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On Seeing The Elgin Marbles For The First Time Analysis



Author: Poetry of John Keats Type: Poetry Views: 1482

My spirit is too weak; mortality

Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,

And each imagined pinnacle and steep

Of godlike hardship tells me I must die

Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.

Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep,

That I have not the cloudy winds to keep

Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.

Such dim-conceived glories of the brain

Bring round the heart an indescribable feud;

So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,

That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude

Wasting of old Time-with a billowy main,

A sun, a shadow of a magnitude.






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The Elgin Marbles are stone friezes depicting heroes of the classical era old which were were brought form the Parthenon in Athens to England and may now be seen in the British Museum. They are old and very dirty, but are still capable of inspiring the imagination and one's sense of the very ancient. The billowy main is a sail on a boat in the Aegean Sea. The shadow of a magnitude is the sense of a divine being or of immortality which is suggested by the Marbles. keat s was ill with tuberculosis when he wrote this poem. He imagines himself as the sick eagle who could almost, but not quite, attain the peak.

| Posted on 2009-07-07 | by a guest




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