Roots Of Knowledge Column S

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Beauty Is Truth, Truth Beauty

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The English poet John Keats famously wrote in his 1819 poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”: Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty. Although the meaning behind these words has long been a topic of debate, Keats’ poem reflects a spirited journey society was on during his lifetime. Following the Age of Reason and the pursuit of enlightened knowledge of the 18th century, intellectuals and artists shifted to instead emphasize the sentimental wisdom to be found in nature, history and the individual in the early decades of the 19th century through Romanticism and Transcendentalism.