Your Keatsian moments

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Your Keatsian moments

Postby Raphael » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:28 pm

I thought I would start a thread for sharing Keatsian moments we have had. On a train journey last week as I alighted from the train my ears were treated to some wonderful fluting and chirping by a dear little Robin sitting in a tree. I listened to and watched him (his little throat was bobbing up and down as he fluted and chirped away) for awhile. Upon alighting the train coming back there were a number of Robins fluting and chirping. I was rather melancholy that day and they cheered me up.I thought to myself :"If I possessed the gift of poetry like dear Junkets I would compose an Ode to them."
A few days later I found a great hardback edition from the 1950s of our lovely poet's works and found some poems in it I had never seen before- one is a poem about a Robin!
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: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Malia » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:56 pm

Great moment, Raphael :) As a kind of aside, I have to say how much I love British birdsong. Where I live in America, our birds mostly murmur a garbled song or let out one lone "tweet" at a time--as if they were shouting "hey!" and not much more. There are few birdie opera stars here in Eastern Washington! We have robins in America, but the American robin is much larger than the British bird and its song doesn't capture you and compel you to stand and listen.

I remember when I was at school at Durham University for a year as an exchange student. I had only been in England a week or so and I was already lugging my homework to the library when I was literally stopped in my tracks, transfixed by the most beautiful birdsong I'd ever heard. I sought high and low and soon found myself staring up at the top of a streetlight where a tiny little robin was singing his heart out against the dull, gray sky. It was at *that* moment that I fully understood why British poets were always writing about birds! I'd never heard anything that so took me out of myself as that birdsong.
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Re: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Raphael » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:45 pm

Great moment, Raphael :)


The chirpings were very sweet. There is one who lives out the front of the house and I call her Tweet. She has come into the house a few times- she has taken a shine to the Buddhist man who lives on the top floor and flies through his window and hops about his work top! She came into my bathroom once and flew about upstairs before she started going into his room ( we live in rooms in an old Victorian house).



As a kind of aside, I have to say how much I love British birdsong. Where I live in America, our birds mostly murmur a garbled song or let out one lone "tweet" at a time--as if they were shouting "hey!" and not much more. There are few birdie opera stars here in Eastern Washington! We have robins in America, but the American robin is much larger than the British bird and its song doesn't capture you and compel you to stand and listen.


I didn't know that!


I was literally stopped in my tracks, transfixed by the most beautiful birdsong I'd ever heard. I sought high and low and soon found myself staring up at the top of a streetlight where a tiny little robin was singing his heart out against the dull, gray sky. It was at *that* moment that I fully understood why British poets were always writing about birds! I'd never heard anything that so took me out of myself as that birdsong.


How magical for you! I don't take this magic for granted- it saddens me people walk past the little birds chirping and tweeting in the trees and don't stop to listen.I adore them- I feed them all the time.
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: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Saturn » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:47 pm

Most people are too busy listening to their ipods, or yakking into their phones to listen to the birds...
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Re: Your Keatsian moments

Postby BrokenLyre » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:43 am

Excellent topic Raphael! I have been away from the forum with work, but am back for a while. Miss my friends and these posts!

Speaking of birdsong, I grew up in upstate New York near Albany - the Capital. (It's 3 hours north of New York City folks...)
Anyway, in 3rd grade, I was given a "scientific task" by my teacher. I had to record birds singing!! Good grief! I though "This is weird!" So my friend and I walked around the neighborhood with outstretched arm holding a microphone, pleading for birds to sing.

And then it happened. These lovely notes from a bird in a tree just filled the air. Other birds joined in and suddenly I was aware of the beauty of these birds. The project forced me to listen to the pattens, the ebb and flow of their notes. It just surprised me.
Fortunately, in upstate NY we have many songbirds. And in the right time in the summer they will fill the air. (In the morning, they are so loud however, that it's hard to sleep!).

We feed birds in the front lawn. They are my favorite animal - partly because I don't have to walk them or take care of them. Let God do it. :) Just put out sunflower seeds for the cardinals and watch the action. So, my little project in 3rd grade actually got me focused on birdsong. Which prepared me for "Nightingale" poem in high school, which....well you know....
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Re: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Raphael » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:59 pm

[banned member] wrote:Like I said Raphael...fate? Your thread got me thinking. I remember talking to my father years ago as we watched a speedy little wren nipping in and out of the bushes at the bottom of the garden. In days gone by I'm sure it was believed that the wren was a female robin, and I wonder if this gave rise to the old ditty "The Robin and Wren; God's c**k and hen", or even vice versa? Although this next piece of reportage certainly isn't Keatsian, I've got to get it off my chest. Some summers ago up at Lancaster, I was walking along and was transfixed by the most beautiful red butterfly I've ever seen. It was small/medium and of a red that is impossible to do justice to with words (I still can't find a red to correspond with its metallic brilliance - it was a bright summer's day). I couldn't resist following this light-filled extravagance - needless to say, every time I came close off he/she floated again. I remember a young woman looking at me - God knows what she was thinking. Now a while ago I searched for information regarding small, extremely brilliant red butterflies in the British Isles and came up with nothing. I wonder if there are any lepidopterists floating about the Forum who could put me out of my misery? Sorry for rambling off topic somewhat Raphael.



How come the word COCK has been asteriked? :roll: I have seen intentionally very rude words on forums before and this is a scientific word! What about Great Tit? Can one say that? I love these little birds- I see them all the time and feed them outside my home.
Was the butterfly you saw very small and did it have some black edging/stripes on it? I saw one like this last year and it was a very vivid red as you describe- and no I have been unable to find out what it is either. It was not a moth- I know the difference. I adore butterflies- they are utterly magical. I have had them sit on my hand as well. Their little feet are so cute.
It's not so far off topic Peter- Junkets loved butterflies! :D
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: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Raphael » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:02 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:And in the right time in the summer they will fill the air. (In the morning, they are so loud however, that it's hard to sleep!).

