Which poem would be better?

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Which poem would be better?

Postby epiphany » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:42 pm

Dear fellows,

As the most of you I'm a keatsian admirer, my name is Oriol, and I'm from Catalonia("Spain"), despite being in my 18s, I do declare myself a romantic(in the movement sense). Although my mother tongue is catalan, I voluntarily try to read, annotate and in a certain mesure live in English. That is why I've chosen Keats, one of my favourites, as a subject of my end-of-year research.
Although I idyllically thought that I could translate of his poems to catalan, my teacher dissuaded me from doing it, and suggested me that I comment some of the translations already done in catalan.
So this is my question, which poem would you prefer or would describe more accurately Keats's style? "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" or "Ode to Autumn"

I initially wanted to do "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" as it's a poem that I insanely love, however while surfing the internet I've found that there's a lot more information about "Ode to Autumn", so I thought "it's up to my fellow Keats experts!".

PS: I'm looking forward to buying a pair of books on Keats, which would you recommend me? I've chosen:
Keats(Arco literary critiques), Keats and Embarrassment and Keats: a Collection of Critical Esays.

Thank you very much!
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Re: Which poem would be better?

Postby Cybele » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:44 am

Hello, Epiphany --
"La Belle Dame. . ." was in many ways an imitation of a medieval ballad. And while, in my opinion, there's much to love about the poem such as its beautiful imagery and dream-like mood, "To Autumn" is one of the Great Odes. And the odes are what most people think of when they hear the name "Keats." "To Autumn" (and this is, again, only my opinion) is so achingly beautiful a poem that I nearly cry every time I hear it recited or read it. It's just so perfect in so many ways.

I'm not familiar with the Arco Literary critiques series at all.
I've read "Keats and Embarrassment." While I found it interesting, it's far from a broad look at Keats or his work.

I'd recommend "A Collection of Critical Essays" because you'll get many different opinions, interpretations and viewpoints. Bates, the editor, is a very well-known Keats scholar.

Please stop back here to the forum often! We'd love to hear what you have to say!
"The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence."
Wallace Stevens
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Re: Which poem would be better?

Postby epiphany » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:20 pm

Hello Cybele,

I'm buying the Critical Essays, but I was wondering if that Harold's Bloom, would be more suitable than the Bate's.

In addition, as Keats and Embarrassment is no longer sold (as a bargain), I would pick up another one. One of this two essays, both pretty interesting: The mind of John Keats by Clarence de Witt Thorpe or the Bate's Stylistic Development of Keats.

If I had more money I would buy them all, but Spain is not easily supplied with English books.

Thank you very much, I'm enjoying a lot while studying Keats, sincerely!
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Re: Which poem would be better?

Postby epiphany » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:18 am

I finally bought the Bate's Critical Essays, and then instead of some other essays I've bought my first complete poetry volume. "The Complete Poems of John Keats and Shelley" (Modern Library, ed. 1934) with annotations of Mary Shelley. I thought I had to take the opportunity and please my reading a little with both Keats and Shelley.

Thank you for your help, I feel understood here!:)
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Re: Which poem would be better?

Postby Raphael » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:35 pm

That's nice- let us know how you do with your studies. :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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