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Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:09 pm
by Saturn
Welcome to you as well Cowden.

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:05 pm
by Raphael
Welcome Cowden! how long have you liked John Keats's poems?

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:33 pm
by Cowden
I've liked John Keats' poems ever since my Graduating year of High School. I had a really great english teacher that year who introduced us to John Keats.

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:13 pm
by Jupiter
Hey Cowden, I like your avatar!

Are you an admirer of Rene Magritte/Surrealism?

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:32 pm
by Raphael
Cowden wrote:I've liked John Keats' poems ever since my Graduating year of High School. I had a really great english teacher that year who introduced us to John Keats.


Sorry Cowden, I just asked you in another thread how you came to know about our dear poet. Was your teacher from Britian? I know some British EFL teachers work in high schools in China.

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:50 pm
by Ennis
Hello, Everyone!

I would have introduced myself here - had I bothered to check out all the "threads" (or whatever you call them; I'm not particularly computer-literate!) instead of rambling on on the "Bright Star" thread!
Anyway, I live in Asheville, North Carolina and I've had an obsession with John Keats for 45 years now. I won't go into any details concerning my age (ha!), but my "affair" with Keats started when I was 12! -- thanks to my dad. He was a high-school art, humanities, and drama teacher, as well as the faculty advisor for the annual and the literary magazine, so I grew up in a home where a love of reading and a love for fine literature was cultivated. My dad was also a functioning alcoholic (sorry, Dad. . . ), and one of the things he would do when "overheated" (our term, as we were growing up, for being drunk)was to lean against the kitchen sink and quote. He'd quote, to name a few, Shakespeare, the Bible, TSEliot, Wordsworth, Ezra Pound, Milton, Shelley, Byron (unfortunately), and Keats. This ordinarily wasn't so bad, except that my dad believed the neighbourhood should benefit from his recitations as well as his family, so he'd quote at the top of his voice. Naturally, this made sleeping difficult for my mom, my siblings, and me, and we'd have no choice but to listen to him. One night, and despite my age, I remember this as though it was yesterday [or, should I say, last night?!?], he was on a Keats kick, and I was blessed with hearing "When I Have Fears," "Bright Star," "This Living Hand," "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," "La Belle Dame sans Merci," "Ode to Autumn," snippets from "Isabella," "The Eve of St. Agnes,' and both "Hyperions," and the great odes. What effected me the most was the opening and closing stanzas from "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and the entire "Ode to a Nightingale." I was so moved by the latter. Even though I had no clue what in the hell Keats was writing about (remember this, I was but 12), I couldn't believe someone was so capable of weaving words into such beautiful tapestries of thought. The next morning (a Saturday), I asked my dad about the poems was quoting the previous night -- who was the poet? His response was, and these words will remain with me forever, "Some little British kid. Keats. John Keats. Born in London in 1795 and died one friend shy of being alone in Rome in 1821. Just a boy. 25 years old. What a waste. A tragedy worthy of Shakespeare." I asked my mom to take me to the library so I could check out a biography on Keats, and the only one they had was Amy Lowell's 2-volume set. I read the whole thing in a matter of days, confiscated by dad's volume of Keats's poetry, and eventually asked for (and got) Hyder Rollin's collection of Keats's letters.
Thus began my lifelong obsession with this beautiful genius. He was the first man I fell in love with and the only one to whom I have remained constant.

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:48 pm
by BrokenLyre
Thank you Ennis for your openhearted sharing of your first experience with Keats. I was just absorbed by your description and touched by its unusual beauty. Your dad sounds quite remarkable (despite the struggle with alcohol). We all have our stories of how Keats first struck us, but I found yours remarkable and powerful to read. Wow.

Thanks for joining the Forum. I'm really glad to hear from you.

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:30 pm
by Ennis
Brokenlyre --

My dad was a remarkable man, and had it not been for that particular experience detailed in my previous post, I would not have majored in British literature, with a focus on the Romatic Movement, and a concentration on the works of Keats. I suppose I can either blame my dad for my harmless obsession or thank him. I choose to thank him.

This obsession of mine (and that is what it is) is one reason why I am so glad to finally be able to "talk" with others who feel as I do about this dead, but yet still very much alive, poet. When those around me "grin-and-bear it," it makes me feel as though I AM crazy. You know, like am I the only nut out there who feels so personally attached to this beautiful young man who had a "way with words"? Now, I know I'm not (a nut, or the only one out there?!!!).

Thank you for your post.


"Tonight I will imagine you Venus, and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Heathen."

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:24 pm
by Malia
Ennis, speaking for myself, I completely understand your experience with Keats. I've gotten the blank stares . . . the "back away slowly and maybe we can escape" looks and the polite, but baffled, smiles from others whenever I started in on Keats. In recent years, I have just learned to keep my enthusiasm for Keats mostly under wraps so it is wonderful to be able to share Keats with other enthusiastic Keatsians--just knowing you all *exist* is a wonder and a delight to me!

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:28 pm
by Saturn
We must institute a silly walk or funny handshake so we can recognise each other throughout the world... :wink:

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:59 pm
by Raphael
Ennis your account of your Dad is really fab! I found myself giggling as I read your decription of him reading John's poems loudly in the night :lol: I can just picture him! He sounded quite a character.
Somehow I think our dear poet would be amused and rather pleased at this!

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:10 am
by Raphael
Saturn wrote:We must institute a silly walk or funny handshake so we can recognise each other throughout the world... :wink:


How about an awkward bow... :wink:

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:35 pm
by Ennis
Yes, Raphael, you "nailed" it: an awkward bow, for sure. Why, oh why can't we all just miraculously meet in Hampstead and give (re)birth to a new Keats Circle? What a joy it would be to meet you all -- just think, there ARE others just like us out there, somewhere, scattered the world over! Keats's name might "be writ in water," but as Matthew Arnold (I think) said, "Yes, and all the sea-washed shores have heard of Keats's name." Does he know he has achieved his life's purpose? Is he aware that he is "among the English poets"? Or, Goddess forbid, is he in a place where he does not give a shit any more?? Does he walk among us and we are not aware? WHY CAN'T I KNOW WHAT HE WAS REALLY LIKE!?! WHY CAN I NOT KNOW HIM!?! (why am I crazy . . . ?!?)

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm
by Raphael
Yes, Raphael, you "nailed" it: an awkward bow, for sure. Why, oh why can't we all just miraculously meet in Hampstead and give (re)birth to a new Keats Circle? What a joy it would be to meet you all -- just think, there ARE others just like us out there, somewhere, scattered the world over!


I hope one day we will be able to arrange a weekend in Hampstead for those who want to do it.


Does he know he has achieved his life's purpose? Is he aware that he is "among the English poets"?


I think so- I don't believe in death (only transformation ) and especially a spirit such as his- full of life, passion and genius- snuffed out? No....


Or, Goddess forbid, is he in a place where he does not give a shit any more??



Well those who write of the afterlife say that one suffers no more, that it is more vivid and real than this earthly one but they do indeed still have some interest in those left behind and continue to have the interests they had on earth. Of course one cannot truly know until one's own death, but I do think death is not the end. I never have.
Wherever he is I think he'd still be a poet of one kind or another.

Re: Who are you? Introduce yourself

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:26 pm
by Ennis
Raphael,

Yes, surely you must be correct. I must be able to envision him "convening" with those other great spirits.