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Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:07 pm
by Saturn
I know there's barely anyone visits this site anymore apart from random spambots and so on so I doubt anyone will really read this but just thought I'd share some of my thoughts on this cold wintry night.


With the [dreaded] Valentine's day approaching fast my thoughts turn inevitably to matters of the heart.

If fascinates us, excites us, depresses us, makes us do the most extraordinarily reckless and sometimes desperate things in its name. It can bring forth incredible acts of self-sacrifice and devotion, and acts of such selfishness and jealousy that are the very worst kinds of human behaviour.

I have loved, been loved, but only really, truly fallen so desperately in love that I could barely breathe once, and once only.

Perhaps I may never feel like that again; perhaps that is also a good thing.

Not that I don't want to drink deep once more of that well of infinite need and longing but that such an all-consuming, desperation and inhumation, such annihilation of self is probably not very healthy at all, and a moderate attachment and compatibility with another person is more desirable for a healthy, happy existence in this life.

Maybe the only true love is to love a stranger. Disappointment and disillusion grows of knowledge. No love is more intense than that of ignorance, perfection in ignorance, in lack of knowledge, in not knowing someone, but loving from afar, from the safety of a stranger. This love is pure, unsullied, and yet ultimately tragic and doomed to end in tears.

We spend our lives trying to learn to love ourselves, to fall in love with our whole selves, our faults and failings included and yet we [in ignorance] fall so easily in love with a whole other person.
Love is not wise.

Saying that, to love someone from afar, or from only slight acquaintance can never last, can never satisfy: it is at best a ravening wolf that stares hungrily, ravenously at it's next meal. There is no comfort, no happiness to be had in starvation.

Worse perhaps; and I have much experience of this, is the love that is nurtured by contact, by friendship; that grows organically, a slow and steady headlight that emerges from a tunnel, that dazzles one day with it's glare and leaves you blind, helpless and knocked down by your own realisation:

I LOVE this person, I NEED this person. I MUST have this person. I CANNOT be without this person. If I were to LOSE this person I would have lost all that I hope for now, for the future, I would be totally destroyed and beaten.

When that happens, if there is a mutuality of feeling, even a scintilla of willingness on both sides, love could inevitably blossom, given time, given a declaration, or an exploration of their feelings.

When it is a one-way street, when the other person has either no idea, or no wish to feel like that about the other, or would never even think of the other person in that way all that can result is either complete misery, or a complete failure and rejection of that person.

Unrequited love has been from time-immemorial a subject for poets, and artists. Anyone that has ever felt that way [and I'm pretty sure everyone has at some point in their lives to a greater or lesser extent] will know the pain, the worry, and the hurt and agony of that feeling.

Yes to have loved, and lost is indeed a tragedy, but to love in despair of an echo; to love without hope [and what is love but the supreme manifestation of all human desires] is truly the worst of both worlds and a situation that can only be pitied.

I wish you all, if you have a special someone to hold them tight whenever, and wherever you can, not just on some artificially designated day of the year but to cherish that person for all that they are, all that they mean to you, and ask always what you can do to make them happy, and in their happiness lies the foundation of yours.
Selfishness has no place in love, possession has none either - mutual acceptance, and mutual benefit are all you need and all that should matter.
Love that person, let them love you, despite yourself, BECAUSE of yourself and know that we are all just fumbling for the matches in the dark, no-one can see their way in this life better than anyone else, just keep searching with goodness in your heart.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:35 pm
by Cybele
This is genuine and heartfelt, Saturn. Thank you for posting such a lovely, gentle message.

I keep hoping something will happen to revitilze the forum. I miss it. I optimistically check in every so often, hoping someone has asked an interesting question, or found a new book, or some long-lost piece of information has once again come to light.

Take care.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:37 pm
by Saturn
I always am here, I check here every day and am always disappointed, and feel responsible in some part for the failure of the forum, and wonder what else I could have done/could do to revive or revitalise it, it's been a part of my life for nearly 14 years and it is sad to see it so empty. Like seeing a beautiful old house, once so ornate, abandoned and falling to ruin there is a desolate, melancholic beauty, but a sadness there.

I could certainly post more, I could fill this forum with dozens of posts in every thread but then it would become all about me, and would be merely like my own well, shouting down and hearing only my own voice echoing back at me.

I did hope that by posting more poems it would encourage others to do the same but even this is a forlorn hope.

Thanks for keeping the faith Cybele.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:07 pm
by Ravenwing
Maybe this forum isn't dead. Maybe after many years of work (yes, the kind that be a labour of love), a sabbatical is what everybody did need. After all, in the Bible it says that God did rest on the Seventh Day.

As for the majesty of Love, I have always understood it as the union of opposites, whereas Hate is the separation of opposites.

I am not much for the idolization of Love, anymore than I am much for the demonization of Hate.

Why is it that atheists typically demand that everybody always be positive, when being without faith in God is the single most negative thing that any person can be?

