Favourite works

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Re: Favourite works

Postby Saturn » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:06 pm

The best poems are always almost like remembrance, something forgotten and suddenly recalled.
As Rilke said "...poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences."
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Favourite works

Postby BrokenLyre » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:17 am

Thanks Saturn....Rilke said it - and so true - and I think a whole lot more can be said.

I don't know if you are familiar with the book "Godel, Escher, Bach" but I was thinking more along those lines where reading a poem (or seeing a picture) results in personal internal reflection and remembrance of a personal experience which is then re-interpreted by the poem (or picture). Thus, all of it is interwoven and strangely familiar. So, I enjoy the poem, and enjoy the personal sentiments or events it evokes in my memory, which events are then re-interpreted by the poem, which then re-interprets the event or experience and the circle continues.

Maybe the above is a bit ambiguous, but I'm trying to understand what goes on when I read something. It's getting clearer I think.
"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: Favourite works

Postby Raphael » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:44 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:There is a definite feeling I get from the lines that makes me feel as though I had written it. I wonder if others in our Forum ever experience that unique feeling. As Keats said, reading a good poem "should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance." That doubly fascinates me because I have thought the same thing. Keats's own statement here is a "remembrance for me" since I have thought the same, but I also get a sense of "remembrance" reading his poems, that's why it doubly fascinates me.

I don't know how other people read poetry, but I guess I read poetry with the anticipation of attachment - whether it be mental, emotional or experiential. I find more to "attach to" in Keats than any other writer. That's probably true for others as well.


No, I never feel as though I could have written his words as I do not have his genius. I cannto write even bad poetry... :D But I connect with his poems because they make me feel something finer than I can express through words, but I feel it. The themes he writes on, the images he conveys all resonate with me on a soul level. it's rather a mystical thing for me, I cannot quite explain it.
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: Favourite works

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:23 pm

I agree with you Raphael. Well said. I don't "literally" mean that I feel as though I had written it (that's just my shorthand style), since as you noted, we could never write so well. What I mean is that his words have a deep connection with me (and others) so that it feels as though he is saying what I have thought or felt - but in a much better way than I ever could. For example: In his poem, "To one who has been long in city pent" he ends his ideal day by stating

"He mourns that day so soon has glided by
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently"

That conjures up remembrances I have as a little boy at my grandfather's house. I would sit in his chair, looking out the back porch onto a gorgeously bright summer day. I would watch the sunlight streak through trees and see and hear the shaking of the leaves as the wind blew. I listened intently to the cool water of the stream in the backyard. I can still see the brown poplar trees with their delicate yellow leaves creating rapidly shifting shadows from the cool breeze. My grandfather was blind and could not see the beauty I saw. So I didn't want the day to end and I was mournful that the day was passing (gliding by). So when I read Keats's words above it speaks in a way that reminds me of what I thought and felt, but not in his exact words. They are so apt to my experience that it just feels like I should have thought or written them, though obviously I never could. That's what I meant.
"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: Favourite works

Postby Raphael » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:33 pm

I agree with you Raphael. Well said. I don't "literally" mean that I feel as though I had written it (that's just my shorthand style), since as you noted, we could never write so well. What I mean is that his words have a deep connection with me (and others) so that it feels as though he is saying what I have thought or felt - but in a much better way than I ever could.


Ah yes! I understand you now, and that's similar for me. Also parts of his life resonate with me too- moving around (I did that a lot a few years ago) and always being broke...how I sympathise with him on that one...and trying to find the right work to suit the temperament...disliking the powers that be...


For example: In his poem, "To one who has been long in city pent" he ends his ideal day by stating

"He mourns that day so soon has glided by
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently"

That conjures up remembrances I have as a little boy at my grandfather's house. I would sit in his chair, looking out the back porch onto a gorgeously bright summer day. I would watch the sunlight streak through trees and see and hear the shaking of the leaves as the wind blew. I listened intently to the cool water of the stream in the backyard. I can still see the brown poplar trees with their delicate yellow leaves creating rapidly shifting shadows from the cool breeze. My grandfather was blind and could not see the beauty I saw. So I didn't want the day to end and I was mournful that the day was passing (gliding by). So when I read Keats's words above it speaks in a way that reminds me of what I thought and felt, but not in his exact words. They are so apt to my experience that it just feels like I should have thought or written them, though obviously I never could. That's what I meant.



