The Significance of Word-Painting in John Keats’ Poetry Essay

688 Words Nov 12th, 2012 3 Pages
The Significance of Word-Painting in John Keats’ Poetry

Word-painting as one of Keats’ unique techniques of creating poems, is an art form of creating pictures in words. Each word, like the strokes of a brush on a canvas, shape an image that talks to the eyes. Word-painting, of course, reflects a poet's attitude toward nature. Keats was not only the last but one of the sweetest romanticists. He was greatly affected by his solitude. Keats was mostly in the calm bosom of nature, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, it reveals the beauty of nature to him so that he is named as devotee of nature to beauty. His writings reflect some splendor of the natural world as he saw or dreamed it to be. Unlike William Wordsworth, Samuel
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His poetic representation of a painting or sculpture in words which describes both motion found in a stationary artwork and underlying motives of characters, makes his word-painting unique and different from the traditional use of word-painting. For example in Ode on a Grecian Urn Keats replaces actions with a series of questions and focuses only on external attributes of the characters. Using the new and unique word-painting makes his works beautiful and everlasting. The beauty and vividness of his poetry as a painted picture gives an everlasting joy to his readers and confirms his famous line “A thing of beauty is joy forever”. Keats uses so many visual and colorful images in his poetry. He draws the pictures by arranging words. Ode on a Grecian Urn as one of his six odes clearly represents using of word-painting in his poetry. Ode is written on an urn which has the painting of two lovers in flight and pursuit, a pastoral piper under spring foliage, and quiet procession of priest, town people, resemble parts of various vases, sculptures, and paintings. All these images exist in Keats’ imagination and he by the help of this great imagination creates lots of images just by using words. He paints the words professionally even if the reader closes his eyes; yet the poetry is visible for him. Keats also has the gift of giving life to inanimate objects while picturing them. In The Eve of St. Agnes

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