Favourite Poets Besides Keats

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Postby Saturn » Wed Nov 10, 2004 10:28 pm

There would be no Romantic poetry without Shakespeare - Keats would never have written in the same way without a deep understanding and great love of Shakespeare.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Junkets » Sat Nov 13, 2004 11:31 am

Whilst I have viewed Keats with highest regard for the last ten years or so, over the last few he has had to share the glory with William Blake. I don't wish to do Blake a disservice by disregarding his artwork here, as so often it does go hand in hand with the poetry, but it is the poetry we are concerned with.

I used to hate Blake, and was quite happy to. Admittedly I had read very little and what I had read was a few of the Songs of Innocence, which I had foolishly dismissed as simplistic claptrap, I was also disuaded from engaging in his poetry by his Christianity. But on the recommendation of a good and learned friend I gave him another go, and converted with haste; to Blake not Christianity. The Songs of Innocence and Experience have been an invaluable addition to my modest library and although they appear so simple they reveal so very much. London I find to be reminiscent of the third stanza of Ode to a Nightingale, and the majority of the others provide endless delight. The prophetic books are a bit more of an undertaking, but of what I've read so far I can barely put into words their beauty and importance. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and All Religions are One are just great and have been endlessly thought provoking, and the perculiar collection of sentences that make up The Laocoon are sheer brilliance. Blake's lable of 'madman' is unfortunate but understandable, but his other lable of 'visionary' is completely justified. He's great!
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Postby Saturn » Sat Nov 13, 2004 9:16 pm

A terrific artist and poet too - haven't read much of Blake

Like you his Xtianty does kind of put me off him a bit, but what I have read of his strange ethereal prophetic poems is quite good - I'll have to investigate him further in future to form a better opinion of his poetry.

I love his painting of 'Pity' based on the lines from Macbeth :

“… his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongu’d, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin, hors’d
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.”

A truly beautiful and haunting picture.

I love 'The Ghost of a Flea' also.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Junkets » Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:08 pm

I love that painting too, and the Ghost of the Flea (which I saw at Tate Britain recently - they've got a really good Blake exhibition there). I also love Christ in the Wilderness, The Agony in the Garden, and of course Newton and Nebuchdnezzar (both at Tate Modern too). The thing to keep in mind when reading Blake with a wariness of his Christianity is that it is the true Christianity of allegory that Blkae uses not the Christianity that the church has exploited and manipulated to their own ends; not the Christianity of repression, oppression, fear and and control. It is deeply allegorical, like his own mythology and quite far removed from the Christianity of today, and his day.
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Postby Neelima Nair » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:12 pm

Shelley!
«O Sorrow,
Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips? -.....
WAtya wanna know?
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