Improve Your Mood - What is Beauty? - Creative Writing

Step 2: John Keats and 'Beauty'

Poet John Keats said: 

“With a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration”.


  • Do you agree with him?


Who was John Keats? 

John Keats (1795-1821) was one of the English Romantic poets who, as a reaction against the Industrial revolution, urban sprawl and rationalism, favoured intuition and emotion in their writing. Keats was particularly known for his sensual imagery. He died of tuberculosis when he was only 25. His work was not well thought of until after his death.


In his famous poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Keats wrote that:


“Beauty is truth, truth beauty/that is all ye know on earth/ and all ye need to know”. 


Academics, critics and poets still don’t agree about what he meant!

  • What do you think? 
  • Write down some of your ideas and if you're doing this exercise in a group discuss them with one another. (You can read the full poem here. You'll need to put 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' in the search engine on the site).
  • Do you think John Keats’s ideas of beauty would be the same if he was writing now? 
  • Do ideas about beauty differ in different times/cultures or stay the same? 
  • Make a note of your thoughts


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