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 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:21 pm

I don't know how random a sighting this is, considering I found it after doing a Keats search on the BBC, but I thought you all might like to hear this interview with Keats scholars who discuss Keats's relationship with Fanny Brawne in the light of a garden play that was put on this Summer at Keats House. The announcer gets a few of her facts a bit wrong, but the interview is very good :) The guy who voices Keats's poems and letters in this piece uses a heckuva lot more emotion than Whishaw does in the movie. . .though, I begin to think he goes too far in the *other* direction.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/ ... _thu.shtml
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby BrokenLyre » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:49 am

Thanks Malia for the link. I heard the interview and enjoyed it - but the man who read Keats' letters and poems seemed to overplay the emotions. It seemed too forced. But I enjoyed hearing the interview.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Saturn » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:44 pm

I have a copy of that play Keats In Hampstead, it's available to buy at Keats House for anyone who's going there.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:29 pm

The Writer's Almanac is celebrating Valentine's Day all this week. And with what love affair should they begin? Of course, that of Keats and Fanny Brawne! :)

Here is a link to the audiofile for this segment, which contains a reading from one of Keats's love letters and another poem from a modern poet.
http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/w ... 0100208_64

From the Writer's Almanac: February 8, 2010

Valentine's Day is coming up on Sunday, and we're celebrating all week with love letters from the literary world.

Poet John Keats lived to be just 25 years old, but in that time he wrote some of the most exquisite love letters in the English language. The letters were to Fanny Brawne to whom he became engaged.

He was 23 years old, recently back from a walking tour of Scotland, England, and Ireland (during which time he'd probably caught the tuberculosis that would soon kill him), and had moved back to a grassy area of London, where he met and fell in love with Fanny Brawne. During this time, he composed a number of his great poems, including Ode to a Nightingale. And one Wednesday in the autumn, he wrote this letter, considered by many the most beautiful in the English language:

My dearest Girl,
This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time. Upon my soul I can think of nothing else. The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you against the unpromising morning of my Life. My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again — my Life seems to stop there — I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving — I should exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you. My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love ... I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder'd at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyr'd for my religion — love is my religion — I could die for that. I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet. You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist; and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavored often "to reason against the reasons of my Love." I can do that no more — the pain would be too great. My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you.

Yours for ever
John Keats

The following spring, Keats wrote: "My dear Girl, I love you ever and ever and without reserve. The more I have known you the more I have lov'd. ... You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass'd my window home yesterday, I was filled with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time."

Keats and Brawne became engaged. He wanted to earn some money for them before they got married. But then he began coughing up blood. When he saw it, he said: "I know the color of that blood; it is arterial blood. I cannot be deceived in that color. That drop of blood is my death warrant. I must die." He wrote to tell her that she was free to break off their engagement since he would likely not survive. But she would not, and he was hugely relieved. But he died before they married.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Raphael » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:52 pm

And one Wednesday in the autumn, he wrote this letter, considered by many the most beautiful in the English language:

My dearest Girl,
This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time. Upon my soul I can think of nothing else. The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you against the unpromising morning of my Life. My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again — my Life seems to stop there — I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving — I should exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you. My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love ... I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder'd at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyr'd for my religion — love is my religion — I could die for that. I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet. You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist; and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavored often "to reason against the reasons of my Love." I can do that no more — the pain would be too great. My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you.

Yours for ever
John Keats


I agree - it is! When I first read this letter about three months ago now I almost stopped breathing myself! So magical and beautiful are his words.
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.

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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby wallflower » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:02 am

Dont know if this counts as a sighting as such:

You want to talk of Keats or Milton
She only wants to talk of love


and

Art and music will thrive without you
Somehow Keats will survive without you


Both from My Fair Lady :p
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Credo Buffa » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:08 pm

Absolutely counts, wallflower! I'm surprised I never noticed those before.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Raphael » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:30 pm

I didn't know they were in MFL- but don't agree with what is said lol
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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Jupiter » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:29 pm

wallflower wrote:Dont know if this counts as a sighting as such:

You want to talk of Keats or Milton
She only wants to talk of love


and

Art and music will thrive without you
Somehow Keats will survive without you


Both from My Fair Lady :p


I do remember hearing those lines in the film! Nevertheless, I'm with Raphael in disagreeing with the message they convey (ah! the feminist in me :lol: ). In fact, I only disagree with the first one, because the second one was Eliza's response to Higgins before she left him, from what I can remember :P




One Keats reference that I especially dote upon is his being mentioned (alongside Yeats and Wilde) in the song Cemetry Gates by one of my favourite bands of all times, The Smiths, which you can listen to here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mPO0VYtD3w

Interestingly, one of the pictures in the slideshow depicts Morrissey (the band's singer/lyricist) pensively leaning upon Keats's gravestone.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:14 pm

Another random--well, sort of random,--Keats sighting. I'm taking an Old Testament course at my University and, while reading about the origins of the Book of Ruth, who should show up but our poet! Here's the sentence:

Whatever its origins and purpose, the tale of Ruth "amid the alien corn" (Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale") is a masterpiece of Israelite narrative.

Obviously, Keats thought so, too; and so the Book of Ruth becomes part of *another* masterpiece of literature! ;)
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby BrokenLyre » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:13 am

Malia,

I always thought that the lines "that found a path through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, she stood in tears
amid the alien corn" was fabulous. Interesting that a comment about Keats would be found in a commentary on Ruth. Theologians don't necessarily know poetry.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Credo Buffa » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:25 pm

Malia wrote:Obviously, Keats thought so, too; and so the Book of Ruth becomes part of *another* masterpiece of literature! ;)


It's always heartening to see Biblical writing appreciated as literature. Keats himself was not a religious man, but we know that he respected religious writing nonetheless, as is evident in his allusion to Ruth. What a testament to his character. It is proof that you don't necessarily have to be a "believer" per se to recognize that the stories themselves have literary merit.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Malia » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:43 pm

Keats was an extremely widely read person and was, I think, open to reading and appreciating writing and ideas from many different areas. I really admire that about him. I remember looking at his bookshelves when I visited Keats House and was impressed by the many scientific books on every topic from astronomy to botany housed right alongside Shakespeare and Chaucer. Keats also read more popular literature, too--like Maria Edgeworth. I think his broad thinking and willingness to read from and be curious about many disciplines certainly deepened and enriched his ability as a writer and thinker.
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Raphael » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:17 pm

It seems reading was his favourite pastime- he owned about hundred books I read. I feel a kindred spirit with him on this - I have many books and adore reading. It's how I spend my evenings. My dear Grandad also had many many books and I used to love rummaging through them as a child. He had the complete volume of Shakespeare's plays- Victorian books in very good condition with illustrations. He let me borrow them.I was enthralled by them. When he passed away ( when I was 14) my dad sold the books despite me begging me to let me have them. :cry:
I would still have them today if he had let me have them- I never would have sold them.
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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Maureen » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:05 pm

It's sad your dad sold your grandad's books: books are my passion - I can never sell or get rid of them, even the trashy novels! My most prized possessions are the set of Arthur Mee encyclopaedias which were my dad's - we used to pore over them together and mum gave them to me after he died; my Shakespeare; set of Hardy novels and - you've guessed it - Keats' poems. I actually have two volumes of the complete poems - a lovely Victorian bound volume which I take down to look at and admire, and the standard Oxford edition, and 18th birthday present, which is the one I can take anywhere with me and read whenever I want.

Thanks for the reference to the Smiths song - I like Morrissey's music but missed that - will look on YouTube.
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