A thing of beauty is a joy forever!


“The difference between the right word and almost the right word,” wrote Mark Twain, “is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”

One evening, the English poet John Keats was sitting in his room with his friend Leigh Hunt. Hunt was reading and Keats, sitting at a nearby table, was writing a poem. At one point, Keats looked up and said, “Hunt, what do you think of this? ‘A beautiful thing is an unending joy.'”

“Good,” said Hunt, “but not quite perfect.”

There was silence for a while, then Keats looked up again. “How about this? ‘A thing of beauty is an unending joy.'”

“Better,” said his friend, “but still not quite right.”

Keats once again bent over the table, his pen making quiet scratching noises on the paper. Finally, he spoke again, “Now, what do you think of this? ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.'”

Hunt looked admiringly at his friend. “That,” he said, “will live as long as the English language is spoken.”


The First Stanza Of “Endymion”

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways::
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

PS: “Endymion” refers to a remarkably beautiful young man.


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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2 Responses to A thing of beauty is a joy forever!

  1. Lohcifer says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder, er, sorry, I mean beholder.

  2. Francis says:

    John Keats must have been poeming about Apple product like iPad LOL. Apple product is really a beautiful thing to behold. See how much lawsuit is going on trying to replicate the design and features of Apple product. Has he been alive today, he must have been a loyal Apple fan .

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