Your Favorite Lines from Keats

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Postby Malia » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:38 pm

Well, maybe not a conversion but a style developing
towards a Catholic sensibility.


Can you give us an example of what you mean? What in his poetry equqates to a "Catholic sensibility"--what does a Catholic sensibility look like in terms of poetical style? (Guess I'm still confused.)

Heck, George lit out for the wilderness of America. Keats (with a little prodding from Brown, grant you) looked to playwrighting as the next step in art and income.


Now how does George's immigration and Keats's writing plays have to do with the Catholic faith?

It seems that Catholic countries around the Mediterranean of the early 19th century were the havens for artists escaping the goofiness of Transcendentalism (Emerson, the poet primarily) and Determinism (a la Arnold).


This seems like a leap of logic to me--just because artists lived in Catholic countries doesn't mean that they embraced the faith.
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Postby bard of passion » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:26 pm

Can you give us an example of what you mean? What in his poetry equqates to a "Catholic sensibility"--what does a Catholic sensibility look like in terms of poetical style? (Guess I'm still confused.)


Well, as a Catholic (and poet-playwright) I tend to notice those creative works which use 'Catholic' ideas or images or cultural references. As someone active in corresponding with other writers and readers of like ilk and inclination, there has been much discussion on the effective use and ineffective use of these metaphors and settings.

I have always sensed (for the record, I am not a Papist or pre-Vatican II traditionalist: I married a Jew) that the writer is most effective when subtle and evocative of whatever image (for lack of a better word at this time) is being brought to the fore of the viewer's or reader's attention.

By way of illustration: Mean Streets is a good Catholic film for many reasons. Going My Way and The Bells of St Mary's are not good Catholic films for the same reasons.

The Eve of Saint Agnes and many passage in some of the other longer poems bespeaks that sensibility to me. It is not some secret code, it is a sense about the sacramental nature of life and the immanence of God.

Keats' poems (the best ones I think) operate at this level.

To me it seems the origins and raw power of religion are at the imaginative level for the individual believer and the tradition.

Keats is in the tradition of Milton and Shakespeare and Chapman (yes, an underrated Elizabethan IMHO). He knows "how to make it new" (kudos to Pound) and make it part of the tradition.

His Romantic sensibility is not that of the poetaster school: dryads and other 'pagan' traditions and types are used for 'modern' effect.

I'm sorry if I seem not to be connecting here with you about this, but Keats' poems accentuate the immanence of Creation: the here and now of the beauty of the flowers, the snow seen by moonlight, the chase forever still on the urn.



Now how does George's immigration and Keats's writing plays have to do with the Catholic faith?


It's not the FAITH, it is the sensibility that I meant to be understood. George's move and John's flirting with playcraft shows that nervousness, that creative desire (a family trait?) to enlarge one's view, one's worldview and take in more. And, in Keats' instance, to expand HIS art into that inspiring immanence.



This seems like a leap of logic to me--just because artists lived in Catholic countries doesn't mean that they embraced the faith


No, some have even "lost" or ignored it (Joyce and Beckett, for example). Some who are not even Catholic pretend to know it (like Yeats and Eliot).

With Keats, I meant this comment as a starting point to discuss a maturing sensibility in his poetry and life. Distance from England (remember Byron's cartoon showing him "shaking the dust off his boots?") would have worked wonders had he lived ten times the hundred days he lived.

And the life of Rome and the traditions of Italy and those environs (he would have delved into Petrarca and Dante, and thus be confronted with questions of religion) would have affected him CULTURALLY.
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Postby Malia » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:35 pm

If, by Catholic, you mean "universal"--a sense of a larger, grander scheme of things, yes, Keats had a "catholic" (lower-case "c") sensibility. And, though he was not a religious person and eventually disavowed even God, I would say he was extremely spiritual.
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Postby bard of passion » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:42 pm

Malia wrote:If, by Catholic, you mean "universal"--a sense of a larger, grander scheme of things, yes, Keats had a "catholic" (lower-case "c") sensibility. And, though he was not a religious person and eventually disavowed even God, I would say he was extremely spiritual.



We all argue with God. 'Disavow'? Hhmmm, don't remember reading that one.

No, not that old canard about lower case 'c,' I meant Catholic Culture not necessarily Catholic Faith.

Malia, you may be able to help here. Where would I go to start a thread (or add to one) which lists all appearances of Keatsian phrases on movie titles, novels, et cetera. I know Shakespeare is the all time king of highbrow-through-allusion, but what about Keats?

Also, what was that 80s movie set in Manhattan that had the character spending some time in a small theater watching a one-man play called "Yo! Keats!"?

Thanks for the discussion. I think this will be an enjoyable site to visit and jabber on John.
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Postby Malia » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:57 pm

bard of passion wrote:No, not that old canard about lower case 'c,' I meant Catholic Culture not necessarily Catholic Faith.


Can you describe the Catholic Culture more fully? Do you mean Catholic in the sense of religious doctrine or church teaching? Do you mean something more mystical?

Malia, you may be able to help here. Where would I go to start a thread (or add to one) which lists all appearances of Keatsian phrases on movie titles, novels, et cetera?


