And share him I do!! I figure if I can turn on at least one kid a year to Keats, I'll die (preferably in Hampstead. . . ) a happy person.
Believe it or not, "Bright Star" has actually helped do this very thing. The DVD was released here in January, and since then, I've had several students tell me they've rented and watched it. Of course, talking Keats up all the time, posting quotes from his letters and poems around the room and on the outside of my classroom door, and hanging the movie poster over my computer in my room has helped some, as well!!
Funny thing happened today in 5th period. We were wrapping up our study of Edgar Poe's "Annabel Lee" when one of my delightful students raised his hand and offered this insight (now, you must read this with a Western North Carolina mountain "twang"!!): "Ms. Norman, there's not a whole lotta difference between you and the poem's speaker 'cept you're obsessed with Keats and he's obsessed with his 'girlfriend.'" I had to laugh! I expect what helped that 12 year old boy make that connection was the story I told the class much earlier in the school year about visiting the Protestant Cemetery last summer and lying down on the grass next to Keats's grave. Needless to say, they thought I was crazy. Maybe I am; maybe I don't care. . .
I am so happy you are teaching poetry and Keats to your 8th graders. I taught 8th grade science and health for a year. Rough inner-city crowd. Hard to get Keats into the chemistry & physics curriculum.
You are not crazy going to the Protestant Cemetery in Rome and laying next to Keats. Great idea. I would love to have been there with you. I visited George Keats' grave in Louisville, Kentucky last year and had a hard time leaving (my family couldn't take me there more than half an hour). I drove a hundred miles out of the way on our trip and stayed overnight just to see Keats' grave.
People don't get it. I liked hearing your enthusiasm about Keats.
I was heartily disappointed when Bright Star never made it to theaters here. But one day I paid a visit to the CD/video store and found it on DVD there. I didn't hesitate to purchase it.
As a music major I hope to one day compose a piece involving Keats somehow. (P.S. - It is raining now and the globed peonies in the yard are reminding me of "Ode on Melancholy").
Ennis wrote:Raphael, BrokenLyre, and the rest:
I have a confession to make -- about last summer's visit to God's grave. Not only did I prostrate myself on the grass next to him (without, I might add, writing an Oscar Wilde-type elegy!), but I also, unbeknownst to the cemetery's keeper(s), (respectfully) dug down about a foot and a half into the ground in front of his headstone to try to get "old"dirt. I assumed that the deeper I dug, the older the dirt, and if I'm not ever going to be able to have actual contact with Keats, then I'll just have to settle for old dirt and breathing the air in that tiny, Roman room of death and touching the walls of the rooms in that white house in Hampstead and walking what paths are left on the Heath. Can we ever get any closer than that . . . ??!!
Obsession is a strict taskmaster.
Raphael -- at least you're from England . . .
(My apologies in advance if my "God's grave" phrase offends anyone. That certainly isn't my intention.)
Raphael, thank you for wishing me well in my endeavors. My most ambitious goal is to one day complete an opera inspired by a literary work but small steps must be taken before that time comes.
I very much enjoyed the film and thought it well done. Mr. Whishaw and Ms. Cornish's performances were quite good and affecting. I was especially fond of the music score: it wasn't a clichéd maudlin sort with soaring violins and lush harmonies - it was intimate and scaled-down as it should be for the subject of Keats and Fanny's relationship.
I'm glad that you liked my reference to the rain and peonies as well as the Ode. Rainy days are my favorite.
One thing I really love is sitting under the duvet in bed reading, with candlelight, Chopin on and the rain pattering on the windows.
Pjerrot wrote:One thing I really love is sitting under the duvet in bed reading, with candlelight, Chopin on and the rain pattering on the windows.
That sounds lovely. One thing I dreamed of when I was very young was of a window seat in a former home of my family. Upon inquiry, I found that no such seat existed! I was certain that it did - it seems my imagination was constructing fully-detailed worlds before I had even entered school years.
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