Peterloo and To Autumn

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

Moderators: Saturn, Malia

Peterloo and To Autumn

Postby Apollonius » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:23 pm

Just a little more than a month between these two: the massacre in August 1819 mostly about the price of bread. Keats' poem September.

Motion suggests there might be links. He points out that gleaning had just been made illegal. Try reading the poem with a Radical slant.

Interesting?
The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
Apollonius
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:00 pm
Location: Staffordshire UK

Postby Malia » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:34 pm

I remember reading about that in the Motion biography, too. Yes, I think Keats is a little more radical than many analysts give him credit for. There are times when I think biographers/scholars go too far when analyzing both Keats and his work. I've read some downright wacky interpretations of his poetry and Gittings's obsession with Keats's relationship with Isabella Jones is ridiculous. But I think Motion has a point with his political interpretations. Keats was extremely sensitive to the political "winds" of the day and it makes sense that he'd ponder them within his poetry. Maybe he wasn't as overt as some of his contemporaries, but his concerns about freedom and equality (at least equality when it comes to middle and working class males) is there.
Stay Awake!
--Anthony deMello
User avatar
Malia
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 1606
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:55 am
Location: Washington State, USA

Postby Saturn » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:36 pm

Apollonius do you have an exact reference for that?

It's true that Keats was in his own small way a radical, not as overt as perhaps the ultra-radical Shelley of course but he was always more of the liberal persuasion.
From the beginning of his association with the Hunts he would forever be marked out as a radical.

Merely being part of that circle was to be classed a radical, a dangerous force and which gave the right-wing government mouthpiece newspapers and journals the ammunition to criticise the work of Keats and the rest of the so-called Lake poets [a bigger misnomer there never was].

I've always thought that part of the criticism of Keats' work was not merely as a result of his 'cockney' background, but of his political sympathies, or at least his percieved sympathies merely because he was a known associate of Hunts.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Interesting.

Postby Apollonius » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:47 am

Thanks. You have confirmed there is something in these ideas. Roe, also, (I believe) emphasises Keats as a Radical.

I will be floating your ideas in my Y12 lesson this morning (with acknowledgements, of course).


Edit: Just got back to my office after said lesson. We did discuss the effect Peterloo might have had on Keats and the feeling in the country. After a final reading of the poem with these ideas in mind, we generally found more of the young man accepting mortality than the radical sympathetic to the cause of the poor and starving. Worth a try though.
Last edited by Apollonius on Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
Apollonius
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:00 pm
Location: Staffordshire UK

Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:50 am

Oh I wouldn't do that my "ideas" are only my own opinions :oops:

And you're a teacher Apollonius?

Year 12? **Shudders**

I'm sure that's fun teaching English to that age group :wink:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Postby Apollonius » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:24 am

I teach English to Y9 to 13. Mostly Literature. I have been doing it for 35 years and love it still.

Yes, before you ask, a "bog-standard" comprehensive.
The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
Apollonius
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:00 pm
Location: Staffordshire UK

Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:12 pm

Nowt wrong with that.

A very honourable and admirable profession and no doubt a tough job.

I bow to your many years of experience :!:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am


Return to Poems, Odes and Plays

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron