Ode on A Grecian Urn by John Keats

Updated: Dec 24, 2018

Have you ever thought this about a romantic partner: "Is she or he The One?"

Likely, if you're over 25, this is a question you've seriously contemplated. But how do we get a sense of The One? Where does it come from? What shapes our unique individual desire for The One?

The One is an ideal. it's why so many mates seem to "fall short." They are actual, temporal, real, while The One is ephemeral, unreal, imaginary.

Should we give up The One for the actual? Do we have to?

Explore this poem by John keats where he brings you on a journey into the realm between the eternal perfect ideal and the world we inhabit in the here and now.


Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,

       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,

Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape

       Of deities or mortals, or of both,

               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

       What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

               What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,