If You Could Ask Keats One Question . . .

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

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If You Could Ask Keats One Question . . .

Postby Malia » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:36 pm

Well, here it is a Friday and I'm more than ready to start the weekend. Because of this, my mind has already started wandering and it has led me to this question: If you could ask Keats a question, what would it be? This could be a personal question or something strictly about his works, philosophies, etc. What question would you ask if you could talk to him for a few minutes in person? What do you think his answer would be?

The type of questions I'd be tempted to ask Keats would, I'm sure, result in his responding "no comment" again and again! :lol:
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Postby Saturn » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:26 pm

Interesting question Malia but do tell us what your question would be [keep it clean :wink: ].

I would ask him if he had known he could have saved his life and lived a long happy life with Fanny by not nursing Tom in his final illness would he have done it?

I think he would sincerely say no.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:40 pm

I'd ask him who is speaking the last lines of "Ode on a Grecian Urn." There's been so much debate about it, and what better way to resolve it (and get some insight into Keats's thought process along the way) than hear it from his own mouth.
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Postby Saturn » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:42 pm

Ah good choice - that would certainly put a lot of academics out of work :lol:
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Postby Malia » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:48 pm

Credo Buffa wrote:I'd ask him who is speaking the last lines of "Ode on a Grecian Urn." There's been so much debate about it, and what better way to resolve it (and get some insight into Keats's thought process along the way) than hear it from his own mouth.


Credo, what do you think his answer would be? :)
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Postby Credo Buffa » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:31 am

That's not a fair question. :P
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Postby AsphodelElysium » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:14 pm

Is it bad that I wouldn't really ask him a question? I think I would just want to tell him that he would be remembered more so than he ever thought. But I can't imagine he would believe me.
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Postby Saturn » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:26 pm

He would be thrilled I'm sure.
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Postby Malia » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:19 am

AsphodelElysium wrote:Is it bad that I wouldn't really ask him a question? I think I would just want to tell him that he would be remembered more so than he ever thought. But I can't imagine he would believe me.


OK, AsphodelElysium,your statement has induced me to reveal the extent of my "nerd-dom" when it comes to Keats. :lol: Sometimes, when I'm bored or doing mundane things like making the bed or cleaning the bathroom, I sometimes fantasize that I have the ability to go back in time (as a hologram of myself, or something) and visit Keats late one night sometime just before he travels to Italy or sometime during his journey to Italy and tell him that everything will be OK, his legacy is secure. I'd give him whatever proof he'd need of that--i.e. show him copies of his poems in print and what-have-you. I'd come, I say, in the form of a "hologram" so that I would be more of a dream image and he'd be less likely to call one of his friends in to boot me out of the house :lol:

I don't think he'd be happy to hear this from a woman (after all, didn't he write for men? ;) ) and to hear this from an *American* woman, to boot (he wasn't too hot on Americans, either) but I think he'd trust his dreams--even if they consisted of a strange American woman wearing trousers toting around copies of his works circa 2000-something ;)
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Postby Saturn » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:31 am

Ha I'm sure he wouldn't be that offended, sure did not George and Georgiana emigrate to America, did he not fantasise about their sun becoming a poet, the first great American poet?
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Postby Credo Buffa » Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:43 am

Malia wrote:Sometimes, when I'm bored or doing mundane things like making the bed or cleaning the bathroom, I sometimes fantasize that I have the ability to go back in time (as a hologram of myself, or something) and visit Keats late one night sometime just before he travels to Italy or sometime during his journey to Italy and tell him that everything will be OK, his legacy is secure. I'd give him whatever proof he'd need of that--i.e. show him copies of his poems in print and what-have-you. I'd come, I say, in the form of a "hologram" so that I would be more of a dream image and he'd be less likely to call one of his friends in to boot me out of the house :lol:

Silly Malia. . . Don't you know that you're not allowed to interfere with the life of any living thing when you go back in time without affecting the whole course of history? http://www.cs.ru.nl/~freek/books/thunder.sat
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Postby AsphodelElysium » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:24 am

Malia, if you were here right now, I'd totally give you a high-five. :D I do something very similar, except I write it all down. I have a short story, potentially could be lengthened to a novella or novel, where Keats is visited from the future. I also write him letters in a notebook devoted specifically for the purpose. I'm glad you shared I feel less and less like I'm a bit unhinged. :wink:
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Postby Malia » Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:15 am

AsphodelElysium wrote:Malia, if you were here right now, I'd totally give you a high-five. :D I do something very similar, except I write it all down. I have a short story, potentially could be lengthened to a novella or novel, where Keats is visited from the future. I also write him letters in a notebook devoted specifically for the purpose. I'm glad you shared I feel less and less like I'm a bit unhinged. :wink:


That is so cool! Now you have to post them--I'm absolutely dying of curiosity! :)
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Postby Malia » Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:22 am

Credo Buffa wrote:Silly Malia. . . Don't you know that you're not allowed to interfere with the life of any living thing when you go back in time without affecting the whole course of history? http://www.cs.ru.nl/~freek/books/thunder.sat


Yes, yes, I know. And I must admit when I "visit" Keats in my musings, I cannot help but wonder how the world would change if I were able to step in. That's why I try to step in toward the very *end* of his life--when all the poems have already been written and he is on his way (or nearly on his way) to Italy. I think, maybe then, though I can't save him, I can offer him some *hope* which wouldn't change history too much, right? :lol:

It is funny, when you think about going back in time and trying to help or save someone--we can only see a tiny part of the system at work. We really have no clue how the world would change if we could, say, save a famous person's life. Keats, for example. If someone were able to cure his TB (or at least hand him a bottle of Lysol when he was nursing Tom!), imagine how different the world would be. . .at least how different literature would be. And Fanny Brawne might never have had the children she did--whole lineages would never have existed--entire families for generations! And of course all of those people touch other people's lives. . .

I think, for example, if I were able to save Brian Piccolo from dying of cancer somehow, millions of guys would never have had the chance to blubber like babies and let their "sensitive side" show through a viewing of Brian's Song--as the movie would never have been made. I mean, imagine it! :lol:
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Postby dks » Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:48 pm

Great conversation, guys...

If I could ask Keats something? Pfft. I wouldn't be able to speak. I'd just stare. :lol:
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