Fill for me a brimming bowl

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Fill for me a brimming bowl

Postby Raphael » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:06 pm

I have noticed there are some variations in the two editions I have:

To banish Woman from my mind:
For I want not the stream inspiring
That heats the sense with lewd desiring


To banish Women from my mind:
For I want not the stream inspiring
That heats the mind with-
fond desiring


Which is the original version? Why is there a difference? Did John write the first one and did the second one get censored so the subject becomes his mind rather then sexual desire?
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: Fill for me a brimming bowl

Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:16 pm

What editions are these, Raphael?
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Re: Fill for me a brimming bowl

Postby BrokenLyre » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:47 pm

Raphael,
According to Stillinger's "Complete Poems", the first version you wrote is original. Written in 1814, first published on Feb 4, 1905. Ed Hirsch's "Complete Poems" also agrees with Stillinger that the first version is original. The Penguin "Complete Poems" also agrees.

Jack Stillinger states that the first version stems from the fair copy in the Morgan Library (NY). The second version you mentioned above is from the Kirkman copy in Mary Frogley's album. This second version says, "From Mary Frogley" in shorthand at the end of the manuscript. So Keats' 1814 original led to a "Fair Copy" which is the Standard Version. Mary Frogley's changed version was copied by Richard Woodhouse and after a few more copies made it to the 1905 published edition. But the original Fair Copy is correct.

It gets quite confusing
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Re: Fill for me a brimming bowl

Postby Raphael » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:21 pm

Credo Buffa wrote:What editions are these, Raphael?


One is a modern vintage edition, the other is an Oxford university one from 1955( this is the one that has the second version)
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: Fill for me a brimming bowl

Postby Raphael » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:24 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:Raphael,
According to Stillinger's "Complete Poems", the first version you wrote is original. Written in 1814, first published on Feb 4, 1905. Ed Hirsch's "Complete Poems" also agrees with Stillinger that the first version is original. The Penguin "Complete Poems" also agrees.

Jack Stillinger states that the first version stems from the fair copy in the Morgan Library (NY). The second version you mentioned above is from the Kirkman copy in Mary Frogley's album. This second version says, "From Mary Frogley" in shorthand at the end of the manuscript. So Keats' 1814 original led to a "Fair Copy" which is the Standard Version. Mary Frogley's changed version was copied by Richard Woodhouse and after a few more copies made it to the 1905 published edition. But the original Fair Copy is correct.

It gets quite confusing


Thanks Broken Lyre.
I think I follow you- John wrote the second version originally ( which he gave to Mary Frogley) and then he changed it to "lewd desiring" which became his fair copy. Am I understanding this right?
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: Fill for me a brimming bowl

Postby BrokenLyre » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:36 pm

Raphael wrote: (see above)

"To banish Woman from my mind:
For I want not the stream inspiring
That heats the sense with lewd desiring"

This is Keats' original 1814 version, according to Jack Stillinger's careful analysis and lineage description in his book
The Texts of Keats’s Poems - Jack Stillinger, Harvard University Press, 1974.

This original version became the Fair Copy, now in the Morgan Library. The other version is a later variant and is in Mary Frogley's book. Jack Stillinger doesn't know when exactly the changes occurred, and who knows why the changes - but Raphael is probably correct here that due to the blunt nature of the first edition, it was modified for sensitivity purposes. I hope this is clearer.

At any rate, Stillinger's case is a strong one (and far more detailed than I have mentioned here), so I would support his view.
"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: Fill for me a brimming bowl

Postby Raphael » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:09 pm

"To banish Woman from my mind:
For I want not the stream inspiring
That heats the sense with lewd desiring"


This is Keats' original 1814 version


Thanks Broken Lyre- I thought it was his original version- the reference to "lewd desiring" fits in with the mood of the poem much better. Bless him- he was a bit self recriminating there wasn't he?

This original version became the Fair Copy, now in the Morgan Library. The other version is a later variant and is in Mary Frogley's book. Jack Stillinger doesn't know when exactly the changes occurred, and who knows why the changes - but Raphael is probably correct here that due to the blunt nature of the first edition, it was modified for sensitivity purposes. I hope this is clearer.


Yes- maybe John changed the lines when he gave it to Mary Frogley ( or one of his friends did) - either John or one of his friends was trying to be more ahem *polite* !
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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