Shocking...

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Shocking...

Postby BrokenLyre » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:25 am

Ok friends,I am in shock. Stll in shock.

My daughter called me a few days ago to tell me that she is really enjoying college. She tells me that she is taking a course on British Literature, which pleased me to no end (she's a nursing student). Then she tells me that the professor covered the"'Romantic Period" but NEVER MENTIONED JOHN KEATS!!! NOT even ONCE!

Give me a break!! I just lost it! My daughter, Brooke, couldn't believe it either.

What is the world coming to???? Good grief!!!

I should call the professor and explain some things :)

Just needed to VENT a little here. I know you would understand my shock.Maybe I need to up my meds....
"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: Shocking...

Postby Saturn » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:55 pm

I can't quite understand that at all, unless it only covered the early Romantics like Coleridge, Southey Wordsworth's work up to the early 1800s which is the early Romantic period, but if it did cover the entire 1770s-1830s period without mentioning Keats I can't believe that.
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Re: Shocking...

Postby Raphael » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:08 am

Madness- John is the best Romantic poet ever!!!!
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: Shocking...

Postby Ennis » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:56 pm

Raphael wrote:Madness- John is the best Romantic poet ever!!!!


He's the best poet ever. . . !
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: Shocking...

Postby Raphael » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:16 pm

Ennis wrote:
Raphael wrote:Madness- John is the best Romantic poet ever!!!!


He's the best poet ever. . . !


I think so too- his poems touch me in a way no other's does.
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: Shocking...

Postby Ennis » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:38 pm

Saturn wrote:I can't quite understand that at all, unless it only covered the early Romantics like Coleridge, Southey Wordsworth's work up to the early 1800s which is the early Romantic period, but if it did cover the entire 1770s-1830s period without mentioning Keats I can't believe that.


Brokenlyre -

I have to agree with Saturn here. It's bound to be a semester course, so it certainly should deal with both the first and second generation Romantic poets, concentrating on the major poets from each generation. That professor had more than enough time to "teach" Keats to his class. I majored in British lit, with a concentration in the second generation Romantics, but before I declared my major, I took a major Romantics course, and we certainly covered Keats!! As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly (I'm "speaking" of the eary 70s!!), we studied mostly Wordsworth and Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Dr. Wade, the head of the English department, taught the course, and Keats must have been one of his favourite poets because we spent quite a bit of time on Keats's poetry and how his life influenced his psyche and his poetry.
It's probably the same way with your daughter's professor, just the other way around; however, I can't imagine anyone, especially a university professor, disliking Keats's poetry so much that he didn't at least touch upon the great Odes during the class - he must be related to Lockhart!! :lol:
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: Shocking...

Postby BrokenLyre » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:52 pm

Thanks to all for understanding my shock.
After checking, the professor covered Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelly, Lamb, Byron, and a few others. But no Keats.
I asked my daughter to speak to the professor about it. Maybe he has something against Keats? Or maybe he was taking a more 'political track' and didn't think Keats was worth mentioning?

This is too much. I will find out and when I do - you all will be the first to know.

My curiosity and incredulity compel me to find out.
"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: Shocking...

Postby Raphael » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:54 pm

I wouldn't say any of the other romatic poets were that political either - with the exception of Shelley. It's very odd our John was excluded. Perhaps he just has bad taste and isn't into John's work.
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: Shocking...

Postby Saturn » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:18 pm

They were all actively involved in politics, ironically, except Keats. We know he had semi-liberal views and was outspoken about Hunt's imprisonment, anti-church establishment and the Prince regent etc, but Keats was never involved seriously in any way with politics beyond reading The Examiner, forming his own views and debating them with his friends.

Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge were all at different times, and in different ways much more seriously involved in politics of course than Keats ever was.

I still can't get my head around why Keats would be left out, politics can't be the reason. :roll:
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Re: Shocking...

Postby Raphael » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:35 pm

They were all actively involved in politics, ironically, except Keats. We know he had semi-liberal views and was outspoken about Hunt's imprisonment, anti-church establishment and the Prince regent etc, but Keats was never involved seriously in any way with politics beyond reading The Examiner, forming his own views and debating them with his friends.


I know about our John's liberal views of course (and yes he wasn't actively political) but didn't know that the other poets were except Shelley and maybe Byron in one way with his Greek trip and involvement in the Greek cause.


I still can't get my head around why Keats would be left out, politics can't be the reason. :roll:


Maybe that professor just hasn't read enough of his poems and don't know diddly about them to be able to include them in his course!
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.

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Re: Shocking...

Postby BrokenLyre » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:23 am

OK, the verdict is in..... My daughter spoke to her college Literature professor and inquired as to why she didn't include John Keats in her British Literature class when they covered the Romantics.

Her answer: "There is only so much time and we can't cover everybody." She also stated that her emphasis is more political and that other romantic poets lend themselves to political issues.

So Brooke was incredulous at the professor's dullness. Unbelievable. The professor obviously doesn't understand Keats. At all.

