Random Keats Sightings

Events that are related to Keats, lectures, new publications. Also your Photos of Keats-related locations, events etc.

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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:34 pm

Your salt spoon sounds intriguing, BrokenLyre. One thing I love about antiques is that you can touch something that was touched by someone from long ago and, in a way, bridge time through the object you both shared. To think that the spoon was around in Keats's day and was probably used by someone from the same class and who lived in the same geographical area as he did makes it extra special. This salt spoon reminds me of a reference to salt Keats once made in a letter; if I remember correctly, he was talking about how predictable he is in some things--giving the example of how he ate radishes; always dipping the head of a radish into salt before eating it. I love little details of everyday life and mannerisms like that. It's one thing to focus on the details, structure, and symbolic heft of his poetry but knowing something so trivial as how he ate his radishes is, to me, just as interesting. I guess it is a kind of antiquity in the way your spoon is; something simple from everyday life that has somehow traversed time and space for us to enjoy and connect with today.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby AsphodelElysium » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:42 am

I'm not sure if this counts as an actual Keats sighting, but I had a Keats dream last night. I dreamt I was there when he died, or rather, when he was close to dying. His skin was gray, almost blue, so it wasn't going to be long. He complained he couldn't see clearly, that his eyes hurt. The dream was so real that I could smell sweat and a faint odor of rot in the room itself. I woke up feeling profoundly sad and its followed me around all day. Just thought I'd share. Does anyone else have dreams about our favorite poet? I don't believe I've had one for several years. Do we have a Keats dreams thread?
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:29 pm

Wow, powerful dream, AE! I had Keats-near-death dream once, as well. Although in my case, I didn't get the up-close and personal view you did. I dreamed that I was in Rome and I met Joseph Severn (very upbeat and friendly bloke) and he asked me if I wanted to meet Keats. Of course I said yes. We made it to a largish foyer-type room in the building where Keats supposedly lay dying and Severn had me wait for a second--he had to chat with someone before ushering me into Keats's room, which was down at the end of the hall. I remember peering down the hall and resting my eyes on the closed door to his room thinking "I'm about to meet Keats!" but at the same time, I felt a powerful sense of empathy that spoke to me saying "it would be best to leave him alone--I'm sure he doesn't want to see a stranger right now; it would be too painful for him". I felt kind of like a voyeur . . . as if my interest in seeing Keats would inflict pain on him, and I didn't want that. And so when Severn came back I let him know that I didn't want to see Keats after all.

I've had other Keats-related dreams over the years, but nothing as vivid as that one.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:29 pm

Had an extremely random Keats "sighting" last night while watching the Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War. In Episode 6, one of the historians who commentates throughout the series was talking about one of the South's great generals, Nathan Bedford Forest. He said: "Some said he [Forest] was born to be a soldier the way John Keats was born to be a poet." My ears certainly perked up at that statement. What a strange place to hear a Keats comparison! (Though not as strange as when I found Keats being discussed in a pamphlet about why a person should go to church. How ironic is that?)
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Saturn » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:00 pm

lol what did the pamphlet say?
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:11 pm

Saturn, the pamphlet is entitled "Must Christians Go to Church?" The writer states that going to church means giving something (not necessarily "getting something out" of it). He says in part:

"Worship is the occasion for us to give something, not to get something . . . Think of how incongruous that would be in the comparable experience of a young man who worships the girl with whom he has fallen in love. Does he ask at all what he is getting out of it? I hope not. When John Keats first met Fanny Brawne he wrote this in one of his first letters to her, and although it is a rhetoric bearing the marks of the early Victorian age, it is the perennial language of love--'I know not how to express my devotion to so fair a form. I want a brighter word than bright and a fairer word than fair.' He wants to offer her language better than his best, to offer her his life, his energy, his devotion. If he begins to ask what he gets out of it, the relationship has been undermined fatally and has collapsed."

Make of that what you will :) I swear, I see Keats in the *oddest* places!
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Saturn » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:58 pm

You are the ace Keats spotter indeed Miss Malia :D
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby dks » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:19 am

Malia wrote:Had an extremely random Keats "sighting" last night while watching the Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War. In Episode 6, one of the historians who commentates throughout the series was talking about one of the South's great generals, Nathan Bedford Forest. He said: "Some said he [Forest] was born to be a soldier the way John Keats was born to be a poet." My ears certainly perked up at that statement. What a strange place to hear a Keats comparison! (Though not as strange as when I found Keats being discussed in a pamphlet about why a person should go to church. How ironic is that?)


Ah, that is brilliant!! Here, here--I agree with Stephen--you are indeed the "ace Keats spotter" Miss Malia!
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Credo Buffa » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:17 pm

My company is doing a play right now, The Romance of Magno Rubio by Lonnie Carter, about a band of Filipino immigrants in California, one of whom is conducting a rather naive romance by mail with a woman on the other side of the country whom he met through a lonely hearts ad in a magazine. At the beginning of the play, he and the others in his bunkhouse get into an argument about the true nature of romance, considering that this woman is a blonde American woman who describes herself as 6 feet tall and 195 pounds who will crush little Magno alive.

