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LETTER: Beauty is truth

We are often stunned by the connection of the past with the present … and our future. In a very short life – 1795 to 1821 – John Keats wrote a piece of verse that became a singular part of the English heritage: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all ye know … and all ye need to know.” This popped up as we were recently admonished by Mrs. Romney, namely, when she proclaimed that in the matter of personal finances, she and her husband (name slips my mind) have given “all you people need to know.” In this case neither “beauty” nor “truth” were involved, merely the machinations of a rich and never-mind-the-law family that, in turn, wants to lead our country! But she missed Keat’s admonition, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Because her statement had neither truth nor beauty, we admonish her to read Keat’s carefully, and not to confuse “all ye need to know” with her crass reply! Keats, gone these many years, is still the wise instructor who, along with a Democratic victory in Novemeber, will put aside this uninformed “Call of the Wild,” with the help of Keatsian validity – not to mention Jack London!

William Sommers

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