In the spring of 1819, English Romantic Poet, John Keats wrote his famous, Ode to a Grecian Urn. While the poem is considered one of Keats' lesser works, his line 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know, has become as famous as his line, 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever'.
I first read Keats in college, but I have to say, his 'Ode' still leaves me thinking. If beauty is truth, yet we all agree beauty is subjective, then how can its truth be true? Doesn't the very meaning of subjective hold that the idea of beauty would then change from perspective to perspective and person to person?
Without revisiting Philosophy 101 any further, (my professors at Fordham University would be so proud), I would have to agree...believing that Keats', Beauty is truth, truth beauty, is merely reminding us that whatever we hold beautiful is own own personal truth, and regardless of another's opinion, it's all we need in this world.
As a writer, I have looked to Keats' quote for reassurance and peace of mind many times. Especially when someone else's opinion of "beauty and truth" has bashed my own in a review. It somewhat lessens the sting, comforting in the knowledge that even centuries ago, it was still all about subjective perspectives.
What if we could hold this personal truth of what we value as beautiful close to our hearts, practice it in our daily lives? Imagine the tidal wave of self-confidence that would follow. How much our self-esteem would blossom, and by our example, that of our children.
What and If are the two most important words in the English language when used together. They have the power to inspire dreams, and through those dreams affect great things. Beauty is truth, truth beauty is by far, for me, more than just an abstract notion. It's almost a battle cry. A call to arms defending that which nature itself deemed beautiful. Each and every one of us.
Beauty is truth, truth beauty? You bet. So find yours, and own it...
Whatever that truth may be.