Truth and Beauty

“Beauty is truth; truth beauty” writes the great John Keats. If he were here today, how would he regard the “beauty” we, as Americans, seem to admire: the Kardashians, the “real housewives”, entertainment figures parading on the red carpet—beauty that is clearly manufactured. Everything tucked, nipped, and botoxed to a farthingale.  In these examples ‘beauty” and “truth” are not synonymous.

Keats, of course, means natural beauty. In the vision of a perfect sunset is the truth of immortality.  A slow descent amid glorious hues becoming dark night. Repeated over and over again. Immutable. The promise of spring expresses hope of renewal. There is both truth and beauty in that. Seek beauty in the everyday; relish the truth of what it means to be human, to be aware, to find those moments that bring that “shock of recognition.”

I like to believe that we can find beauty (and truth) everywhere if we look for it. (Maybe not on the news channels, though—I’m staying away from them!)



12 thoughts on “Truth and Beauty

  1. I’ll capture this quote in my journal. It too is beautiful. I find beauty in the simple things. Perhaps it is the innocence of a child or a chipmunk scurrying around my yard, both reflect beauty to me.

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  2. I think our culture has twisted the truth of beauty. I love that you call us to continually fight against that lie and redifine it in our own lives. Isn’t it sad people are living in and admiring the lives of others instead of couragously living their own?

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  3. Great commentary, Diane. Keats absolutely would have appproved. Was it Keats or Shelley who said “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” There is true beauty in nature all around us. I agree that today there’s still much to admire if we look away from our political scene and focus on family, friends, and our own backyards! An enjoyable read this morning!

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  4. Thank you for a post that reminds your readers of what beauty truly is (even if you have to mention what it’s not). The think I appreciate the most about true beauty is its ability to endure–so much of what our society appreciates today is fleeting at best.

    And now I’ve got to go find my volume of Keats–I know it’s here somewhere!

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  5. Beauty surrounds us. We need to take the time to appreciate it. True beauty generates a feeling deep inside us; not the same as the artificial beauty many spend fortunes to achieve.

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  6. Your writing today is both beauty and truth. I spent time lingering (not 1.5 speed) on your words. I reread them many times. My first read was to simply experience your words. Then I reread to feel the rhythm of the words. Then I reread to appreciate your word choice and images they created in my mind and heart. Then I read them to connect to them. My life, my truth, my beauty. This is an amazing slice – so well crafted. Thank you for sharing and slowing me down today.

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