In the Footsteps of Keats

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Saturn » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:05 pm

Wow, they sound like a very bright group of students, eager to learn and excited by what you are teaching them: you must be a great teacher!
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Raphael » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:34 pm

Yes Raphael, I reckon Motion got it wrong Rosslyn Hill not Red Lion Hill. There are some older houses in that location but none that look like a cottage and if it was mentioned on a map as "site of Elm Cottage" it must be gone. Not to worry though, I think it makes the places that do remain more precious.


Ah but Scotpacker, it makes me sad to know Elm Cottage is gone...imagine sitting in the very room John and Fanny fell in love that Christmas..sigh...


The lady said she had heard something about a poet in the church but didn't know for sure. I went in and walked down the aisle of the church and there in the middle of the aisle was a large plaque saying that under it lay the final remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The lady had been walking over it for years and had not realised what it was.



Jeepers! Walking over Mr Coleridge's grave!!! And not knowing who he is... :shock:


The thing about Burns and Scotland is that we only have one poet of stature and his poems and songs are down to earth and easily understood by all. They also capture Scottishness to the extent that Burn's night 25th January is more celebrated than St Andrew's day. The poems and songs are also kept alive by Burn's suppers all over the world.


Quite right too!


Wordsworth maintains his appeal because he represents the Lake District and it is impossible to go there without being aware of his presence. Not many of his poems are widely known but he himself will always be popular because he is associated with a wonderful location.



My mother has visited the school he went to and liked it a lot- I think she might have even visited his cottage- I'll have to ask her.



Many of Keats poems are difficult for all but the most serious student to understand but some have widespread popular appeal and because of that he will live on and be remembered at least by those who love the poems.



I understand that..I never had heard of him until I was 29 and at a further education college doing a literature course- we did
Ode To A Nightingale ( which really impressed me ..though I couldn't understand it for toffee), Ode On A Grecian Urn and The Eve of St Agnes( I remember being very puzzled by this...) He really baffled me -especially when the tutor started talking about Truth is Beauty- I made some exclamation, because I didn't get what Junkets meant and the tutor called me cynical ! :oops:
Thankfully, I have since seen the light. :lol:
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: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Raphael » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:39 pm

Saturn wrote:I hear you, you're quite right and your story about Coleridge doesn't surprise me. Alas poetry in general is a neglected subject, rammed down the throat in a 'It's good for you now read it' way at school and most people of not put off by the teaching of it, see no relevance or interest, or find it difficult to find time or the effort required to read anything at all, never mind poetry [which takes a lot more effort than the silly brain-dead blockbusters of Dan Brown]. Ironically with the greater access we have to have to literature and knowledge the less and less people actually read. But now this is beginning to read like a sermon on the death of literature, but you all know what I mean, right?...right?


I most certainly do Saturn! "Glamour" model's novels and autobiographies are sellers these days. :roll:
I'm currently re reading Wuthering Heights.I was reading the Brontes at around age 13- they were amazing.
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: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Raphael » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:43 pm

Ennis wrote:Saturn --

This year, with my middle-schoolers, before we began our poetry unit (of which Keats was a part of), I prefaced the unit with the "poetry lesson" excerpt from "Bright Star" where Keats tells Fanny:

"The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake; to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out -- it is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery."

We discussed what Keats meant by that, and THEY came to the conclusion that he means it's okay not to understand it at first, that you should just enjoy the sounds and the words and the images evoked by them. These are 12 - 13 year old kids. I WILL win one or two of them over to "our side" -- I WILL if it "kills" me.



Ennis- this is BRILLIANT way to introduce the poems to the youngsters- have you included Sleep and Poetry and Tip toe on a little hill?
These are two of my favouites and so perfectly illustrate our dear poet's skill at evoking sounds, sensations, images etc.
Also, do you include some excerpts from his letters? Some of his descriptions of his attendence at dinners, jokes etc are really funny and would let the students see the living poet; a young man full of character and charm.
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: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Raphael » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:49 pm

Thanks for the "vote of confidence"! I have been lucky so far to snare a couple of kids this year. I have 2 in my advanced group who actually took it upon themselves to read some of Keats poetry -- before we even began my Keats unit. Last year, I "hooked" just one that I know of.


AWESOME!



What seems to intrigue most of the kids is that Keats was only 10 years older than most of them when he composed the 1820 volume and some of the works that were posthumously published.



Yes, they can identify with him more then- here was a very young man, vibrant, passionate and not in the least bit dull!


This year, they really liked "Isabella, or the Pot of Basil" - which figures! It has all that stuff middle-schoolers love: Romeo-and-Juliet type of love, murder, decapitation, insanity (poor Isabella!!), and death - from a broken heart, no less.



Can you imagine what John would think of young people all these years later liking his "smokeable" poem? Wouldn't he be surprised? :D


They also enjoyed the "When I Have Fears" sonnet, primarily because of the fact Keats was so young when he died. Actually, they really got in to his life story more than anything else.



That doesn't surprise me- he is so very fascinating. :D


My advanced group enjoyed the "Ode to Autumn" and with explanation, "Ode to a Nightingale" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn" as well.


Excellent! I concur with Saturn Ennis- you must be a great teacher.
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: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Scotpacker » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:42 am

[quote="Ennis"]Saturn --



"The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake; to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out -- it is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery."

