Grecian Urn

Grecian Urn

It is the intensity
         of objects
that Keats captured
         in the Grecian Urn
an energy derived
         not merely
from the bridal narrative
         nor the implied music
piped down the centuries
         but from time manifest
shaped by the potter’s
         temporal hand
the craftsman
         who one day rose
from his bed
         and set about
his daily work

Art first and foremost
         a matter of shaping matter
whether it be air
         or stone or words or clay
or an arrangement
         of complex 
or simple movements
          A labour of love
it is a necessary confection
         of heart and soul

Form is creation
         the means by which
we raise our humanity
         above senseless nature
and form is relationship
         a structure shaped by content
an elemental marriage

Creation is that which
         adds and alters
despises the replica
         and scorns the dour dullness
of endless duplication
         Beauty is the animation
of truth — truth
         the animation of beauty
there is no silence
         there is no stasis
expression in all things :
         the status quo
is a lie

John Lyons


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