A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever – Essay, Meaning, Expansion
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”- this is a very common phrase and all of us must have heard it. This phrase means that anything which has beauty in itself stays forever. It may seem to us that the beauty of a thing has faded. But in reality if we think about it properly that beauty actually never fades away.
It is eternal meaning it is always there. It stays forever. It not only stays forever but the beauty of anything increases also with time. As the beauty is forever, everyone can live and experience the beauty of different things. But it is not necessary that beauty only means externally.
Beauty exists internally as well. Beauty can be present anywhere. It can be present in a human, animal, plants, trees, food, everything present in our nature or in any poem or story. The existence of beauty does not have a limit. We should learn to see beauty in everything both internally and externally.
Many times we fail to see the internal beauty of things. But when one learns to understand the internal beauty as well it changes the people entirely. One can interpret this phrase on various factors. It depends on how a person sees things around present in the environment.
The concept that beauty is permanent and it stays forever, this brings positivity in our life. No matter there is darkness, problems, negativity in our life we should never lose hope and still find positivity and beauty in things around us. This positivity makes a person optimistic in life.
This common phrase is taken from the poem “Endymion” which is written by John Keats. This phrase is a starting line of this poem. The poem goes on like this:
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.
[Source Credit (http://www.online-literature.com/keats/463/)]
This poem is based on a Greek mythology. This was during the Romantic age of literature. There was an Aeolian Shepherd. He stayed in Olympia. The Titan goddess Selene’s attention was easily attracted by Aeolian.
She liked him so much that she requested Zeus to make Aeolian immortal so that he would always be with her and never leave like the mortals do when death comes to them. Zeus fulfils this wish of Selene. So he put him to sleep forever.
This helped Selene to go and meet him every night. This story has been written in a form of poem or story but with different variations. But John Keats took this exact story and wrote the poem Endymion in the year 1818.
Summary of the poem
The poem Endymion has been criticized by many people. But this did not bother John Keats ever. He took these criticisms positively and kept writing poems. He considered these criticisms as a necessary one for him.
This is because these criticisms would help him to improve and he would further progress in his life. According to the poem there is beauty in every single thing present on this earth.
This beauty is not only for a specific period of time. Instead it is forever. The beauty stays for eternity. Neither does beauty becomes less or fades away. But with time our love for the beauty present in the things increases. Beauty can be seen and perceived differently.
It depends on a person how they see beauty on things and what is their definition of beauty. Beauty can in a sound sleep with dreams, relaxing in the shade of the trees, good health etc. We can find darkness, problems, sadness, cruelty around us. This happens when beauty is not present.
But it is the beauty which inspires us to stay happy, help us to remove all the darkness, problems, sadness, cruelty and always be positive in life. The poet mentions different things from nature that reflect eternity; like the sun, moon, trees, rivers etc. All these things show that beauty exists forever.
Self-written story with the concept of “A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever”
Once there was a man. He aged around forty. He got married to a beautiful woman ten years back and they had three amazing children. Theirs was a very happy family. Everything was going good in the family. But one day this man lost his wife and children in the accident when the four of them were travelling outside the city. After this he became very sad and depressed.
He had no interest to work anymore. He missed his family a lot. Except them he had no one else in the world. As he did not feel like working anymore, he did not go to his office regularly. Even if he would go to work, he would always go late and leave early from work.
He spent maximum of his time drinking the bar. He did not eat anything. He only drank liquors and nothing else. Due to his irregularity in the office, this man’s manager took his job away from him. This means that he lost this job. After he lost his job, he did not have any source of income.
But still he spent all of his leftover earnings on drinking. After one point of time he did not have any money left. He was thrown out from his flat as he did not pay the rent on time. He had to leave and go because he had no money left with him. He did not where to go.
Every day he used to go the park near the street and stayed there most of the time. But he used to go from there when all the rich people, business men would be seen outside. During that time he would roam somewhere else so that no one asked him any question if they found him sitting on a bench at the park.
He would go back to the park when these people would not be seen outside. Whenever he sat on the bench he would stare at the things around him and think a lot of things. There were many things running in his mind. He would watch the sunrise and sunset every single day sitting on that same bench. This routine continued for a very long time. He became pale and sick. One day he had a visitor.
This visitor was a man and he looked almost of the same age. The visitor told the man that he had been noticing him there for a very long time. The man then told the visitor about his sad life. The visitor hugged him tight and made him understand.
He told the man that everyone has problems and darkness in their life. But this should not break them down. Instead one should learn from it, take positivity from it and progress in life. One should not be bothered from these problems and darkness. Instead focus on the beautiful and good things present around us.
These things will help us to be happy and work hard to achieve success and happiness in life. After that the visitor left. The man then started to think about what the visitor had told him.
After that day he started notice all the good things which were present around him. There was a beautiful flower near the bench on which he would sit always. He used to stare at that flower always. He found the blooming of the flower very pleasant.
One day he noticed that the flower was becoming pale and the petals started to become dry and shed. The dry leaves and flowers would fall on the ground. He noticed that these fallen leaves and flowers turned out become a new flower again. This inspired the man.
He understood that problems will always come in the life. But they should not lose hope. Instead one should face those problems and move ahead in life. The man then became confident and went from that park. The next day he started looking for jobs and he got one job.
He started working properly and was always regular. His life started to become happy and he had a wonderful life from then onward even though he was alone.