Yes Ennis but sometimes it is hard work taking the tough outer shell apart to discover the pearl inside and some poems never reveal such a pearl and rather than luxuriating it can be excruciating trying to unravel the meaning, if there is one. But I certainly agree that it would be a tragedy for kids to go through life without grasping something of the beauty and richness of great poetry.
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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Ennis » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:21 pm

To you all --

Thanks so much for the compliments that mean so very much to me. Teachers rarely hear positive comments -- at least those of us here in the USA. Seems like frequently we, or rather the system of public ed., is blamed for the "ills of society."
We DID actually look at just a few of Keats's letters, primarily the first and second letters to Fanny Brawne and the last two to Chas. Brown, as well as a couple to his sister and a part of a letter to Thomas from Scotland. The advanced group was initiated with the "Vale of Soul-Making" and the "Mansion of Many Apartments" letters. We're wrapping up the year with "Bright Star" (the film).
Raphael --
I did mention to them that Keats wasn't fond at all of "Isabella." Their reaction was "how could someone spend so much time writing a poem like THAT and NOT like it?!" (their implication was "Hey, we like it! How come he didn't!?)
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Raphael » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:09 pm

We DID actually look at just a few of Keats's letters, primarily the first and second letters to Fanny Brawne and the last two to Chas. Brown, as well as a couple to his sister and a part of a letter to Thomas from Scotland. The advanced group was initiated with the "Vale of Soul-Making" and the "Mansion of Many Apartments" letters. We're wrapping up the year with "Bright Star" (the film).


That is great Ennis- i bet they loved the letters!

Raphael --
I did mention to them that Keats wasn't fond at all of "Isabella." Their reaction was "how could someone spend so much time writing a poem like THAT and NOT like it?!" (their implication was "Hey, we like it! How come he didn't!?)


From what I've read from his letters- he found it "mawkish", sentimental I suppose and he thought people would make fun of 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.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby RHaggerty » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:28 pm

Dear fellow Keatians,
I stumbled across the forum a month or so ago, and have been lurking in the shadows. I felt awkward posting, but figured, why not? I “met” Keats last year during my senior year of college. I was having a lot of trouble sleeping, so someone recommended I read poetry before going to sleep. I picked up a compilation of poetry, and there he was. I hadn’t been taught Keats in high school, and although I had heard his name I never pursued him further. But reading his works provided peace and calmness- and curiosity. I researched Keats and discovered there was more to him than his beautiful poetry- Letters and a tragically short life that was so inspirational.
To celebrate my graduation, my aunt, mother and I went to London for a few days. During my time there, I went to the Keats House. By this point, I had begun to read his letters (and the poems that corresponded with the letters at that time) which is still a work in progress, but had enough background of Keats to love the experience. When my adopted elderly dog passed away in November, I got a dachshund puppy whose name is Keats. She is currently napping on my lap, and seems to enjoy the works of her namesake. To quell her separation anxiety, I read his poetry to her and she relaxes. Cheesy? Perhaps… but it works! :)

I’ve enjoyed reading the past posts and learning so much more than I expected to! I am planning a Keats Pilgrimage in the near (but distant) future and enjoyed reading everyone’s adventures. They contributed to my itinerary, so thank you! That is why I have posted under this thread, since it was a major source of interest to me.
I hope everyone has a relaxing pre-holiday season. :D

xo
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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Raphael » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:17 pm

Dear fellow Keatians,
I stumbled across the forum a month or so ago, and have been lurking in the shadows. I felt awkward posting, but figured, why not? I “met” Keats last year during my senior year of college. I was having a lot of trouble sleeping, so someone recommended I read poetry before going to sleep. I picked up a compilation of poetry, and there he was. I hadn’t been taught Keats in high school, and although I had heard his name I never pursued him further. But reading his works provided peace and calmness- and curiosity. I researched Keats and discovered there was more to him than his beautiful poetry- Letters and a tragically short life that was so inspirational.


Welcome! Nice to have you here and to read how you came across dear John's poems. His poetry is lovely to read in bed at night. :D


To celebrate my graduation, my aunt, mother and I went to London for a few days. During my time there, I went to the Keats House. By this point, I had begun to read his letters (and the poems that corresponded with the letters at that time) which is still a work in progress, but had enough background of Keats to love the experience.



I'm in the NW of England- still not been to Keats House- dying to go!


When my adopted elderly dog passed away in November, I got a dachshund puppy whose name is Keats. She is currently napping on my lap, and seems to enjoy the works of her namesake. To quell her separation anxiety, I read his poetry to her and she relaxes. Cheesy? Perhaps… but it works! :)



How sweet! I love that! Maybe she likes the rhythm of the poems. Is that her in the photo? A very pretty dog.


I’ve enjoyed reading the past posts and learning so much more than I expected to! I am planning a Keats Pilgrimage in the near (but distant) future and enjoyed reading everyone’s adventures. They contributed to my itinerary, so thank you! That is why I have posted under this thread, since it was a major source of interest to me.
I hope everyone has a relaxing pre-holiday season. :D

xo


I hope you will continue to post and enjoy the forum. Best Wishes to you.
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: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby elizabethp » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:09 am

i'm going to visit Keats House this summer as i just adore his poetry. thanx everyone for your posts, it's real pleasure to read your Keats posts :D

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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Raphael » Sun May 01, 2011 2:41 am

I hope to go this summer too- do tell us how you found it x
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: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby BrokenLyre » Sun May 01, 2011 3:05 am

Great to hear all - I long to go to England. I checked the flights from New York State - and it' runs about $1,600 per ticket. Ouch. That's about the price of an ounce of pure gold these days!

Gotta find me some ore with gold veins.
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Re: In the Footsteps of Keats

Postby Heart2 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:28 am

Saturn wrote:Wow, they sound like a very bright group of students, eager to learn and excited by what you are teaching them: you must be a great teacher!


Yes you are really right. I think teachers should flexible to students to become a great teacher. Sometimes students want to fun, write funny poems about school, go to picnic etc. The teachers should give inspirations to their students for keep them happy. If a teacher become also friend of his or her students, I think then the teacher will be a great teacher.
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