Not trying to stir the pot--at least not too much! In the Talmud it is asked "Who is mighty?" and it is answered "He who makes an enemy into a friend."

What do you suppose that our beloved Keats in his paganism might have had to say about that? Weren't Keats and Fanny of very different temperaments? Didn't Keats relate a strong dislike for her in a letter to his brother upon their first having been introduced?

Like seeks like, but it is only opposites that attract.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:46 pm
by Saturn
Well I have no idea why you brought religion into this topic but since you brought it up I don't think for a moment that Keats was a 'pagan' [which in itself has become as pejorative a term as 'atheist'] whatever your definition of that would be, he was merely an acute sceptic of organised religion, a lapsed Christian and his fascination with and regard for the old religion of Greece was shared by a great deal of writers and otherwise both Christian and not.

Very few people at that time would have identified as out and out atheists [Shelley and other famous intellectual figures aside] certainly not an absolute absence of belief in a higher power. Even being a theist at this time was a wholly dangerous and rebellious, and wilful rejection of the established societal values.

Your attack on atheists is wholly out of place here, and as someone who identifies as an atheist I find your assertion both wrong and deeply judgmental.

I [and I can only speak for myself] as an atheist do not demand of Christians, or anyone else of any or no faith to 'be positive' [also in what context do these atheists you speak of want you to be positive?].

I'm happy for people to believe in whatever religion they want as long as their beliefs are personal and that they have no influence on secular laws or public education.

And as for not having in a belief in a deity being a negative thing, it is your right from your point of view to adjudge it as a negative, but I heartily disagree; there is nothing lacking in my life because of that absence of belief in a supernatural being, I do not need that comfort or hope.

I have no wish to fall out with you but this was a personal topic exploring the love of one human being for another and this digression is wholly unhelpful.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:55 am
by BrokenLyre
Just wanted to say I am thinking (again) of John Keats and the 23rd of February. I am traveling for work and couldn't post yesterday. Sorry John.

I miss those who post, and I am sorry I have not been too available. I still see you as my Keats friends. And I wish I could offer something wonderful and new about our dear friend, Mr. Keats.

Blessings to all.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:23 pm
by CasaMagni
I notice that some of the KSH posts on FB receive up to 3.5k likes, so there is plenty of interest. The most well-received posts are however in Italian as are most of the responders...

Gittings believed that Bright Star was composed in April 1818 so if correct, we are approaching the bicentenary. There will be many more such commemorations over the next 3 years, no doubt culminating in a major event in Feb 2021.

Best wishes all.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:53 pm
by Ravenwing
I like the idea of everybody meeting up for Keats-related anniversaries, even if only online.

From what I have read about Keats' "Bright Star" sonnet, he began to compose it in 1818, and that he revised it shortly before his death, so it is not as though there is one specific day as to when its anniversary might be.

October 31th, 2020 is Keats' 225th birthday.
February 23rd, 2021 is the 200th anniversary of Keats' death.

What other Keats-related anniversaries are there? Did he and Fanny celebrate Valentine's Day?

I found the following thread from 2006, which features some lighthearted conversation about the idea of everybody meeting up in Rome for 2021: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=666

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:07 am
by CasaMagni
A big anniversary is the nineteenth of the ninth (20)nineteen - 200 years since imo the most serene poem in the English language; To Autumn. And Shelley wrote The West Wind six weeks later!! My God what a time...

I haven't seen any reference to Valentine's Day in the bios.

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:40 pm
by Ravenwing
Thanks for having mentioned that, CasaMagni.

To those of you reading this post, are there anymore upcoming major Keats-related anniversaries that you know of? Thus far, we have:

September 19th, 2019 is the 200th anniversary of Keats having composed "To Autumn".
October 31th, 2020 is Keats' 225th birthday.
February 23rd, 2021 is the 200th anniversary of Keats' death.

For what reason did Gittings claim that Bright Star was composed in April 1818?

I found this letter, dated February 14th, 1819, by John Keats to George and Georgiana Keats, in which he mentions Valentine's Day in relation to an article in "The Examiner" that is about a young woman having happily received a Valentine from her secret admirer: ... y-14-1819/

I found the February 14th, 1819 issue of The Examiner as digitized (it starts at page 97 of that photocopy): ... 19&f=false

At the bottom of page 61 in the following digitized book it says that article in The Examiner which Keats mentioned "was written by [Charles] Lamb", and that it appears on page 108 of The Examiner's February 14th, 1819 issue: ... ne&f=false

Also, I found this letter, dated February 14th, 1820, by John Keats to Fanny Keats. He did not mention Valentine's Day in that letter, though: ... y-14-1820/

On Valentine's Day of this past February, The Keats-Shelley House did recently publish a book called "Love is my Religion: Keats on Love": ... y-at-5-p-m

Re: Some thoughts...on Love.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:11 pm
by CasaMagni
Thanks for digging up that letter Ravenwing, I'm not very familiar with the degree to which Valentine's day was observed in past centuries.

The Bright Star claim is in the Wikipedia article on the poem.