Keats Speaks For Us All

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Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby BrokenLyre » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:53 am

I have been away from the site due to the death of one of my closest friends. Paul S. died in a skiing accident last Friday the 4th. I have known Paul for 30 full years. He was 54 and though older than me, was a great friend. Irreplaceable. He left a wife and 2 great daughters. My grief has been intense, the loss has been profound. Just overwhelming at times. Last January I lost Linda, a friend. This year I lost Paul - and I still can't express how utterly painful this grief is. I was reminded of Keats's words in the "Song of the Indian Maid"-

"Beneath my palm-trees, by the river side,
I sat a-weeping: in the whole world wide
There was no one to ask me why I wept,—
And so I kept
Brimming the water-lily cups with tears
Cold as my fears."

I am so thankful for Keats and his words. Countless times his words express my heart. I wonder if any of you have experienced that strange but wonderful feeling of having Keats speak for your heart? It makes me feel not so alone. Paul was the closest person to me that has died. My God, how this hurts. I am thankful for having friends on this site that understand such things.
"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: Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby Saturn » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:33 am

Condolences to you BrokenLyre, my heart goes out to you. I know how you feel; the loss of a friend is the unspoken unacknowledged sorrow that isn't taken as seriously or supposed to affect one as much. None of the friends I've had has ever died, but I've lost all of them, every one I know I'll never see again, and to me that is as a death; the rejection and the loss of friendship is one of the greatest sorrows of my life and there's not a day that goes by that the hurt doesn't reduce me to the depths of despair. To know that I will never be able to have a friendship that endures, is a sadness words can never express and tears can never cleanse. Being a sufferer of depression too I can fully understand it when Keats says

Why did I laugh to-night? No voice will tell:
No God, no Demon of severe response,
Deigns to reply from heaven or from Hell.
Then to my human heart I turn at once.
Heart! Thou and I are here sad and alone;
I say, why did I laugh! O mortal pain!
O Darkness! Darkness! ever must I moan,
To question Heaven and Hell and Heart in vain.
Why did I laugh? I know this Being's lease,
My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads;
Yet would I on this very midnight cease,
And the world's gaudy ensigns see in shreds;
Verse, Fame, and Beauty are intense indead,
But Death intenser - Death is Life's high meed.

and Keats final few letters from Italy I know and feel his pain in every way.

Keep strong BrokenLyre, try if you can to remember the fond memories you have of your friends, remember their laughs, their smiles, the times you've had together, and be thankful that you had such wonderful close friends, some people are never as lucky to have that.

Take care.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby Raphael » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:27 pm

I'm very sorry to hear of the passing of your dear friend Paul Broken Lyre, and also Linda.((((((hug))))))
Yes, John's poems really express grief and many other emotions. He would know indeed exactly how you are feeling Broken Lyre. It would be dishonest of me to say the same of myself- for I do not, as much as I might sympathise with you, I cannot emphasise for I have not lost a friend to death. It would be patrionising of me to pretend otherwise. I haven't even any close friends anyway. (Well not living close by).
Though, I did hear of a girl I was with at college who was killed by a car when I was at university. I was in my first year of university and one of the other students came up to me and told me- she had also been at the same college as us.I liked her and was shocked at the news though. Incidentally, she was on the same literature course as me which included some of John's Odes.
I can say many times John speaks for my heart, but not on the subject of death and loss. I have a different view of death and loss and the "afterlife" having been studying Buddhism and other traditions for the past few years on and off. I also haven't had any bereavements except for my grandparents- and only one I was close to- my paternal Grandfather.
However I was affected by the untimely death of my young neighbour last Spring- I hardly knew him but the shock of it made me feel a bit ill for a few days.
I won't attempt any words of comfort to you Broken Lyre- because they will probably be clumsy and of no help to you- but be assured we are all thinking of you and you can PM me any time you like.
Best Wishes,
Raphael.xxxx
Last edited by Raphael on Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby Raphael » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:40 pm

None of the friends I've had has ever died, but I've lost all of them, every one I know I'll never see again, and to me that is as a death; the rejection and the loss of friendship is one of the greatest sorrows of my life and there's not a day that goes by that the hurt doesn't reduce me to the depths of despair. To know that I will never be able to have a friendship that endures, is a sadness words can never express and tears can never cleanse.


