The 'Currently reading' thread...

Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Raphael » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:22 am

Saturn wrote:Don't know how long it took Keats, but it certainly is a long, if rewarding read. It took me about two weeks, even reading for about 3 or 4 hours a day at that time. Happy reading Raphael!


I think that's a fast read there Saturn! You must be used to reading old texts- not read much before 1800's stuff since university and college ( a few Shakespeare sonnets- I'm ashamed to admit even though I got that last year still not read it all!).

I suspect it took John less time as he didn't have the internet, TV (not that I watch the goggle box...), radio etc. And he had a bigger intellect than I (goes without saying) so he probably understood it way more than I will. It has been on my book list for a few years, so I must get stuck in! There's notes about Edmund Spenser in it which should help me understand it more than the pure text on its own. I think I will be reading it very slowly a page at a time to absorb it.

I wonder what Fanny B made of it? I think it was this that he marked out passages in for her?
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: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Cybele » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:38 am

marwood wrote:I have just returned from the library with three books by Seamus Heaney.
The Haw Lantern, Death of a Naturalist and The Human Chain.
I found on the web a site where he reads some of his poems,
now when I read them I can hear that lovely soft Irish accent!
Great stuff.
Take care.
Marwood.


Oh, Marwood -- I genuflect before Mr Heaney!
I have copies of his translation of "Beowulf" in hardback, on tape, on CD, and on my Kindle. If I had any more space on my biological "C-drive" (id est, my brain) I'd try to memorize it! :lol:
He is one of the cultural treasures of this planet!!
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:00 am

Raphael wrote:Thanks for the information Ennis..no Fanny B?! :cry: Is Dr Cake/Keats on his ownsome then?

I just finished Gittings Monday night- very good biography- with some ancedotes and info not read before.
Tonight I started to read some of The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte by Daphne Du Maurier, on the bus home- I just got that today at the second hand book shop and I may start to wade into Spenser's The Faerie Queene ( 1909 edition) I also got today. I thought it was about time I read it, since it was one of our man's favourites and it influenced his poetry. I presume it was The Faerie Queene he was marking out beautiful passages for Fanny B to read ?It looks heavy going and will take me ages to read- I wonder how long it took our man to read it?


He was taken care of by an Irish housemaid, a Mrs. Somebody. Her husband had died from consumption and Cake/Keats had hired her prior to Dr. Tabor's arrival at his house. She was extremely solicitious to, as well as defensive of, her employer. She nursed him through his final bout of the consumption which killed him some twenty years after "the last time." They were so close that not only did he leave his house to her, but he also apparently trusted her enough to burn, before his death, his correspondences (and poems? Dr. Tabor wonders, as he spies on this scene through a window).
Even though she was described as red-headed and slightly freckled (which, by the way, our Dr. Tabor found enchanting. I believe he was somewhat smitten with her. You could tell he had a great deal of respect for her.), a part of me was hoping she was actually Fanny, although I knew there was no way. Besides, it would have been too improbable, and I think that would have ruined the story -- too contrived and not believeable. Even though the premise of the story is itself bizarre, Motion's writing style, and the way he fleshes out his characters, make it workable. Even his Keats: I wondered many times as I read it that THIS is what Keats might actually have been like had he survived consumption the first time (can one? LHunt seemed to think so. . . ) and lived to be in his mid-to late forties.
Last edited by Ennis on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Raphael » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:26 pm

Thanks for the information Ennis; sounds interesting. So does Dr Cake write any poetry? I suppose the Irish housemaid comes from Abigail Donohoue.
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: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:05 pm

OK - I finally did it. I broke down and decided that since I will never get to Rome, I should buy something from the Keats-Shelley Museum shop. I bought the book detailing the history of 26 Piazza di Spagna along with the coffee mug with Ode to the Nightingale on the side. I was happy just to see the return address from 26 Piazza...Rome. Made me happy to get something from that hallowed place. Fun book to read on the history of the place. A good amount on Keats. I am so indebted to all those who bought the building in 1903 and preserved it throughout the war years. Remarkable story actually.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Saturn » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:57 pm

I am currently reading obsessively the brilliant Douglas Adams' hilarious [trilogy in five parts] Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy 8)
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:36 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:OK - I finally did it. I broke down and decided that since I will never get to Rome, I should buy something from the Keats-Shelley Museum shop. I bought the book detailing the history of 26 Piazza di Spagna along with the coffee mug with Ode to the Nightingale on the side. I was happy just to see the return address from 26 Piazza...Rome. Made me happy to get something from that hallowed place. Fun book to read on the history of the place. A good amount on Keats. I am so indebted to all those who bought the building in 1903 and preserved it throughout the war years. Remarkable story actually.


