Random Keats Sightings

Events that are related to Keats, lectures, new publications. Also your Photos of Keats-related locations, events etc.

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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Raphael » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:09 am

BrokenLyre wrote:Raphael, it amazes me how you come across these Keats sightings (hearings).... I must not be paying attention.


They just happen Broken Lyre! :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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby BrokenLyre » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:59 pm

Ok - this is not so much of a sighting as it is a "speaking." I went to the foot doctor today, and he mentioned that he went to Rome. Saw the Spanish Steps. I talked about Keats, of course, and he was interested to some extent. But this very smart doctor didn't know anything about him and didn't even realize that he was next to the Keats-Shelley Memorial House. Never even saw the plaque on the wall. Unreal. Ironic.

hmm..some people...
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Ennis » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:42 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:Ok - this is not so much of a sighting as it is a "speaking." I went to the foot doctor today, and he mentioned that he went to Rome. Saw the Spanish Steps. I talked about Keats, of course, and he was interested to some extent. But this very smart doctor didn't know anything about him and didn't even realize that he was next to the Keats-Shelley Memorial House. Never even saw the plaque on the wall. Unreal. Ironic.

hmm..some people...


BrokenLyre,

I can understand that. When my brother and I went on our Keats "pilgrimage" in the summer of 2009, we got lost in Hampstead looking for The House. We asked about 10 people if they could direct us to it, and they had no clue!! About three of the 10 didn't even know who Keats was!! We finally went into a secondary school, and the ladies in the office were extremely helpful. I'm still trying to understand how one can live in London/Hampstead and be so totally clueless about Keats. You'd think they all would be proud of their Golden Boy. . . .
"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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Saturn » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:47 am

I think you overestimate the intelligence/interest of the vast majority of people sadly. Poetry and poets, literature in general [with the dubious exception of the latest 'celebrity' autobiography and in the previous decade the Harry Potter phenomenon] are of little to zero interest to most people. Doesn't surprise me that most of the people you aced had never heard of Keats; though when I was in Hampstead you couldn't look around anywhere without seeing a sign, shop or some other mention of the name Keats.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Ennis » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:31 am

Saturn wrote:I think you overestimate the intelligence/interest of the vast majority of people sadly. Poetry and poets, literature in general [with the dubious exception of the latest 'celebrity' autobiography and in the previous decade the Harry Potter phenomenon] are of little to zero interest to most people. Doesn't surprise me that most of the people you aced had never heard of Keats; though when I was in Hampstead you couldn't look around anywhere without seeing a sign, shop or some other mention of the name Keats.


I don't believe I overestimate; I think, really, I just expect people to know Keats. But your points are well taken. I live in Asheville, North Carolina, and we have our own literary native son: Thomas Wolfe. I do believe that a great majority of Ashevilleans would be clueless -- or they would have heard of him but wouldn't have read him.
Last edited by Ennis on Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby BrokenLyre » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:01 am

Everything you say Saturn, I agree with - sadly. I guess people in Britain and the US (and other places for that matter) really take little interest in historical, literary figures. It still amazes me however that people are so clueless when it comes to knowing famous people from their own hometown! Good grief.

And Ennis - I was surprised you were in Hampstead in 2009 - a long way from North Carolina. But I did visit the famous Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC about 10 years ago. Way cool. You also have one of the VERY best driving highways in America (just my opinion).
"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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Ennis » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:51 pm

BrokenLyre wrote:Everything you say Saturn, I agree with - sadly. I guess people in Britain and the US (and other places for that matter) really take little interest in historical, literary figures. It still amazes me however that people are so clueless when it comes to knowing famous people from their own hometown! Good grief.

And Ennis - I was surprised you were in Hampstead in 2009 - a long way from North Carolina. But I did visit the famous Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC about 10 years ago. Way cool. You also have one of the VERY best driving highways in America (just my opinion).


