Poets And Poetry

Poetry Analysis Endymion by John Keats



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John Keats' poem "Endymion," the title of which means a thing of beauty, is typical of many of Keats' works of poetry.  This poem, like his others, is very descriptive and vivid.  Readers can read these words and instantly understand what Keats is trying to portray. 

The first words of the poem, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: its lovliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness," is a great summary of Keats' main objective in writing this poem.  Throughout his life, he has seen many beautiful things.  While some of those beautiful things seem to stay beautiful for a longer time than others, it is inevitable that beauty cannot stay in its original state forever.  Over time, beauty changes, sometimes into something not so beautiful, such as a wilted flower or a faded pieces of clothing, and sometimes into a different type of beauty such as a beautiful little girl turning into a beautiful young woman.  Beauty is truly dependent upon perspective and opinions.  What one person sees as beautiful may not be what someone else sees as beautiful.  Keats attempts to portray this idea throughout his entire poem and to instigate high level thinking and processing in his readers' minds. 

Keats uses his words to intrigue his readers.  His words are clear and easy to understand, yet not completely conclusive on their own.  Readers have to make their connections to their own lives to fully grasp Keats' meaning.  Keats seems determined to portray the idea that beauty can always be preserved through memories and photographs even if beautiful things cannot physically last forever.  They can last forever in the minds of those who witnessed them, through photographs taken, and these memories and photographs shared with others and continued down on through future generations.  Beauty never comes to a complete end unless memories are neglected and not passed down to future generations.  Beauty lives on as long as people share it with others and keep it alive, no matter what it is or was that is or was beautiful, an object, a person, a particular day, or anything else. 

The ending of Keats' poem, "An endless fountain of immortal drink, pouring unto us from the heaven's brink," tells his readers that beauty continues on even when it can't be seen by the naked eye.  People just need to realize true beauty and capture it in memories, photographs, and through other means.  Beauty goes on forever when properly preserved and passed on. 

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