keats's most perfect and untroubled poem"; and has stated that the poem is "flawless in structure, texture, tone, and rhythm"; Walter Evert, in 1965, stated that "To Autumn" is "the only perfect poem that Keats ever wrote – and if this should seem to take from him some measure of credit for his extraordinary enrichment of the English poetic tradition, I would quickly add that I am thinking of absolute perfection in whole poems, in which every part is wholly relevant to and consistent in effect with every other part."

Ode On A Grecian Urn - Critical Analysis Essays

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Critical Appreciation Of Ode To Grecian Urn Free Essays

Essay on Ode On A Grecian Urn - Critical Analysis. :: 1 Works Cited Length: 664 words (1.9 double-spaced pages) Rating: Yellow Open Document

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Keats wrote five odes, and all of them are shockingly good. These are the kinds of poems that literary critics die for, and that send later writers into bouts of envy. Of the five odes, "Grecian Urn," with its immortal and mysterious final lines, is the most well known. The "ode" is an Ancient Greek form of poetry that is marked by its seriousness and technical difficulty. They are usually very thoughtful works that try to praise and elevate their subject. Keats’s odes are considered the best in the English language, and they are certainly the most famous. Anyone who has even a passing interest in poetry should read them, and re-read them. To a great extent, they have defined what modern lyric poetry is.In the summer of 1943, two critics were - unbeknownst to each other—finishing essays on Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn." One of these, Cleanth Brooks's , would grow to become an icon of literary science; the other, Kenneth Burke's , faded into relative obscurity. Today, one of the few traces that remain of the link between both essays is a footnote in which Brooks acknowledges the similarities between Burke's analysis and his own. My paper aims to recover the rhetorical dynamics of this footnote's moment of composition by framing it against the backdrop of the war of independence which the emergent field of literary criticism waged against historicist scholarship. Brooks, I will argue, sought in Burke a much needed ally that would help him recover and defend poetic language as a valid gateway into the historical real. This alliance, however, forced Brooks to exaggerate the convergence of their respective "dramatic" ways of reading: their superficial similarities mask substantial differences in opinion on the methods and evidence used to substantiate one's reading of a literary text—differences that have severe implications on the way literary texts are connected to, and can act upon, the past.The Ode on a Grecian Urn furnishes us with a beautiful example of the artistic potential of ekphrasis. The entire poem details a piece of pottery that the narrator finds immensely interesting. On reading the poem, one is made to feel that Keats has a particular urn in mind. But no urn with the scenes mentioned in the poem has been traced. So it is assumed that Keats’ imagination has blended many sculptured forms with which he was familiar. The fact that he chose an urn, with many scenes displayed on it, as the subject of his poem may have been a result of the viewing he had of the Elgin Marbles. It is also to be remembered that Keats had developed a fondness for the Greek classical mythology. Some critics also imply that he
may have attempted to compensate for the lack of an aristocratic education by showing a sense of familiarity with the Greek classics and Greek art. But what is impressive is that there has been no such urn identified only serves to underscore his magnificent power of imagination and creativity.