For the uneducated

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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For the uneducated

Postby Simon » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:30 pm

I have only in the last year been interested in keats, well to be honest a year ago i had never even heard of him, and poetry was an alien concept to me. i have always just read sci-fi or fantasy and only found hyperion because i read dan simmons' cantos. inspired by reading keats i went on to read homer, wordsworth etc etc, and now i cant imagine life without them! my point (there is one!) is that it would have been so very easy for me not to have 'found' poetry at all, a terrifying thought!
im 27 now, is there anyone else who discovered keats/poetry late on? and is it a worry that poetry is becoming more and more difficult to discover (outside of colleges/unis)
Simon
 

Postby Saturn » Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:39 pm

Firstly, a warm welcome to the John Keats Bulletin Board :D

I can relate to your discovery of Keats.

About six or seven years ago I was at University, nineteen years old only interetsed in rock music and video games then out of some strange impulse I bought a cheap edition of the Selected Poems of Coleridge which fascinated and daunted me but which was my initial foray into poetry.

Before that, the very word 'poetry' was anathema to me because of how it had been drummed senseless into me in school which almost put me off it for life :roll:

From Coleridge I went straight for the jugular, invested in the complete works of Shakespeare, then moved swiftly on to the romantics - Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, and eventually, Keats.
Poetry became an obsession, a way of life, both reading and writing my own [specimins of which are on this site somewhere]

It's great that poetry can capture one's imagination at any time of life - 27 isn't too late my friend.

Once again welcome - hope you find it interesting.

Looking forward to your input.
Last edited by Saturn on Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Simon » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:37 am

thanks. like you said, initially the poetry is extremely daunting- something that also put me off at school, and even now i struggle with some of the strange words, vague references and sometimes mystifying meanings. :(

however, i find that, especially with romantic poems, and keats in particular, just drinking in the beautiful language and phrasing and letting the wonderful imagery wash over me, i feel relaxed, happy and start to find that i have more of an appreciation for things like nature and simple love. :oops:

i feel that at school the teachers are like 'YOU WILL TELL ME WHAT THIS POEM MEANS--NOW!!!', whereas they should maybe be saying 'take this, go someplace and enjoy'

while i do find it interesting to discover all the meanings behind the lovely words, for me, at least, simply enjoying the experience must come first
Simon
 

Postby Saturn » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:59 am

Yes I know what you mean - it took me years to work out all the obscure references and meanings but it is wonderful to just let your mind wander while reading the beautiful words and to create the images that Keats, or other great poets can summon to our minds.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Despondence » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:35 am

Simon wrote:thanks. like you said, initially the poetry is extremely daunting- something that also put me off at school, and even now i struggle with some of the strange words, vague references and sometimes mystifying meanings. :(

however, i find that, especially with romantic poems, and keats in particular, just drinking in the beautiful language and phrasing and letting the wonderful imagery wash over me, i feel relaxed, happy and start to find that i have more of an appreciation for things like nature and simple love.

Well said, and I totally recognize where you come from. When I first read Keats several years ago, English being only my second language, much of the archaich language and mythical references were completely lost on me. But even so, if I only understood half of it, the beautiful sounds they made coming out of my mouth (sometimes I read out loud - and I don't have a pretty voice!) just got me hooked, and made me want to go back and relearn all that stuff I never cared about in school. You could say Keats sent me back to school :)

i feel that at school the teachers are like 'YOU WILL TELL ME WHAT THIS POEM MEANS--NOW!!!', whereas they should maybe be saying 'take this, go someplace and enjoy'

while i do find it interesting to discover all the meanings behind the lovely words, for me, at least, simply enjoying the experience must come first

Man, you totally nailed it, teachers and critics could take a cue from you. I sometimes feel that a piece looses some of its charm when it is dissected and overanalyzed by the experts, where every last reference and allusion is "explained" down to the atomic level and everybody has to agree that this is the official truth behind the words. I enjoy it more when not everything is explained or understood, and your mind is free to wander and discover the "truths" for yourself, as they relate to you. Which may be different from how they relate to the next person. Anyway.

As to your question: I have a couple of years on you...I too was late to the party :)
Despondence
 

Postby fleshyniteshade » Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:12 am

My 6th grade teacher had us remember poems and recite, go-figure the only one I would remember for years was a Keat's Ode to a Grechian Urn (just the last part). I didn't start to read poetry until I attempted to write it and realize I had no idea what I was doing...so why not start off with the only poem I actually know? Picked up Keats and read ^_^

Now Keats has become a very sense of mania joy to me. I have to admit, I didn't understand much of anything when I read his stuff the first time but what did stick out was always his love for beauty and his sense of love. The second paragraph to Ode to Fanny, it made me become very obsess with the idea of love. There was a period when I was in high school and I found bumps on my >_< so naturally I freaked out but didn't tell anyone for like 3 years (later when I did I learn it was just some common skin problem and they removed it that day...lol learned my lesson?) but during the whole time I wasn't intimate and avoided relationships and everything of that nature. Keats became my outlet to love and such...my outlet to beauty? It was like being a beast in a cage seeing beauty and always wanting to reach out and grab it...or love...and never reaching. He turned me into some big dreaming romantic I like to believe.

(Too lazy to grammar/spell check what I wrote so ignore that! I tend do type far too fast for common sense's sake.)
"aye, my envious dreams do shyly express thy tenderous lips fairly laced with sensous honey and I like aroused virgins dwell upon such dining"
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:39 am

Keats taught me the true meaning of being a Romantic in a way that Shelley and Byron couldn't.
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Postby alicey » Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:04 pm

I'm fairly new to Keats as well. I'm taking a 3000 level English literature course at my university, and we've been studying some of the Romantic poets this semester. So far, Keats has been on my list of favorite poets. He's just so great, and even if you can't understand everything he says, his poetry really draws you into his world, and you can get a vivid sense of what he's talking about and experiencing. It's great stuff.
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Postby Saturn » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:23 pm

Another convert :D
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