Keats draws his inspiration from statuary, architecture, and books more than do most poets we read in English 32 Ususally, he announces his source in his title, as his poems "On First Reading Chapman's Homer" (which had been available to him only in Pope's translation), "On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again," "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles for the First Time," and most importantly "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (textcommentary) suggest. The question of the hour is whether the choice of subject makes much difference; are these poems very different from the ode "To Autumn" or "Ode to a Nightingale"?

Incorporated in the Victorian Web July 2000