Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Thing of Beauty

I have been reading the poetry of John Keats (17951821) again as the days get longer and the garden comes back to life. So much beauty! "A Thing of Beauty" quoted here is but the first part of a very long poem called Endymion. I likely miss a lot of what he intended as it draws heavily from the classics and I don't know Greek mythology nearly as well as I would like but the language does speak to the heart...and how nature and beauty feed the soul. He writes: "in spite of all/Some shape of beauty moves away the pall/From our dark spirits." For me, poetry is the language of the soul and it inspires me on a daily basis. It's tragic that Keats died at only 26 from TB but he left us a stunning legacy. Today, we have poets like Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, David Whyte, and so many others that give voice to the deepest longings of the human heart. I express my soul through visual art and wish at times—in the words of Hafiz—that "I could put the swaying splendor of the fields into words." I guess I'll have to leave that to our poets. Thank you to all our poets—past and present!

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)
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. Amy,

    Thank you for sharing about beauty that lifts the heart and mind with joy. The quotation from Hafiz is my new inspiration. Reminds me of Rumi: "Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rick

  2. Thank you Rick. Happy to hear that the Hafiz has invited new inspiration. Do you know the poem? It's from "I Wish I Could Speak Like Music." Gorgeous as is the Rumi. So much beauty...and thank YOU for your poetry!

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