I love it when they tweet loudly- I love to lie in bed listening to them!


So, my little project in 3rd grade actually got me focused on birdsong. Which prepared me for "Nightingale" poem in high school, which....well you know....


Birds are magical!
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: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:27 pm

Raphael wrote:

How come the word c**k has been asteriked? :roll: I have seen intentionally very rude words on forums before and this is a scientific word! What about Great Tit? Can one say that? I love these little birds- I see them all the time and feed them outside my home.
Was the butterfly you saw very small and did it have some black edging/stripes on it? I saw one like this last year and it was a very vivid red as you describe- and no I have been unable to find out what it is either. It was not a moth- I know the difference. I adore butterflies- they are utterly magical. I have had them sit on my hand as well. Their little feet are so cute.
It's not so far off topic Peter- Junkets loved butterflies! :D


The word is arbitrarily blocked in order to prevent those spambots posting obscenities, which would appear in titles or posts which may be viewed by children etc.
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Re: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Saturn » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:47 am

I give up, I clearly can't do right for doing wrong for you [banned member].

Maybe you'd like to spend all day every day removing spam and porn and endless crap and see how you deal with it.

Or am I being too 'unrestrained' saying so?

I have purposely used the forum administration settings to block some well known obscenities which may be offensive to those of a sensitive nature or to children after concern was expressed by several members.

I would like nothing better to have no censorship whatsoever, I am not in favour of it, but as a freely accessible public forum where such things are not possible, I must put in place certain minor safeguards to protect the vulnerable and sensitive.

Most days I wonder why I bother going to all this trouble to keep this forum from slipping into the abyss of spam and porn for all the thanks I get.

If you wish to make any more complaints about me please use the 'Feedback' forum in future.
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Re: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Raphael » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:37 pm

It was me who complained about the word cock Saturn! Anyway I don't envy you dealing with spam- is there no way to stop them posting - maybe not let anyone post unless they have joined might help? There ares some words like cock which used about birds are fine but otherwise not!
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: Your Keatsian moments

Postby BrokenLyre » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:21 pm

Saturn,

I think everybody appreciates how frustrating it is for you to constantly watch the site for bot porn etc... You can't be vigilant 24 hours a day!

You know what might help the viewers on this site?

Perhaps you could put a simple, short disclaimer on the front page of the site - stating that you do all you can to stop the infiltration, but unfortunately some will get through. Your advice is for the viewers to be aware of it, be patient, and avoid those links.

Saying such a disclaimer will prevent you from responding to every request personally. If it's up front and clear, it may preclude others from responding and knowing that it's being taken care of. (Just a friendly supportive suggestion - I, for one, have no idea how or if this could even be done. I plead ignorance on this technical website stuff :) )

I sincerely appreciate all you do for all of us. So a BIG Thank You :D
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Re: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Raphael » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:38 pm

Same here- those spammers are a pain in the ar*se
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: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Credo Buffa » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:03 pm

I once had a friend whose last name was "Hooker." Based on spam filters on one computer I was trying to use, I couldn't even send her an e-mail! Sometimes these extra protections that are supposed to be for our benefit end up making us more crazy in the end. :P

Back to the thread at hand, though, my most "Keatsian" moments definitely came traveling to the Lake District and on my hike in the Scottish Highlands. I trekked up hills and stood overlooking vistas so incredible that I couldn't have dreamed them more perfect than what was before me, and imagined what it must have been like for Keats, seeing all of that for the first time on his walking tour. I sat down once and tried to write something to express how it felt to be there--when you travel alone, the most difficult thought you have is that there is no one there to share the experience of a place with you, so trying to capture and encapsulate it in some way becomes a compulsion--and I simply couldn't do it, just as Keats struggled to write atop Ben Nevis. Nothing about the landscape stays static up there, with continually shifting light and shadow and color even from minute to minute. What you see and feel one moment will inevitably change as quickly as the clouds can dissolve and reform. It is remarkable, but ironically frustrating, as Keats points out: "There is not a more fickle thing than the top of a Mountain--what would a Lady give to change her headdress as often and with as little trouble?" :lol:
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Re: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Raphael » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:23 pm

I liked your post Credo- I've briefly been to the Lakes but never Scotland- would love to go tho.
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: Your Keatsian moments

Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:11 pm

[banned member] wrote:In his (in)famous "Conclusion" Pater writes: "Every moment some form grows perfect in hand or face; some tone on the hills or the sea is choicer than the rest...for that moment only." (I think this piece of writing is force-fed most 2nd/3rd year undergrads.) I was sitting in the 'History of Lit-Crit' lecture with a very good friend as our lecturer read these very lines. The lecturer, replete with Proustian moustache, paused, and, smiling wistfully, simply looked up and away from his lectern for a moment. Just a moment.

That's a beautiful quote for a beautiful idea. It's true that so many of the best moments in our lives are absolutely instantaneous, almost accidental.

And no need to apologize again, [banned member]. It happens to the best of us. :)

I'll never forget the first bus ride I took from Carlisle into the Lake District proper. All of a sudden, even years after first reading Keats and his contemporaries, I felt all of Romanticism click in my mind. "THIS is what it's all about!"

You MUST go to Scotland, Raphael--that's an order! ;) It's my absolute favorite place in the world, and I will always think of as my second home even though I spent a mere 6 months there. Hardly a place to see in Scotland that isn't beautiful.
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