Magno, in an effort to defend himself, asks one of the other characters, Nick, who has studied English language literature in college, if "size has anything to do with love." Nick replies by quoting the last quatrian and couplet of Keats' "When I have fears" sonnet as the answer.

Not only is it lovely to hear Keats' words used on the stage, but it was such a perfect choice in more ways than just the language since Keats himself was so concerned with how his short stature would affect his relationships with women.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:31 pm

I had a random Keats sighting (well, as I think on it, probably not *that* random!) in my dream last night :) Strangely enough, I am positive this dream was influenced both by Saturn's new pics of his visit to the House and of, well. . .House, himself! LOL (I watched the season premiere last night.) So in this dream, I was visiting Keats House and the first thing I noticed was how run down the place was. Also, I was visiting the house at night which made it seem kind of creepy. I remember standing outside the front door and noticing there was a porch around the entrance. A few other tourists walked up the stairs to the front door and I kept warning them that the stairs were not stable--the part of the porch right in front of the door sagged as people stepped on the wooden planks. I walked inside the front door and the place was kind of dirty--wallpaper was water-stained and peeling. It was poorly lit. I remember thinking, "This is what they did with the renovation?"

I made my way to what was one of the sitting rooms and saw a few people who worked at the house; one was a short, middle-aged man with a dour expression who I learned was the man who cared for the animals. I was surprised to hear that there were animals at Keats House and I asked the man if they had a big menagerie. I supposed they had a few horses and cows, maybe some chickens. . .I did wonder if Keats House was zoned for barnyard creatures. The animal-keeper looked kind of sad and I was told by someone else in the room that he needed looking after--so he wouldn't get drunk. Would I watch over him and keep him out of trouble? (I felt a little like House's friend Wilson there for a minute. . .)

I knew the house would close soon so I whipped my way through all the exhibits. I thought, as I walked down the darkened hallways, that I saw a ghost once or twice. Keats? Fanny Brawne? But for the most part the place seemed bereft of spirits--or of any kind of residual energy from Keats's day. I left quickly and as I was getting in my car realized I'd missed viewing the bedrooms and gift shop and so I ran back in and tried to find the bedrooms. . .but I couldn't seem to find them. I found one room with an unmade bed, but it didn't seem to be part of the exhibit. I went to the gift shop and saw some of the items that were in the picture of the items that Saturn purchased and I remember thinking to myself, "Hey, Saturn has this poster!" LOL

OK, before I give the impression that I am totally obsessed (oops, too late) I'll quit here. I just thought it was a strange and interesting dream.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Saturn » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:52 pm

Lol, I can't say I've ever had a Keats dream. You're not obsessed Malia, just mildly over enthusiastic :mrgreen:
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby AsphodelElysium » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:56 pm

Interesting dream, Malia. Actually, the dilapidated house probably means something, in general, not necessarily specifically about Keats, but I don't have my book on me to look. *Grr*

I'm not sure if I mentioned this sighting before or not, so I will again. Philip Pullman makes several references to Keats in his Dark Materials trilogy. I just came across another one in The Subtle Knife referring to negative capability.
"Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But, when I am consumed in the fire,
Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire."
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby wallflower » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:55 pm

well this isnt exactly a sighting but ill post it anyways.. i was told by my professor, to read some poems by yeats. so i went to library but i couldnt help reading keats instead :p when i managed to tear myself away i started reading Ego Dominus Tuus by Yeats and i found this:

Hic. And yet
No one denies to Keats love of the world;
Remember his deliberate happiness.

Ille. His art is happy but who knows his mind?
I see a schoolboy when I think of him, 60
With face and nose pressed to a sweet-shop window,
For certainly he sank into his grave
His senses and his heart unsatisfied,
And made—being poor, ailing and ignorant,
Shut out from all the luxury of the world, 65
The coarse-bred son of a livery stablekeeper—
Luxuriant song.

... and i went back to keats - lol :D
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby BrokenLyre » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:48 am

I have seen this Yeats poem somewhere before a while back - but I forgot it. Thanks for giving the reference, Wallflower.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Aquarius » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:29 pm

I was on the Criterion website reading an essay by David Atkinson about the film, Wings of Desire (If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it), and being a Keatsian, I noticed this reference to Keats:

"Still, it’s not a pedagogical work but a poetic one, filthy with Keats’s “negative capability.” The film’s revelation of a heaven and earth infrastructure does not absolve mysteries but compounds them. Nevertheless, despite this spirituality, the film’s mysteries turn out to be largely cinematic."

I find it perplexing why the writer describes the film "filthy with Keats's negative capability", for the film is a romantic vision of angels living on earth among humans, and the use of the word "filthy" seems wrong.

Wings of Desire is one of my favorite film and does have a connection with poetry, although not with Keats' poetry. Wim Wenders, the director said that it was inspired by Rilke's Duino Elegies.
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