Examples of Negative Capability in Keats' Poetry

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Examples of Negative Capability in Keats' Poetry

Postby MysteriousGuy » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:47 pm

Okay, so I have this assignment where we take somebody's poetic argument, explain it with examples for 3 or 4 pages, and then spend 1 to 2 pages examining the strengths and weaknesses of his argument and if its claims are borne out in the general Body of Poetry. It's a pretty all-encompassing thing that will take a lot of thinking on my part.

Now, I basically understand negative capability and know the original quote on it, and its context, by heart. I was wondering if I could get help with a couple things:

Thing No. 1: Other quotes from his letters that relate to negative capability. He's got stuff on removing yourself and your judgments from the work, I think, and probably some other quotes, but I don't know where they are, and which ones are best.

Thing No. 2: Which poems, and more specifically, which lines best illustrate his own practice of this? Ode to a Grecian Urn seems like an obvious one to me, and I'm going to reread Ode to a Nightingale and La Belle, and I hear Autumn is good for that, too.

If you know anything that falls in those two categories, I would appreciate it greatly as a supplement to my own research. I figure that people who study/read Keats a lot are great sources for help in writing a paper exploring one of his core ideas.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Examples of Negative Capability in Keats' Poetry

Postby AsphodelElysium » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:20 pm

You may want to focus exclusively on Ode to a Nightingale. Plenty of scholarly research out there, too, on the connections between that ode and negative capability. Also, check out what Keats had to say about Shakespeare, as he was Keats's ideal of NC.
"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: Examples of Negative Capability in Keats' Poetry

Postby Chaska » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:01 pm

On a different tangent--I am teaching an informal literature class, focusing on philosophy and poetics. Week 3, I focus on Negative Capability and, I agree, Ode to a Nightingale best illustrates the theory. My problem, though, is that I am teaching the course in Spanish. Does anyone know any translations of Keats in Spanish online?? I'm also looking for translations of Rilke (the Eighth Elegy), W.C. Williams (Spring and All), Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, etc...Any thoughts on where to look are greatly appreciated (online or free options are preferred--I live in Cusco, Peru and buying whole books for 1 or 2 poems is outside my budget) THANK YOU!!
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Re: Examples of Negative Capability in Keats' Poetry

Postby Raphael » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:41 pm

I've never seen any- maybe your country will have books?
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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