February 18, 2007

Standing on it's own feet...or clauses as the case may be

In his essay "On the Third Stanza of Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn," David Kent states, "...the third stanza does not contain a single independent clause. Composed merely of phrases and subordinate clauses, it stands as a fragment, incomplete and dependent, though its dependence ironically proclaims a delusive independence" (115). This made me think of how a family depends on one another for support, but each member of the family is an individual that just seems to fit on in.

Kents essay is very short and to the point. He exhibits how to use formalism to quickly make your point and use the text of the work to help back it up nicely. The focal point of his essay was the third stanza and the grammatical things about it, but he also incorporates the aspects the other stanzas show how this essay all fits together and the third stanza becomes the focal point. The third stanza is like the middle child that feels he or she gets no respect and thus is seeing all of the good and the bad that is occuring on the urn. Because there are so many thoughts, they become fragmented and that is the way that they come out in the explaination. However, in seeing both sides of the urn - the good and the bad - the middle child is becoming indepentant of the other stanzas. It is the objective section of the poem that can tell both sides of the story truthfully and taking a stance of its own before the end.

I know that this is a stretch, and that I probably have it all wrong. I am just writing about what I see in my brother (the middle child). Being the oldest, I find that I have to forge the way for my brothers so that they can do it better than me, which is why I think that I may have this whole take wrong. However, it is my take and I would gladly like to start a discussion.

Kent, ''On the Third Stanza of Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at February 18, 2007 4:39 PM | TrackBack

I don't think you have it wrong at all. Being able to give examples from your own life shows a greater understanding. Kent's main focus to me was indeed the importance of the independent clause. When you are in the middle, you have to be a model and you have a someone else's footsteps to follow. The brilliance of Keat's work is that he finds a way to make that third stanza break away and stand out. You should definitely bring your idea into the class discussion :)

Posted by: Erin at February 19, 2007 9:49 AM

I'm not sure I completely follow the family idea here, Tiffany. I mean, while you can make a case for that, I'm not sure if that was the point of the article...or the poem. Then again, one's ideas should never be discredited when examining literature. Who knows- authors write things for all sorts of odd reasons. Perhaps you've caught something everyone else hasn't.

I wonder what he would have written about only-children like me though...haha

Posted by: Nessa at February 19, 2007 3:32 PM

I love short, to-the-point essays.

And comments.

Posted by: Dave Moio at February 21, 2007 9:25 PM
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