Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

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

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Re: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby keatsclose » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:43 pm

Think it's time I left. Thanks for the ride.
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Re: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 pm

Hi [banned member] - I certainly agree with you:

"We must hope Keats passed on knowing that his life held a place in the greater scheme of things.

And we sense that he did."

I believe that is true - though he could not imagine the influence he would have. But who really does?
How Jeremy Taylor's works functioned for Keats is interesting speculation for me. But there is a dark curtain over those events in Rome known only to Keats and Severn. Some things we'll never know.
"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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:59 pm

Many spiritual paths are given names, labels but although they might be seen to be created at a certain point in time true Wisdom is timeless, that's why John's poems will always last as his knowledge transcends time. His spirituality was given no name, I feel it had no name for it, from what I can gather from his letters. I think he was trying to avoid all that- he didn't like fixed views, dogma and rules- he was a bit of a rebel! :lol:
It's quite obvious he leaned towards paganism as he loved Apollo and even said he liked the ancient Greek religion.Many of his poems had pagan themes, and they were not just for decorative purposes- he understood the idea of the vision quest, the struggles of the gods, questions of the spirit and soul.I'm sorry if this offends any Christians here, but paganism ( or Nature traditions) is really misunderstood- it is not worhsipping evil forces or the devil- it is about deep, sacred soul connection with Nature, a deep love and honour for the Earth for what she gives us ( food, water, etc), and often bound up with eco living. John's poems and letters show his deep love for nature and how it moved his soul.
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby keatsclose » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:37 am

Very well said, Raphael.

BrokenLyre is passionate, and right about certain things - it is a bit daft to surmise about JK's taste in music, for instance (I plead guilty there!)-
but that thirteen-hour day may not have helped.

Thanks, everyone, goodbye - and maybe meet you again in a later incarnation.
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Re: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:11 pm

Very well said, Raphael.


I thank thee from the bottom of my heathen soul :lol:

BrokenLyre is passionate, and right about certain things - it is a bit daft to surmise about JK's taste in music, for instance (I plead guilty there!)-


Yeah, defintely in the case of c.21st music, though something tells me he would love the Medieval Baebes- very The Eve of St Agnes... :wink:
I've been reading his letters every night- the more one reads them the more one gets a sense of his personality and likes/dislikes.He does make me laugh at times!He is far more humerous than the biographers describe him to be.


but that thirteen-hour day may not have helped.


I have done them myself- and with teenagers ouch...


Thanks, everyone, goodbye - and maybe meet you again in a later incarnation.


Not me you won't- I'm not coming back again, done a lot of incarnations- had enough of washing and cooking! :lol:

p.s care to join me in Faeryland after you ..er...exit this existence? :D
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:48 pm

[banned member] wrote: have you heard the old actor Robert Donat's reading of "Ode to a Nightingale" - it's there, and I must admit I liked it. If you listen carefully, with the sound turned up, you can just hear him turn a page! I wonder whether Junkets would have liked it. Best wishes, Peter


I just had a listen. He enunciates it well, but I have to say that Ben Whishaw reads it so much better- his voice grows soft then louder, changes with each passing emotion of the poem - he sounds like he feels it. Have you heard him read it?
As to which of the two readings of his poem Junkets would like best....well I think Ben as he's closer to his age and puts the emotion into it far more.
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:11 pm

[banned member] wrote:Hello Raphael. I've just scoured youtube for the Ben Whishaw version and it was there too (as probably everything is these days :roll: ). One problem: I could barely hear it!! There was background music and even with the sound on full it was difficult to hear! What I could hear I liked though (if like is the right word in this particular case). There was a mournful (dare I say 'defeated'?) quality to his words that I think added to the sense of tragedy. I would like to see this film. I suppose I've got a little thing for the ancient actors though - you know, from the 40s etc, but I agree with you regarding Ben's voice: younger, yet somehow he sounded tired. Robert Donat was in the original version of "The Thirty-Nine Steps", a great little mystery I watched when I was a lad - they don't make 'em like that any more, unfortunately.

Best wishes, Peter


If you get the Bright Star CD he is reading it there and also La Belle Dame Sans Merci..which my goodness is so so moving! I like the slight tired tone ..it's almost like he's invoking John when he was exhausted by his life and illness.I think that might have been intentional on Ben's part.
Have you seen the film? If you have then I think you would include it in the words "they don't mkae them like that.."
It was brilliant.
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:16 pm

Hi Raphael. Beware John Ruskin! Referring to "Ode on Melancholy" in Modern Painters III, Ruskin writes "Keats drinks the beauty of nature violently; but has no more real sympathy with her than he has with a bottle of claret. His palate is fine; but he "bursts joy's grape against it," gets nothing but misery, and a bitter taste of dregs, out of his desperate draught." (p.343) There's a good study of Ruskin and Pater by Kenneth Daley called The Rescue of Romanticism: Walter Pater and John Ruskin - a little on Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites too.


I had missed this post by you Peter! Tut tut Mr Ruskin!!!!! :evil: What do you know compared to an amazing poet???
(aforementioned addressed directly to Mr ruskin not your dear self Peter).


I did know George Sanders had taken his own life, supposedly because he was bored. His brother, Tom Conway I think, was an actor also. He was the lead in two strange films from the 40s, "I walked with a Zombie" and "The Seventh Victim", real late night BBC 2 fare. Neither were actually as odd as they sound ("The Seventh Victim" was about Satanism, if I remember correctly, and, believe it or not, featured poetry in it somewhere!)


I didn't know he had a brother. I'd rather not watch those films- 'twould keep me awake at night for fear of nightmares!
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:38 pm

I'm rather fond of old B/W films with that pyschological feel- shadows and suggested menace- especially Hitchcock!
Anyway we are off topic!

I was looking in one of my herbal books yesterday and found in the index some references to tuberculosis, so I looked them up. I found some interesting coincidences…..

Fenugreek seeds are used in treating tuberculosis and prevents fevers. A tea made out of them is good for sore throats and fevers. The herb is sacred to Apollo (illnesses Junkets suffered from and his favourite deity was Apollo).

Solomon’s Seal is good for lung diseases, especially bleeding in the lung and given for tuberculosis. Letter from Junkets to John Taylor, April 1818:
“…I mean to follow Solomon’s directions of get Wisdom – get understanding.”

Letter to J H Reynolds, May 1818:

“Until we are sick, we understand not; in fine, as Byron says “Knowledge is Sorrow,” and I go on to say that “Sorrow is Wisdom,” and further, for aught we can know for certainty!”


Figwort – “the root is important for tuberculosis, long lasting low grade fevers and other wasting conditions, sore throats...” It is a herb of Venus.

Letter to Fanny Brawne, July 1819:

“I will imagine you Venus tonight and pray pray pray to your star like a Hethen.”

He also refers to Fanny as a “Physician” in the poem “To Fanny.”
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:31 pm

Was that in reference to old films?
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:03 pm

Yes, that makes sense! I was cold ( the library was freezing yesterday) hungry and fed up with the slow system so my mind was in a fuzz.
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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby BrokenLyre » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:34 pm

Actually, John's hair color was similar to my hair. I am a red-head now turned auburn/brown.
"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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:50 pm

I'm just messing with everybody in this funny thread about John's hair color. :)
"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: Articles on Negative Capability and John's spirituality

Postby Raphael » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:50 pm

Sshhhhh..Broken Lyre..don't encourage me, I'm getting a thing for his hair- it looks so gorgeous I want to touch it...
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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