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Re: Lecture on Keats - Accomplished!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:45 am
by Ennis
BrokenLyre wrote:Friends,

This past Friday I did my 2 1/2 hour lecture on Keats for 13 adults, who showed an interest in attending this event. We had the house decked out in 1819 style (with a sign that read "Wentworth Place, 1819" on the way in) complete with teaspoons from 1819, and English China. Had many of the foods Keats mentioned in his poems/letters - dates, apples, peaches, plums, nuts, celery, biscuits, scones, English jams, English tea, raw cow milk, coffee, 2 English main dishes, English sandwiches, 1 Italian dish (to honor his stay in Rome), English desserts and of course Claret. Wow. Plus pictures of Keats's life on computer/TV screen, and various books about Keats lying around. All tables were covered with place settings (4 at a table) with flowers and candles and music.

After dinner, I worked my way through Keats' life, highlighting "City Pent", part of "Sleep and Poetry," "Chapman's Homer", part of "Song of Indian Maid, "When I Have Fears", 2 stanzas from "St. Agnes Eve", Fanny Brawne, "Nightingale" (1st Stanza), and "To Autumn." There was a 15 minute break as well. Heavy stuff I must say. It went as well as I could make it. I think they were all somewhat shocked by the power, beauty and tragedy of his life. I used transparencies (old school) with a projector to show the poems and I also gave them copies to follow along. That way I could write on the transparencies so they could see the points I was making (form, structure, etc..).

Doing this allowed me the time to trace the arc of his life along the lines of his Poetic Ambition and Love. With respect to these twin concepts, you can really get a sense of the movement and direction of his poems. Even though I know the Keats story, it still surprised me while I was explaining the arc of his life to people and showing the connections between his early poems and his later work. It struck me deeply doing it all in so short a time. Yes, it was hard to hold back the tears, as I love my friend so much, and could not help but bare my soul. But they now know what is close to my heart. One of my goals was that I did not want to sin against Keats' native skies.... I think I honored our friend with my best effort. The preparation was so time consuming (5 weeks) that I couldn't do it again. Thanks for letting me share this with you - and YES - I mentioned this forum and our friends here in this Keats Circle.

I hope you get the chance to do this or something similar for your own family & friends.



Oh, my gosh, how wonderful it all sounds!! How I wish I could have been there! I certainly would never want to send out any alarm bells, especially for such a magnificent thing you have accomplished to "spread the word" of Keats, but I was reading up on consumption/tuberculosis just today, and I found out that one way it was contracted was from consuming raw (unpasteurized??) milk. Be careful. . . .

Re: Lecture on Keats

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:07 pm
by Raphael
Wow Broken Lyre- your evening sounds quite simply the best evening one could wish for! How I wish I could have been there.Sorry not to reply sooner- been moving to a little house- it is not a period one but from the 1980's but I am making it look like a c.19th cottage inside as much as I can! My Keats things are already set up in the living room.

Re: Lecture on Keats

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:31 pm
by Cath
Sounds wonderful, BrokenLyre!! Truly "the best evening one could wish for"! I would love to participate in a Keats evening, but it wouldn't quite work in the virtual world :( .

Re: Lecture on Keats

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:50 am
by Malia
BrokenLyre wrote:Ok friends...The time has come.....

After many years of people asking me why I like John Keats, I decided to answer their questions in one evening: A formal lecture given by me on June 1st, 2012. It will be a 2 1/2 hour lecture over a 3 hour period. It will be called, "A Romantic Evening With John Keats." I have invited 18 guests, and we'll have English tea, English foods that Keats mentioned in his letters and poems, full English tableware (with spoons from 1819) claret, flowers, pictures, music, candles, etc.... all things Keatsian. The atmosphere is important of course. We'll set up the room according to the 19th century London tea-room layout (as I can best determine).

I could use your help. Here are my questions:
- What poem or idea would you want to communicate to those coming (all are curious, but none know literature, poetry or Keats....). A novice group of adults (nobody under 40 here).
- If you could tell them 1 thing that they should know about his poems, what would that be?
- What other elements can I add to the English ambiance? (I'm going for the 1819 look)
- What other suggestions can you give that might make the evening most memorable?


Thanks for helping with this wonderful event.


Obviously I'm months too late in my response to this but I just had to reply as to what a fabulous idea it is! And I wanted to know how it worked out for you! If you ever plan to do an event with food from the period again, I have a book (Tea with Jane Austen) filled with foods that Keats might have himself enjoyed--such as rout cakes (basically rose or caraway seed flavored shortbread cookies served at dancing parties i.e. "routs").

Re: Lecture on Keats

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:10 pm
by Raphael
Sounds good Malia! I also noticed that Brtoken Lyre forgot radishes-John liked those as well. Incidentally there is a programme called supersizers on you tube that shows two volunteers eating meals from various periods of English history- the Regency is one of them.
The Restoration one was most disgusting...