Sensation or Divination?

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

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Postby dks » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:32 pm

correction--I meant "he'd"

I'm misty... :oops:
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Despondence » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:17 am

dks wrote:I'm trying to wield a fancy souding thesis for a paper here...you know, due tomorrow? Give me a bone...

Oh, well you should be fine then, so long as you apply your negative capability, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason; you know, that fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery :D
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Postby dks » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:46 am

:lol: :lol:

Yes, Despondence. You're right! I should struggle against the "egotistical sublime" and simply let "Joy's grape burst against my palate fine"--besides, "I must create my own system, or be enlsaved by another!"

I'll tell the professor that and see what she says as she scrawls that "F" across her gradebook page... :lol:
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Postby Saturn » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:09 pm

Another great thread - I missed this completely as I've been on holiday the last few days :roll:
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Postby dks » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:13 pm

Saturn wrote:Another great thread - I missed this completely as I've been on holiday the last few days :roll:


Oh and we've had quite a romp with this one... :lol:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:28 am

Saturn wrote:Another great thread - I missed this completely as I've been on holiday the last few days :roll:

Ah, I was beginning to wonder where you'd gone.
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Postby dks » Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:38 pm

Ok, guys...I think I'm onto something very strange here...yes, I'm still finishing this paper--but in going back and digging deep I have found a few very poignant things with regard to "When I Have Fears."

Firstly, that poem was written in January of 1818--way before Keats even nursed a sore throat on the walking tour, certainly way before his first hemmorhage--indeed, almost two years before--and almost a year before Tom passed, in fact--Keats did not even really know Tom to be very ill until March/April of 1818...so why would he be writing a poem about "ceas[ing] to be?"

Secondly, in the sonnet he talks about "unreflecting love." Interesting type of affection, since one would naturally assume he means 'unrequited' love...he certainly hadn't met Fanny yet (as the Brawnes hadn't even rented out the other half at Wentworth until Keats was in Scotland with Brown--June of 1818) and he was not involved in any assignation with the mystery Vauxhall woman--where did he get this from? A vision maybe??

And the biographers skim right over this mysterious sonnet--it's literally a blip on Motion's and Ward's radar screens...no one seems to want to go there--they hop right to the odes and the rapid onslaught of sudden genius and inspiration in May-Sept of 1819...hmmmmm....hmmmmmmm.... :? :? :shock:
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Postby Despondence » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:15 pm

:) I certainly don't wish to shoot any more holes in your theory, but one thing is important to remember, if you wish to be as honest as possible in your research. And that is that, if you go looking for mystic connections wanting to find them, you are almost guaranteed to find some, whether they existed before or not. Just as your subject himself said, "whatever the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth, whether it existed before or not." You clearly see a lot of beauty in the divination theory!

If I were you, I probably wouldn't pitch this essay as a theory, since you're sort of inventing the evidence as you go along; but more like a fantastic speculation that makes for intriguing reading...in a parallel universe maybe this was how it happened :) But that's just the dull scientist in me talking, you shouldn't listen!
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Postby Malia » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:40 pm

I agree with Despondence. Though, that might be because I work with dull scientists every day :lol: I have always thought you have to be like a lawyer when writing a paper. You have a theory and you need to be able to point to your evidence in order to prove your case. The "tighter" your evidence, the better the case. It's reeally hard to prove that Keats had a special "sixth" sense.

I mean, I would say that just because he wrote the poem early in 1818--before his or his brother's illness really showed itself to be fatal--doesn't *prove* that he had a sixth sense or could forsee his own death.

I'd counter your argument by saying that Keats, himself, said that he always tended to "bode ill like the raven"--ever since he was a kid. So, in this poem, he could just be (in part) "boding ill".

I agree that your topic is, like Despondence said, a "fantastic speculation" and really interesting! But I don't know how you could write a well-founded essay on it. (I guess maybe I'm just confused--nothing new!--as, I don't have enough info. about how you're setting up and defending your thesis to understand how your essay will work.)
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Postby dks » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:27 pm

Alright folks...my resolve is melting from your scalding counter comments-- :lol:

I'm kidding. No, this paper is not supposed to be argument-based. I should've explained that earlier--sorry, in all my :shock: obsessive droning, I failed to impart that important information. This is for a literature class--the paper is merely supposed to be research based--whatever thesis we choose, is ours to assert, declare, contend, speculate, ponder, etc...

I'm just off in my own world of "discovery" of Keats--I could invent, proffer, assume, query, etc... all day long about him; I just love him, is all. :wink:
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Postby Malia » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:31 pm

Oh, OK! Now I understand :) Thanks for clearing it up--as I thought you had to write a *thesis* of sorts, you know--really "hard hitting" and defendable to the last. It's neat that you can write a paper with speculation running the show. That sounds like a lot of fun! Would you be able or willing to post it when it's finished/graded? I'm becoming ever more curious to see the finished product. :)
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Postby dks » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:37 pm

Malia wrote:Oh, OK! Now I understand :) Thanks for clearing it up--as I thought you had to write a *thesis* of sorts, you know--really "hard hitting" and defendable to the last. It's neat that you can write a paper with speculation running the show. That sounds like a lot of fun! Would you be able or willing to post it when it's finished/graded? I'm becoming ever more curious to see the finished product. :)


You bet! I'll not tell you guys the grade, if it's not too swell. I'm on page 6- it's supposed to be 12--I thought about posting what I have thus far...
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Postby Saturn » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:40 pm

dks wrote:You bet! I'll not tell you guys the grade, if it's not too swell. I'm on page 6- it's supposed to be 12--I thought about posting what I have thus far...


Now that you've mentioned it.... :wink:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:12 am

Oooo, I'm sure we'd all love to read your paper when you're done with it, dks!

I, for one, do believe somewhat in mystical/spiritual connections, but not necessarily in such clear foresight as you're describing with Keats's sonnet. Even if we can assume that he was operating on some more transcendental plane when writing this, it seems pretty outrageous to imagine that he was actually predicting his relationship with Fanny Brawne, or even his own death before writing all he knew he was capable of. If anything, I feel like this poem is a pretty general (though decidedly poignant) reflection of a young person considering the possibility of dying before his time. I think if anyone of his age were to consider the regrets accompanying the idea of dying within their next few years of life, most would cite, more or less, the same thing that Keats does in this poem: not being able to fulfill dreams, not having the opportunity to experience all life has to offer, not ever really experiencing love. I think that's why this poem is so resonant for so many people, because it rings so strongly of the familiar. . . things that, on some level, we're all afraid of. It's just so tragically ironic that these "fears" were largely for Keats in his early death.
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Postby dks » Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:37 am

Yes to it all. You're all right. But...I can't let it alone :lol: :? :shock:

It's just that...he was so young when he wrote it...

I'll post what I have so far...it'll be long, though--5+ pages or so...

Seriously, that is one of the things I love about this forum--so much erudition and insight--and about KEATS. It's perfect.
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