Brokenlyre,

Don't give up!! You'll get to Rome, you have to!! If I could make it (and I AM planning on returning sometime in the not too distant future!), you can, as well. It was worth every penny I spent (I, too, bought that same mug, plus a couple of tee-shirts and a nice pictorial biography on Keats by Stephen Hebron) Actually, the only really major expense was the air fare, but that was because we went in July. My brother has information about a hostel near the Spanish Steps. . . .
This post has nothing to do with what I'm reading, so I suppose I should make myself an "honest" poster: I just finished (again) Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette: A (The?) Journey and am about through with Mistress of the Revolution by ?? It's historical fiction centered around the French Revolution. For some macabre reason, I'm interested in France's revolution.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby BrokenLyre » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:27 am

Thanks Ennis for your hopeful encouragement. Maybe I shouldn't say 'never' when it comes to Rome. But reality is such that time and money dictate so much of what we can do. Two kids in college; one heading to college this fall and one 1st grade girl, means it will be virtually impossible to get to Rome in my lifetime. We'll see. But I got something from there, so that helps....
About currently reading information: I would love to know more about the French Revolution. But I have not the time. I am trying to finish my book on "The Bismarck" the story of the sinking of the great German ship in 1941 by the British. Tedious details in the story slow me down. But I press on.
"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: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Cybele » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Saturn wrote:I am currently reading obsessively the brilliant Douglas Adams' hilarious [trilogy in five parts] Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy 8)


Did you ever come across the similarly witty Hitch-hiker's text adventure computer game? Decades ago, I got my copy by mailing in breakfast boxtops. I literally got up and did a "Happy Dance" when I hit footnote #2. The game is available on the net, but I can't find any versions with the hilarious footnotes.

BTW, footnote #2 was (and I loosely paraphrase) "You have achieved the state of Negative Capability, making John Keats the first Romantic Era British poet to be featured in a computer game."

And I do love the Vogon poetry appreciation chairs! :lol: :lol: :lol:
And, did you know you can generate your own Vogon poetry?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/vogonpoetry/lettergen.shtml
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Cybele » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:08 pm

Raphael wrote:Thanks for the information Ennis; sounds interesting. So does Dr Cake write any poetry? I suppose the Irish housemaid comes from Abigail Donohoue.


I thought the book an affectionate take on what might have happened had things turned out a little differently. As I remember things, I don't believe Dr. Cake wrote any poetry, but he did maintain a sizable personal library.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Dolores » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:53 pm

I'm currently reading Anne Frank (I'm studying it for an essay) unfortunately I'm finding it really dry, although I feel quite mean saying that :oops:
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Saturn » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:35 pm

I wouldn't feel bad about that, she was a 14 year old girl, not a professional writer, or it could be a bad translation; I don't know, I've never read it.
And besides, just because she died tragically doesn't mean her diary should be regarded as a literary masterpiece. It is, knowing the story, a harrowing inside look at the horror of living in secret from the Nazi Regime, and as an eyewitness account it is historically invaluable, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a great, or enjoyable book [in fact I'm sure it's not enjoyable].
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:34 am

Saturn wrote:I wouldn't feel bad about that, she was a 14 year old girl, not a professional writer, or it could be a bad translation; I don't know, I've never read it.
And besides, just because she died tragically doesn't mean her diary should be regarded as a literary masterpiece. It is, knowing the story, a harrowing inside look at the horror of living in secret from the Nazi Regime, and as an eyewitness account it is historically invaluable, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a great, or enjoyable book [in fact I'm sure it's not enjoyable].


The historical confines of the journal is certainly not "enjoyable;" however, Anne's optimisim, not to mention her faith in human nature, make the work, overall, an enjoyable read (to me) -- as much as anything from that time period in which That Demon controlled the destinies of so many people can be enjoyable. . . . When I read it for the first time as a teenager, it was really an overwhelming work (possibly because I was about her age when I first read it) . To know what the outcome was to be and this girl was still willing to confront all that was happening in her world with not only an unflagging hope for the future, but a steadfast belief in the goodness of human nature. I don't know . . . but as a 14 year old, that had a strong impact on me, especially since Robert Kennedy, my "knight-in-shining-armour" who was destined to save the world from itself (from my then-too innocent point of view), had just been assassinated.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby BrokenLyre » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:36 am

Anybody here ever read Ed Hirsch's book, "How to Read a Poem"? Fun book. I try to read a bit at a time since it needs to be digested slowly.
Just wondering.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:44 pm

Yes, Brokenlyre, parts of it only: the section on "Bright Star."
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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