But my daughter does. That's what matters to me. :)
Last edited by BrokenLyre on Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shocking...

Postby Cybele » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:29 am

Good heavens!
I took mostly survey English Lit classes in college and Keats (and the other Romantics, too, of course!) was most certainly covered. In fact, my first encounter with our Mr. Keats was -- believe it or not – in grade school.
In the dreadful way that poetry was taught back then, we were required to memorize “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and then engage in endless & tedious discussions about “what the poet really meant.” (It will surprise none of you to learn that we Catholic school girls didn't have to discuss the “still unravished bride” bit. LOL!)

This afternoon, one of my daughters' friends stopped by. He teaches English Lit.*with an emphasis on the Romantics* at a local community college. My guess would be that the neglect of Keats is not all that common.

But on the other hand, my well-read, intelligent (Canadian) son-in-law was only vaguely aware of the existence of our guy until I had a “geek-out” in front of a giant poster in a movie theater in Winnipeg publicizing“Bright Star” prior to the North American release of the movie.

Someone here on the forum not too long ago (was it Ennis?) posted that folks in Hampstead were mostly unaware of the existence/location of the Keats House—

So here's a serious question: Could the fact that British Lit is so rich have lead to the neglect of even mentioning one of the second generation Romantics?
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Re: Shocking...

Postby Ennis » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:46 pm

Cybele wrote:Good heavens!
I took mostly survey English Lit classes in college and Keats (and the other Romantics, too, of course!) was most certainly covered. In fact, my first encounter with our Mr. Keats was -- believe it or not – in grade school.
In the dreadful way that poetry was taught back then, we were required to memorize “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and then engage in endless & tedious discussions about “what the poet really meant.” (It will surprise none of you to learn that we Catholic school girls didn't have to discuss the “still unravished bride” bit. LOL!)

This afternoon, one of my daughters' friends stopped by. He teaches English Lit.*with an emphasis on the Romantics* at a local community college. My guess would be that the neglect of Keats is not all that common.

But on the other hand, my well-read, intelligent (Canadian) son-in-law was only vaguely aware of the existence of our guy until I had a “geek-out” in front of a giant poster in a movie theater in Winnipeg publicizing“Bright Star” prior to the North American release of the movie.

Someone here on the forum not too long ago (was it Ennis?) posted that folks in Hampstead were mostly unaware of the existence/location of the Keats House—

So here's a serious question: Could the fact that British Lit is so rich have lead to the neglect of even mentioning one of the second generation Romantics?



Yes, Cybele, that was me -- about the folks in Hampstead clueless about the location of the Keats's House. About ten folks were asked, and believe it or not there were a few whose first comment after being asked about the house was "Whose house?"
I don't know if it's "a sign of the times" or not, but there were some who were quick to point out that they knew where Freud's house was -- but not Keats's! I'm sure if he understood all that THAT implies, Keats would get a "kick" out of that (subliminal message!)!

I am concerned that Brooke's (?) professor blew her off with such a transparent excuse as the one she was given. Oh, how I wish an educated person (and one whose obvious interest is in literature -- possibly even British literature) would excuse, to me, his/her slight of the greatest Romantic poet with such a reason as the one given . . . .

I can not believe that a course on the Romantic poets would exclude Keats.
I was a British literature major in college (and have a BA in the subject), and I can remember Keats being discussed quite seriously in my Victorian lit course -- as a significant influence on Victorian writers, especially Tennyson. One of the finest thrills I can remember from my college experiences was when I took the courses in the Major Romantics and the Victorian Writers back-to-back. To go from Keats (he was the last of the Romantics studied that semester) to his influence on the Victorians was so cool. It was also nice that the same professor taught both courses. It was evident from his lectures that he had a great deal of enthusiasm and respect for Keats's work (poetry and prose), as well as for his rapid development as a poet.
I suppose it's all up to the professor . . .
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: Shocking...

Postby Cybele » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:11 am

I took a survey class in Victorian era Brit Lit. in college at the same time I took an art history class (I was an art major) in late 19th and early 20th century art. I loved the way the PRB folks were covered in both classes.

*However* (and this will surely make Raphael bristle!) the art history prof complained that D.G. Rossetti was a better poet than a painter and the English lit. prof. thought he was being extremely witty by declaring that Rossetti was a better painter than poet.

Just the same, the discussion -- however negative -- opened my eyes to the way the arts influence each other. This was something I hadn't seriously considered before.
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Re: Shocking...

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:04 am

Thanks Ennis and Cybele for responding. You have restored my perspective and my sanity!!

Yes, Brooke's professor just doesn't "get Keats" as she favors Byron and Wordsworth. What a shame. But I appreciate both of your comments so much - and so does Brooke who is literally reading this over my shoulder. She passes on her deep appreciation to All of You who like Keats as she does. Thanks for caring about this (for her sake).

She is my Keats companion!! She quotes Keats' poems while showering and even walking to classes to pass the 10 minutes in the cold.

Thanks again!
Last edited by BrokenLyre on Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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