Heard melodies are sweet

Keats_Grecian urn

Heard melodies are sweet

What are we dealing with here
           for example when Keats
studies the Grecian Urn
           —one sensibility seen
through another
           across the ages
the melodic silence
           of expectation
and the timeless anticipation
           of desire’s fulfilment

but also how the world
           is held in the mind
how it is turned over
           and examined
by a forensic poetry
           looking for evidence
and recording
           an affirmation of beauty
the collateral of which
           is truth
all in the warm teasing
           sensual pant of poetry

John Lyons


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