In 2015 during National Poetry Month in April, the Academy of American Poets reached out to then Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis, among other public figures, to ask him to share his favorite lines of poetry. 

Congressman Lewis mailed back his response on his official letterhead:



These are the last two lines of “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats, a poem that remarks on truth, and truth revealed in art, that’s everlasting. 

The poem was one of five by Keats considered to be poems of exceptional artistic achievement. The others are “Endymion,” “Hyperion,” “Ode on Melancholy,” and “Ode to a Nightingale.” Born in 1795 in London, Keats is known as an English Romantic poet. He died at age twenty-five in Rome.