Reflections on The Letters of John Keats

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Reflections on The Letters of John Keats

Postby RonPrice » Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:35 am

I found "Selected Letters of John Keats"(editor Robert Pack, 1974) a helpful book in understanding the approach Keats took to people and specificially how he defined the greatness of any person. This prose-poem is a reflection on Keat's philosophy and concept of the greatness of a person.
:arrow: +++++++++++++++++++++++
BEAUTY IS BORN HERE

Keats succeeded in finding an attitude of grace amidst the greatest darkness. Part of this attitude was his sense that celebration and lamentation were inseparable, that feeling and thought were inseparable and art, therefore, sensuous. This was Keat’s response to his experience and it was found in poetry. Beauty was what he chose to feel and it came from what he imitated, what he created. John Keats thought that the greatness of anyone was found in their ability to immerse themselves in purposes outside and beyond themselves. This is part of the Beauty, the ability to live in the midst of darkness, to dissolve thought into sensuous form, to savour thought like wine. -Ron Price with thanks to Robert Pack, editor, Selected Letters of John Keats, New American Library, NY, 1974, pp. 1-15.

Reading you on this 153rd anniversary1
to relieve the boredom of this ceremony2,
far, far from the platform, beside my wife
and a friend, for two hours, names called
out one after another and speeches all
sounding the same, in this classey joint
near downtown Perth, in the first weeks
of the second year of the Four Year Plan.

I immerse myself in you, in your thoughts
and dissolve my thoughts into some form,
sensual, intense, savoured like wine
amidst this dry boneyard of endless sameness,
ennui, repetition and boredom.
A Beauty is born here in my creation
of your creation, my imitation.

Ron Price
23 May 1997

1 Anniversary of the Declaration of the Bab--coincided with...
2 the formal reception for 600 students, my son being one, at Curtin University. :arrow:
Ron Price is a retired teacher, aged 65. He taught for 35 years in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. He has been a Baha'i for 50 years.
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:16 am

Thank you again Ron - I hope you don't mind but I've moved your posts to this dedicated poetry section.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Dear Saturn

Postby RonPrice » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:35 am

No problem; you can move me around as much as you like. After 62 years of life's movements, I find the gentle and unobtrusive movements of what I write at this site pose no problem to me. In due course, I shall see the inherent logic of the arrangement of postings here on Keats and where my writing fits in.-Ron :arrow:
Ron Price is a retired teacher, aged 65. He taught for 35 years in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. He has been a Baha'i for 50 years.
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Postby autumn » Mon May 29, 2006 9:57 am

ron, being middle-aged myself, i can understand exactly how you feel about keats amidst life's sameness. i'm int5o his letters too. in fact, time & circumstances alone prevented me from going into a deeper study for a thesis on them. maybe i could do it now. i know. your poem was good.
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Postby dks » Mon May 29, 2006 10:20 pm

Very nice, indeed, Ron. I especially like how you address Keats's astonishing ability to fuse light and shade with that 'bridge' he called poesy--or when he depicted that connective tissue as art (think Grecian Urn and the 'ekphrasis' component of that gorgeously constructed ode).

I'm a nut for him--that little Keats--he brings to light for me an inner soul that is so fine spun and richly defined through his images and subtle thematic bombshells of pure, unabashed human insight and feeling--he never ceases to amaze me.
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Belated Responses

Postby RonPrice » Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:32 am

In Keat's day my response here would not be belated, but in this instant email society several months is eternity. Sorry about that. I certainly appreciated your thoughtful responses. And I'll add another piece that utilized Keats' experience to appreciate my own.
_____________________________________
ALL I NEED TO KNOW

For Hayden did Keats an enormous service. He introduced him to the marvellous sculptures...from the Parthenon....to Keats they were sublime because they gave him a vision into the Greek world…..-Morse Peckham, The Romantic Virtuoso, Wesleyan UP, London, 1995, p.104.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,”-that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
-John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”.

Not some vision into the Greek world
do I get here, some sublimity rescued
a hair’s breadth from incrustation
of a dieing Renaissance tradition.
Some beauty in truth and truth beauty
that looks into the future, my future,
the world’s future, utopian vision,
takes your breath away, something
not quite born, here, just off in the distance,
hope, feeling, educating me with instructions
and controls transforming a whole world
in infinite gradations, and me. Now taking
these stones and terraces and giving me
an experience of such value that it is all
I need to know to start me on my knowing.

Ron Price
November 1997 to April 6th 2006
Ron Price is a retired teacher, aged 65. He taught for 35 years in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. He has been a Baha'i for 50 years.
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