Thanks for sharing that! I see you share his ability to notice fine details such as the cast of sunlight and sounds of nature.These kinds of things are discussed in spiritual books and as meditations- when we are present we notice more. I am not present at all. My mind is on my dinner already .. :lol:
Our dear John Keats has a lot to teach me.
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: Favourite works

Postby tbrown01 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:21 pm

I like To Autumn and Ode to a Nightingale but there are still a lot more, just couldn't think all of the title. :D
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Re: Favourite works

Postby Raphael » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:20 pm

I find each time I read them there's something new in them to connect with. And there's something for every mood!
Last edited by Raphael on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John....you did not live to see-
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what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: Favourite works

Postby Petrarch » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:10 pm

The Day is Gone and All It's Sweets are Gone. The slow movement of this Sonnet and the way it drops off: the slow pained reductionism-faded, faded, faded, faded. What I love most about Keats is characteristic mingling. Always Love, life, death, inspiration, swirling around. Reminds me of what was her name in the beginning of Dante's [i]Inferno? [i] Was it Rebecca or hmmmm...can't remember. She was placed there due to reading romance novels, and had committed adultery with a young man who had been reading them with her. Anyway, Keats finds a way out of the loss in the last couplet of course. At least, for a while. Lovely.
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Re: Favourite works

Postby Saturn » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:15 pm

Petrarch wrote: Reminds me of what was her name in the beginning of Dante's [i]Inferno? [i] Was it Rebecca or hmmmm...can't remember. She was placed there due to reading romance novels, and had committed adultery with a young man who had been reading them with her.


You mean Francesco and Paolo Malatesta.

Anyway, welcome Petrarch to the forum.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Favourite works

Postby Petrarch » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:50 pm

Thank You Saturn,

I appreciate your welcome to this forum as it will, no doubt, be an excellent platform to contemplate Keats. Thanks again.
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Re: Favourite works

Postby Thibaut » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:25 am

I used to love "Ode to a Nightingale," until I heard Ben Whishaw reciting it in Bright Star. Now I absolutely ADORE it. I can't say it's my definite favourite because I'm still discovering some of Keats's poems--I am only 18--, but this Ode is beautiful!

If you haven't seen the movie, you can listen to it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUWuczVOtoY
But I'm sure most people in this forum rushed to go see it like I did :wink:

I'm thinking about buying a recording of Keats's poems. Any recommendations?

I'm so glad I found this website, it's not easy to find someone in my environment who'll discuss Keats...
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Re: Favourite works

Postby Raphael » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:57 pm

I used to love "Ode to a Nightingale," until I heard Ben Whishaw reciting it in Bright Star. Now I absolutely ADORE it. I can't say it's my definite favourite because I'm still discovering some of Keats's poems--I am only 18--, but this Ode is beautiful!


I think Ben reads the poems perfectly-have you got the Bright Star CD? He reads La Belle Dame also.

I'm thinking about buying a recording of Keats's poems. Any recommendations?


I only know of the Bright Star CD. Well worth having.

I'm so glad I found this website, it's not easy to find someone in my environment who'll discuss Keats...


i know what you mean- I can talk about him- his life, his character, his work all day long... :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.

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Re: Favourite works

Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:10 pm

Thibaut wrote:
I'm thinking about buying a recording of Keats's poems. Any recommendations?



http://www.amazon.co.uk/Realms-Gold-Joh ... 964&sr=1-6

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Poets-Joh ... gy_b_img_b

or both [though there is some crossover pieces], but both are excellent readings.
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Re: Favourite works

Postby Cybele » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:04 am

Saturn wrote:
Thibaut wrote:
I'm thinking about buying a recording of Keats's poems. Any recommendations?



http://www.amazon.co.uk/Realms-Gold-Joh ... 964&sr=1-6



"Realms of Gold" is also available from Audible.
http://www.audible.com/adbl/site/enSear ... ld&x=0&y=0
It's one of my "go-to" favorite listens. It also has excerpts from many of the better letters.
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Re: Favourite works

Postby Malia » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:22 pm

I have Realms of Gold, Saturn. It is the best collection of Keats's letters on audio that I've come across. The reader (name eludes me at the moment) sometimes reads a little *too* fast, but without much affectation. He's got that "proper" BBC Newscaster accent and sounds a bit older than Keats--but not like an *old man*, which is good in my opinion. Letters are separated by musical interludes that work well and a narrator sets the scene for many of the letters, which also "works".
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