200th Annniversary Musings

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200th Annniversary Musings

Postby BrokenLyre » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:19 am

It occurred to me tonight that my adult life will encompass the ENTIRE life of John Keats. All the years he lived fit very comfortably within the span of my adult life. This idea struck me with such force - I feel stunned by how short his life really was. Furthermore, his poetic life was really only from about 1816 to 1820. Jack Stillinger once noted that Keats' entire career was only about 5 years long of which only 3 1/2 was really important. (No disrespect here, I can't exactly remember Stillinger's remarks, but you get the point. And he wasn't speaking pejoratively either).

If 3 1/2 years was the length of his "serious career" that is just amazingly short. But I truly feel it's brevity "on my pulses" as I realize that I will live (God willing) to see the years 2016 to 2021 and thus, experience those 3 1/2 years (just 200 years later). It seems so short now to me, in a way I never realized before. My anticipation of those years makes me aware that I am even now living through Keats's life (post 200 years) and it seems terribly short. Does this make sense to anybody?

It would be great if we (Keats Forum) collectively could keep a record of events that occurred in Keats' s life from 1795-1821 and celebrate each passing event as we live through them at each 200 year mark. We should be aware of these things as they happen. The years 2014 to 2021 will be especially important. I would like the opportunity to reflect on each wonderful moment of his life as we live through those same years. Maybe we could keep a log of his life (with dates) so we can mention them on this Forum? What do you think?
"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: 200th Annniversary Musings

Postby Ennis » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:49 pm

Great idea, Brokenlyre! I know you and I have already "spoken" about your trip to Rome someday, but what would be so cool would be if we all could meet in Hampstead at some appointed and agreeable time in the not-too-distant future. I, for one, would love to meet each and everyone of my fellow Keatsians face-to-face, have a picnic on the Heath, walk those paths (that "are more numerous than your eyelashes" [Keats to Brawne=Bright Star]), our own little version of a 21st century Keats Circle -- just to breathe the same air, touch the same steps and door jambs, tread the same paths -- all of us together. What a dream . . . .
But, anyway, I'll keep your suggestion in mind and try my best (I don't have a computer at home) to honour Keats per your suggestion.
"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: 200th Annniversary Musings

Postby Raphael » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:41 pm

Fabulous idea Broken Lyre! And Ennis, I too hope we will all meet up at Keats House. :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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