BrokenLyre, et. al.:

How cool you were in Asheville!! If you come again soon, please contact me -- I'd love to visit and have a nice, long chat on a subject most dear to all our hearts! ("Please tell that great poet and most noble-hearted man that we will all hold his memory in the most precious parts of our hearts, and that the world will bow its heads to it, as our loves do. . . .", LHunt). As a matter of fact, the invitation is extended to all my Keatsian friends out there in cyber-Keats land. My hope is to visit London for an extended stay, with the possibility of immigrating there and becoming a citizen of England (Great Britain?), sometime during the year 2016. Again, as I have expressed this desire on one of the forum threads a while back, a meeting of our 21st century version (gosh forbid: to think I live in the 21st century -- how depressing! :( ) of the Keats's Circle on Keats's own "stomping grounds" would be so ideal, not to mention fun!! :D :D
Speaking of immigration, do any of you have suggestions on how feasible that venture would be, as well as the procedural aspects of relocation from one country to another? I'm not much of a computer person, and therefore, I lack the patience (not to mention the skill!) that I'm sure would be needed to research this on-line. It is a life dream/goal of mine to live in London, preferably Hampstead (one of the most expensive places on the planet to live, or so I've read. . . okay, I'll settle for the East End, if it's any less taxing on my retirement funds!!). Hopefully, sometime during 2016, I'll be able to mark that goal off my "bucket list."
On the subject of The Bucket List (and I'm referring to the film starring Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine [I think it's Caine]), there's a song by John Mayer (who, to me, casts such a modern-day Byronic figure in many ways) that I believe is played during the movie's final credits. The song's title is "Say," and if y'all ever get the chance to listen to or read the lyrics, I think you'll be surprised how every verse can be connected in some way to Keats's life. It's so uncanny (to me) -- it almost makes a Keatsian think it was a song written for a movie on the life of Keats. Check it out and let me know what y'all think. Maybe later this evening, I'll post the lyrics for you to read if you are unfamiliar with the song. It's track 13 on Mayer's Continuum CD.
Oh! I'm frequently forgetting how "indispensible" the computer is at allowing us 21st "victims" to access almost anything via the Internet, including the lyrics to the aforementioned song, as well as video of Mayer singing it on You Tube!! :oops:
"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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Cybele » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:40 pm

I came across this while playing around the Internet looking for more on Wallace Stevens. (One thing led to another -- you know how web surfing goes. :) )
Written by Countee Cullins, a poet of the U.S. Harlem Renaissance, in 1925:


TO JOHN KEATS, POET, AT SPRING TIME
(For Carl Van Vechten)
I cannot hold my peace, John Keats;
There never was a spring like this;
It is an echo, that repeats
My last year's song and next year's bliss.
I know, in spite of all men say
Of Beauty, you have felt her most.
Yea, even in your grave her way
Is laid. Poor, troubled, lyric ghost,
Spring never was so fair and dear
As Beauty makes her seem this year.

I cannot hold my peace, John Keats,
I am as helpless in the toil
Of Spring as any lamb that bleats
To feel the solid earth recoil
Beneath his puny legs. Spring beats
her tocsin call to those who love her,
And lo! the dogwood petals cover
Her breast with drifts of snow, and sleek
White gulls fly screaming to her, and hover
About her shoulders, and kiss her cheek,
While white and purple lilacs muster
A strength that bears them to a cluster
Of color and odor; for her sake
All things that slept are now awake.

And you and I, shall we lie still,
John Keats, while Beauty summons us?
Somehow I feel your sensitive will
Is pulsing up some tremulous
Sap road of a maple tree, whose leaves
Grow music as they grow, since your
Wild voice is in them, a harp that grieves
For life that opens death's dark door.
Though dust, your fingers still can push
The Vision Splendid to a birth,
Though now they work as grass in the hush
Of the night on the broad sweet page of the earth.

"John Keats is dead," they say, but I
Who hear your full insistent cry
In bud and blossom, leaf and tree,
Know John Keats still writes poetry.
And while my head is earthward bowed
To read new life sprung from your shroud,
Folks seeing me must think it strange
That merely spring should so derange
My mind. They do not know that you,
John Keats, keep revel with me, too.
"The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence."
Wallace Stevens
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby BrokenLyre » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:01 am

Thanks Cybele. I enjoyed reading the longer poem. About a year ago (?) someone on the forum posted just the last 2 stanzas - so I was glad to read the full version.

