On Romantic Naïveté

Mr. Brian Johnston, Associate Vice President of Financial Planning, Institutional Research and Assessment at CUA, does a nice job laying out the issues at stake in Keats’s poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” in the following video:

Mr. Johnston enjoys Keats’s poem because it challenges us with the question of whether Keats is as naïve as he first appears in the poem or whether Keats is up to something more at a deeper level. What do you think about that question?

Photo: “Il bacio” by Helga G. is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.
Original artwork: Kiss by Gustav Klimt (1907/1908).


One Comment Add yours

  1. Jaesen Evangelista says:

    I always found romance films super cheesy. The Notebook, for instance, is a little cliche and way too exaggerated for it to be a relatable love story. So when the romance within the poem is brought into question, I can’t help but automatically think it’s cheesy. Talking about young lovers who live forever in their love and yet never get to kiss, it all sounds overplayed to me *cough Romeo and Juliet*. However, looking at it from another perspective, Keats may have a deeper meaning to this than I thought. This may entirely be my perspective, but when I read the stanzas about the young lovers, I imagined high school love, a love that is forever fresh and innocent and new, and yet things such as a first kiss and a first love are so out of reach. High school love is like puppy love. It’s so cute, but it’s far from real love or even a real kiss, or real “first kiss.” It’s not a mature love where they can kiss and mean it when they kiss. That is why these two lovers, despite their innocent love, will never be able to kiss each other. That is not the kind of love they possess.
    Imagining the two lovers on the urn never being able to kiss each other does not necessariy show how naive Keats is, but rather how naive young love is.

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