Well, one thread we have where that information might appear is in the "Keats around the world" and the thread is "random Keats sightings". But I'd say, go to the "Keats around the world" forum and then add a new thread that is more specific to what you want to explore. You add a thread by going to the top of the list of threads in that forum and you'll see an elliptical-shaped "click-box" that says "new topic". Click that box and it will ask you to type in a subject--that will be the title of the new thread.

Also, what was that 80s movie set in Manhattan that had the character spending some time in a small theater watching a one-man play called "Yo! Keats!"?


That sounds really bizzare (in a cool sort of way ;) ) I have never heard of such a film. But then again, I'm not really "up" on movies.

Thanks for the discussion. I think this will be an enjoyable site to visit and jabber on John.[/quote]
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Postby bard of passion » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:00 pm

Malia,

I will get back to you on that "Catholic" question.

And I promise to illustrate my crazy assertion with snippets of his poetry.
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Postby bard of passion » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:14 pm

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. You think I am avoiding this posting, right?

Well, as a matter of fact, the poems of Keats which definitely support my assertion are &&*&&*&*&*&*&*&*&&*&*&&&&*&*&*&*&*&&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&**&&**


[SYSTEM ERROR: MESSAGE SENT TO MICROSOFT]
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Postby bard of passion » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:20 pm

Also, what was that 80s movie set in Manhattan that had the character spending some time in a small theater watching a one-man play called "Yo! Keats!"?


That sounds really bizzare (in a cool sort of way ;) ) I have never heard of such a film. But then again, I'm not really "up" on movies.




Malia, late note: I remember the movie. It was "Almost You" (1985). The male lead was in a play called "Yo Keats!."

How's that for the most insignificant Keatsian trivia??

(I win some kind of prize here, don't I Saturn??)
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Postby Saturn » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:41 pm

In the words of the legendary Gene Wilder:

"You win nothing. You lose. Good day Sir!"
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Your Favorite Lines from Keats

Postby ingridsey » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:15 am

I love keats Quotes on Experience that is “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. ” I also remember one more line on death and that is “Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever. ” I really mean these lines in my life.
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Re: Your Favorite Lines from Keats

Postby Aquarius » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:43 pm

Some of my favorite lines from his poems:

"Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn"

I find that line so haunting for some reason, especially the alien corn bit.

Some more favorites:

"Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,"

"And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four."

"The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution around earth's human shores,"

"Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep, deep upon her peerless eyes"

Some of my favorites from Keats letters to Fanny:

"The power of your benediction is of not so weak a nature as to pass from the ring in four and twenty hours-it is like a sacred Chalice once consecrated and ever consecrate."

"The more I have have known the more I have lov'd."

"When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of the window: you always concentrate my whole senses."

There are so many more lines from his letters to Fanny and others that I love. His letters are very quotable!

I'm still reading his poems, and have yet to get to his epic poems such as Lamia. I'm leaving those ones for last, because I know it will be a huge task.
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Re: Your Favorite Lines from Keats

Postby Malia » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:51 pm

Great quotes, Aquarius! Some of them I hadn't realized were so moving until I read them again in your post. One of my favorite lines (well I believe it actually 2 lines . . .) from his poetry comes from Lamia and give us a foretaste, I think, of the kind of great dramatist Keats might have become if he had lived. (I personally think that had Keats had a brace of years before him, he would have moved from poetry into drama--the way Shakespeare did.)

I don't know if I should write the lines from Lamia here, as they are the last lines of the poem and I don't want to ruin it for you! :lol: Suffice it to say, whenever I read them I get a visceral experience out of it!
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Re: Your Favorite Lines from Keats

Postby Aquarius » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:02 pm

I know exactly what you mean, Malia. Even his really simple lines of poetry are powerful, and I love the philosophical thoughts in his letters. Also, I've been reading "Ode to a Nightingale" over and over, and every time I find something new to appreciate.

I'm actually going through Shakespeare's sonnets right now. I read that he was actually well known for his poetry before he even started writing plays. It's a tragedy that Keats never did get his chance to prove himself as a dramatist, but we'll always have his letters and poems. I think I'll read Lamia next ( I won't skip to your last favorite lines, I promise! :D ). I'm slow going through his work, because I keep re-reading my favorites before moving on to the next.
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Re: Your Favorite Lines from Keats

Postby Raphael » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:10 pm

These:

Open afresh your round of starry folds,
Ye ardent marigolds!
Dry up the moisture from your golden lids,
For great Apollo bids
That in these days your praises should be sung
On many harps, which he has lately strung;
And when again your dewiness he kisses,
Tell him, I have you in my world of blisses:
So haply when I rove in some far vale,
His mighty voice may come upon the gale.


So lush, beautiful and gorgeous.



But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me
My sense with their deliciousness was spell’d:
Soft voices had they, that with tender plea
Whisper’d of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquell’d.


So tender and beautiful.

And the lines in my signature.

And the one about the butterflies in the letter.
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 Favorite Lines from Keats

Postby Petrarch » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:00 pm

"I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your Loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute." Again, Keats and the strife in mingling polarities of existence. Shame he could not have lived longer.
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