I'm sorry to hear this Saturn. But it is never too late to find good friends- people of 80 meet new people and make good friends- I trust you will yet. If it is any consolation, we regulars on here value your running of this wonderful forum, your posts and poems, and I count you as a sort of friend (now that may not be a consolation to you... :lol: ).
Sadly in today's Western world people are often too busy to be true friends like they were in John Keats's days. I haven't any really close friends - I was alone most of the time in my darkest days of eczema last summer- hardly anyone came to see me when I was unable to go out much due to the extreme pain and burning on my arms. It has unfortutanely started to return but is getting nipped in the bud by an acupuncturist I know (he was away last summer). I understand the words of the below poem all too well- in my deepest eczema sufferings I identified with the sentiments in those lines.


Why did I laugh to-night? No voice will tell:
No God, no Demon of severe response,
Deigns to reply from heaven or from Hell.
Then to my human heart I turn at once.
Heart! Thou and I are here sad and alone;
I say, why did I laugh! O mortal pain!
O Darkness! Darkness! ever must I moan,
To question Heaven and Hell and Heart in vain.
Why did I laugh? I know this Being's lease,
My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads;
Yet would I on this very midnight cease,
And the world's gaudy ensigns see in shreds;
Verse, Fame, and Beauty are intense indead,
But Death intenser - Death is Life's high meed.
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: Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby marwood » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:10 pm

My condolences also BrokenLyre. devastating for his wife and children.
I have lost both my parents, it's been over twenty years ago, but they come into my
thoughts most days.
Take care.
Marwood.
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen.
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Re: Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby BrokenLyre » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:15 am

Thank you - Thank you to all - Saturn, Raphael, Marwood. I read every post so carefully, as if to extract all human warmth and kindness. I remember somewhere that Keats said, "I cannot live without the love of my friends." I get that to some extent. Yes, Saturn, I have been most fortunate to have a number of very close friends in my life. And I must remember and cherish that. Paul was very special. I spoke at his memorial service last week. I was a pallbearer the next day at his funeral.

A few days later, his wife Kathy, said she felt fear. I thought of Keats' connection of loneliness and sadness to fear: "Cold as my fears."
Kathy was having her own Keatsian moment, and so was I.

I hesitated to post my news, but I needed a place to share my heart. I so appreciated the honesty in all three of your posts. Platitudes don't work, but sincerity does. It was restorative for me to hear some sincere words. Thanks for not reducing my loss to a mere sentiment, glibly stated.

I so appreciate friends on this site.
"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: Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby Raphael » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:09 pm

Thank you - Thank you to all - Saturn, Raphael, Marwood. I read every post so carefully, as if to extract all human warmth and kindness. I remember somewhere that Keats said, "I cannot live without the love of my friends." I get that to some extent. Yes, Saturn, I have been most fortunate to have a number of very close friends in my life. And I must remember and cherish that. Paul was very special. I spoke at his memorial service last week. I was a pallbearer the next day at his funeral.


Hello Broken Lyre, good to hear from you. I think Paul would express the same sentiments aboout you as you have him and would appreciate your words at his funeral and be glad you were one of the pall bearers. I have always found John's lines you quoted above to be so moving and an indication of how warm hearted he was. I think you are as dear to your friends Broken Lyre, as they are to you.


A few days later, his wife Kathy, said she felt fear. I thought of Keats' connection of loneliness and sadness to fear: "Cold as my fears."
Kathy was having her own Keatsian moment, and so was I.



How well he knew human fears and emotions.


I hesitated to post my news, but I needed a place to share my heart. I so appreciated the honesty in all three of your posts. Platitudes don't work, but sincerity does. It was restorative for me to hear some sincere words. Thanks for not reducing my loss to a mere sentiment, glibly stated.

I so appreciate friends on this site.


I'm glad you shared with us Broken Lyre- this site has become a nice little community hasn't it. I have tried again not to be glib- hope it doesn't come across that way- it is always so difficult to know what to say when people have bereavements.
Take care,
Raphael. x
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: Keats Speaks For Us All

Postby dks » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:47 pm

My condolences, too, BL. Even though I am but a ghost here nowadays. I apologize...life has arrested me for many months...you and yours will be in my thoughts...
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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