Wednesday, March 24, 2010

imagination vs. images

Last class we met and we talked in great length about this idea of visual versus language. Throughout the Keats section of poetry we saw this theme come up many times in his poems, with describing physical objects. In his poems we are presented with words that depict a physical image. This emphasizes Keats feeling of permanance and the opposition to mortality and temporariness. The images he describes the subject leaving little if any room for our own imagination to explore possibilities. We can relate this to Shelleys arguement over intellectual beauty, and what really makes something beautiful. We can see how Keats feels, there being beauty in permanace and things we can see that inspire us. Keats writes about this one kind of beauty and art, but makes his own by trying to describe it to us which leaves us open to imagine what it could possibly look like. With Ode on a Grecian Urn, we see the sense of permanance that Keats wants us to relate to beauty because the Ode is to what is on the Urn, to what makes it beautiful. At the end of the poem he ends with Beauty is truth, truth beauty. This line does not explain itself in the poem so we are left to wonder, what is beauty and what is the truth in beauty?
That question brought up another in my mind of whether or not the difference between visual and language is more or less determined by values? What does the observer, or reader find more beautiful, or more truthful. Seeing something tangible with beauty already created, or a description of something so the imagniation can create something beautiful. I gave the example of movies and books. Like the Harry potter books, I enjoyed the books much more. My opinion is so because with the books, we were given basic descriptions of what people and places looked like, how situations happened, and how we wanted to view the characters intentions. Yet when the movies came out, although they were pretty awesome :), the characters were already made up a certain way, dressing a certain way, acting a certain way, and what we had imagined was questioned as to being wrong or incorrect. I feel this is the same way with artwork and nature. We can see it and have this feeling of awe and contentment from it's beauty, but what we see is what it is, no more no less. When someone tries to tell us what something or somewhere looked like, our imagination creates it's own image of what beauty is. So is our beauty truth, or truth beauty?

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