How'd you find out about Keats?

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Postby acrosstheuniverse64 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:35 am

I have a question about the whole "discovering Keats" topic- I know that there are a lot of people in this forum besides IB students who are pointedly in here because of English class, but do you all prefer Keats over all other "great" (by great, I mean famous) poets? Take Robert Frost, for example. He is my personal favorite so far (besides Pablo Neruda), but of course that is not to say that I do not immensely enjoy Keats. Oh dear, I believe I've lost the thread of my question. What I mean to ask is do most of you in here prefer Keats above and beyond any other poet?
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Postby dks » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:12 am

*she says without hesitation*

YES... :wink:
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:57 am

Hard question t answer...

I should say yes but Shakespeare is the greatest poet that eve lived in any language or age and Keats never quite reached his potential.

But I do identify with Keats more than with any other poet I've read so yes I do think I prefer Keats.

I do have very soft spots for Byron, Shelley and Coleridge but each of them seem more remote and less appealing as individuals than Keats does.

I like the personality and behaviour of Keats almost as much as I like his work which is not something I can fully say about any of the other people I've mentioned.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Malia » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:31 pm

I am also a huge fan of Pablo Neruda, acrosstheuniverse64. Although I've only read him in translation, I LOVE the way Neruda can get you to think about ordinary objects in extraordinary ways. And his love poems are extremely powerful.

Another of my favorite poets is Wilfred Owen--the great WWI poet who drew much of hiswriting style from Keats. In fact, he's a good example of what Keats might have sounded like had he been raised in the 20th century (i.e. with a more modern "sound").


I have a sentimental attraction to Keats because he was the first poet I really "got" back when I started reading poetry. And his use of alliteration, assonance and consonance to create a rich-sounding and feeling language rubbed off in my own creative writing which I thank him for :) I am very attracted to Keats's aesthetics and am interested in his philosophies about life and art perhaps even moreso than his poetry.
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Postby Richard » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:59 pm

Shakespeare is obviously number one. But I go quite weak when I think of that towering body of work. Slim John on the other hand is much more manageable. And I will be slightly tendentious and say Keats kind of distilled Shakespeare.
I have rashes of reading, in order of preference Larkin, Eliot, Auden, Hardy, John Clare, Yeats, R S Thomas and Heaney who is not quite dead enough for me really. I agree with Saturn about the other romantics.
But Keats always hits the spot, the first, and greatest dead rock star.
Last edited by Richard on Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dks » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:36 pm

I think we all have other poets we go to in time of need...I love Blake, Shelley, Byron, Coleridge and Wordsworth.

I love Shakespeare, of course--who doesn't?

I love Milton, Dante, Donne, Marvel, and Marlowe.

I love Dickinson, Arnold, Eliot, and Tennyson.

I love Yeats, Heaney, Herrick, and Wilde.

I love Emerson and Thoreau...and many others...

...but I remain in love with Keats...there, for me, lies the divergence... :shock: :oops: :wink:
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:58 pm

dks wrote:
...but I remain in love with Keats...there, for me, lies the divergence... :shock: :oops: :wink:


Ah... I saw that coming a mile off :wink:
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Postby Kaki » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:28 pm

Malia wrote:I am also a huge fan of Pablo Neruda, acrosstheuniverse64. Although I've only read him in translation, I LOVE the way Neruda can get you to think about ordinary objects in extraordinary ways. And his love poems are extremely powerful.


Oh, I love Pablo Neruda! But, the original language is far more beautiful in my opinion...

But a favorite poet... I don't have a favorite. Course, I can't think of any that I dislike either.

There is something to be said about today's non-published poets though. I prefer my friends' poetry over anything else. Older poems can be related to, but when you know the author and are one of the special few with the privilige to read his or her words, the poem becomes something far more important.
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:51 pm

Well my favourite modern poet is our own dks :wink:
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Re: How'd you find out about Keats?

Postby Raphael » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:25 pm

Hello folks! I just joined- I was introduced to the wonderful John Keats over ten years ago at a further education college when I was doing a literature course. Although I liked his poems, I cannot say I really "got" him then, but I do now! ( Since about 5 years ago or something like that)
I think he was a beautiful human being with amazing talent.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: How'd you find out about Keats?

Postby BrokenLyre » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:15 pm

Welcome Raphael, and I agree with you. Some people just "get" Keats. That fascinates me actually. His life and work resonates with us all at some level. I love Stanley Kunitz' comment about the work of Keats. He writes:

"Modern readers do not need to be told to admire John Keats. Whether they know it or not, he has already entered into their dreams, he is a portion of their hopes, he lives in their desires."
"Come... dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home."
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Re: How'd you find out about Keats?

Postby AsphodelElysium » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:46 am

Excellent quote, BrokenLyre, and it sums up the attachment so succinctly.

I have a terrible confession to make. When I first read Keats, around my sophomore year in college, I didn't care for him. In fact, he was my least favorite Romantic. I was a Blake girl in those days. It wasn't until my senior year of undergrad, after reading "Ode to a Nightingale," that I fell in love with Keats. I had come through the fire, so to speak, and only then was I able to resonate with our dear poet.

Oh, and atu64, I have to echo dks's response. Absolutely, without a doubt, yes!
"Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But, when I am consumed in the fire,
Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire."
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Re: How'd you find out about Keats?

Postby wallflower » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:56 pm

well... i guess the first time i read keats was when i was 13 'a song about myself' but we were being bombarded with tens of poems (unrelated in theme and era), so i guess i didnt care much for him then :oops:

when i was 16, studying for my A level in english literature i came across keats again and fell head over heels in love with him.. i read and read and read, far beyond what was required, and did rly well :D now im reading for my degree in English Literature, and we hardly had 2 lectures on keats, and hes still my favourite poet :D

do i think he's the best? well, i think he could have lived to be. spenser's faerie queene is, i think the greatest literary work ever written. but then, keats loved spenser so i guess im not that far away from him at all, am i? :wink:
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Re: How'd you find out about Keats?

Postby Raphael » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:39 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:Welcome Raphael, and I agree with you. Some people just "get" Keats. That fascinates me actually. His life and work resonates with us all at some level. I love Stanley Kunitz' comment about the work of Keats. He writes:

"Modern readers do not need to be told to admire John Keats. Whether they know it or not, he has already entered into their dreams, he is a portion of their hopes, he lives in their desires."


Hi BrokenLyre! I like your sign in name- that's cool! Yes, some people don't get dear John Keats at all- I am not speaking for anyone but myself in this case- the reasons for others are their own, but for me it was downright cynicism and a somewhat closed heart. Perhaps it was my mind also- yet I could recognise his genius but it didn't touch my heart then. Funny, now I'm older his words really move me. I thought his concept of negative capability and truth in Beauty naive to be honest- but that was because I did not understand!!! Now I do and I think maybe it's now I follow a nature spirituality and for me yes, truth is in Nature- the trees don't lie lol

Best wishes
Raphael.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: How'd you find out about Keats?

Postby Bordesley » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:03 pm

I can't recall not knowing Keats. My mother had the wonderful ability to remember and recite poetry learned during her childhood. So I would have to say from the late 1940's on, probably whilst sitting on her lap. As I write I have in front of me my school poetry book opened [1957] at page 183, A Joy Forvever..but it is still my mother's rendition that springs to mind.
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