I have seen a number of wonderful poems to Keats on this Forum and I copy and paste them to my own computer. I gotta try writing a poem to Keats, though I am afraid it will fall far short of anything I have seen on this Forum. That's what prevents me from trying.

Someday I will do so.
"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: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Fanny » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:42 pm

Some verses to the memory of Keats by M. Green:

If many kings and senators had died,
My heart could not have given mine eyes a tide
So strong and deep as that which drowns my breath,
Departed spirit of Keats! to bathe thy death!
Like an ethereal minstrel, born for love—
To give a foretaste of the joys above,
O! thou wert wond'rous in thy gentle youth,
Giving delicious songs in lovely truth!
Nature thy guide — Simplicity thy aim,
Thou sang'st thy passage to the heaven of fame.
Like White, thy hallow'd ecstacies were zoned,
Celestial for the beauty which they toned;
Terrestrial ears were charm'd to hear thee sing,
And drank thy music from thy wells and spring.
Erewhile the fleeting pageantries of earth
Inspire Laureates to give Vision birth,
Thou, on the blossoms of thine own sweet leaves,
"Borne with the very sigh that silences heaves,"
Hast soon ascended to receive thy crown
Of fadeless bays eternal and renown.
Not like the mermaid that enchants the sea,
Then leaves the tar in hopeless destiny;
Not like the lark that goes to heavenly skies
And comes to earth again and songless dies;
Nor like the bird of night in thorns, that sings
To silent moonlight, form'd by Shadow's wings;
Nor yet the cuckoo heralding the air
To love's companionship the lives that bear:—
—Though in the worm's own mansion for mankind,
Though risen to rest, thy works are left behind,—
These transcripts of thy fancy and thy heart,
With life will live, immortal as thou art!
The flatt'ring and the vain will drop unwept,
And millions sleep with those who've centuries slept;
Ages will roll and empires sink to dust—
Ruins be traceless, though by victory nurst,—
But thy descriptive and pathetic page
Shall yield delight to each succeeding age,
Like thy lov'd Chaucer and thy Spenser, be
Time's choice memorial to eternity!
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Saturn » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:22 pm

Very much of its time, and somewhat Huntian, [for want of a better description] but heartfelt I'm sure nonetheless.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Cath » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:58 pm

I bumped into "our poet" while listening to the induction ceremony last week for the Ted Hughes memorial at Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. Seamus Heaney referred to Keats's belief that great suffering "is a schooling in the course of which an intelligence is transformed into a soul" and applied it to Hughes's life, particularly the personal tragedies he experienced in the 1960s.

On a lighter note: Funny to think that Keats temporarily had lodgings in College Street around the corner from the Abbey in October 1819. Nowadays he has a mural tablet in the Abbey itself!

http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/john-keats
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Cath » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:30 pm

Here's the programme about the ceremony (I think it can be listened to for the next 4 days); Keats is mentioned around the 36 minute mark:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0183glm/Archive_on_4_Ted_Hughes_Memorial_Tones/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0183glm
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Cath » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:28 pm

It's funny where Keats crops up. I was at the cinema watching Margaret (starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon etc) yesterday and there's a scene where Paquin is at a lit. class in school. Behind her teacher (Matthew Broderick) you could see a date scrawled the blackboard "1795-" and I began to think "I bet that's my beloved Ke-" and then sure enough the shot panned out to show "John Keats (1795-1821)"!!

Earlier in the day I had been reading a biography of the German poet Georg Heym which quoted a reference to Keats from Heym's diary (the poet was telling himself to read more Keats, because he and a few other ones were the only truly "human" poets on earth).
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)
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Re: Random Keats Sightings

Postby Raphael » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:54 pm

Great he was acknowledged. :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.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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