Modern Love

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Modern Love

Postby Dove » Fri Feb 14, 2003 6:05 am

why is "modern love" not given the attention it deserves (@ least, in my humble opinion)? i think it is an amazing poem, although i am having trouble understanding some of it. does anyone have any suggestions for me? (i.e. sources, personal insights, etc) i'm open to anything!
btw, does anyone else think "m. l." is a departure from the tone in which keats usually writes? he seems rather jaded in it....
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Postby Endymion » Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:30 pm

You're right, Dove, it's quite a critical poem. I had to go and find it to read it again, just because I'd forgotten it was there.

But although critical, isn't Keats clear in what he's saying about love:

"Yawning and doting a whole summer long,
Till Miss's comb is made a pearl tiara,
And common Wellingtons turn Romeo boots;
Till Cleopatra lives at Number Seven,
And Anthony resides in Brunswick Square."

It's obvious that he's rebelling against those feelings of doting love; complete consummation by it, and yet in wishing by it he was completely apart from them, knowing what I do about him, I'd also suggest it was a cry for help almost: he apparently wants to be completely seperated from these feelings, but craves them at the same time.

"Fools! make me whole again that weighty pearl
The queen of Egypt melted, and I'll say
That ye may love me in spite of beaver hats"

My Penguin edition says of these lines that "Cleopatra is reputed to have dissolved and drunk a pearl"; but I still would like to know what he means by "beaver hats" ???
"He Stood in His Shoes and he Wondered
He Wondered
He Stood in his Shoes and He Wondered."
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Postby Guest » Mon Apr 28, 2003 6:19 pm

what a weird poem, and maybe he means coonskin hats???
Guest
 

Postby jane » Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:59 pm

Beaver hats are tophats made of felt, which was at the time made from the undercoat of beavers.
jane
 

Beaver Hats.

Postby jfk » Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:31 am

Hi,

Beaver Hats were hats which were worn during the reign of Charles I of England. As to any hidden meaning.. I don't know!
jfk
 

Re: Beaver Hats.

Postby Guest » Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:48 am

jfk wrote:Hi,

Beaver Hats were hats which were worn during the reign of Charles I of England. As to any hidden meaning.. I don't know!
:x I think u ppl should grow up and be sensible...whats this talk of beaver hats? We are to be focusing on the beauty of the words in John keats' poems :wink:
Guest
 

Re: Modern Love

Postby glasswing » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:27 am

I'm no scholar of poetry, but just speculating...
His comparison of 'common Wellingtons' and 'Romeo boots' seems to relate with his comment on 'beaver hats'
I would imagine the same kind of person who'd wear Wellingtons would have worn beaver hats.. so maybe he's talking of someone viewing all these romances from the outside perspective of someone uninvolved. Like, as common as he may seem to those who wear the tiaras and romeo boots, it sounds like he's saying 'I may be common but I know much more about love than you do.. I am capable of wearing Romeo boots'
I'm probably completely off, but it's fun to think about..

"Yawning and doting a whole summer long,
Till Miss's comb is made a pearl tiara,
And common Wellingtons turn Romeo boots;
Till Cleopatra lives at Number Seven,
And Anthony resides in Brunswick Square."

"Fools! make me whole again that weighty pearl
The queen of Egypt melted, and I'll say
That ye may love me in spite of beaver hats"
glasswing
 
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Re: Modern Love

Postby Saturn » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:20 am

What the hell? :lol:

This thread is 7 years old, before even I was here, and it's still nonsense :roll:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Modern Love

Postby RussellL » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:58 pm

I think the meaning of the poem is quite consistent: that love is an illusion which derives from idleness, daydreaming, a desire to bask in the divinity of love, and imitation of great passions / lovers of history.

And what is Love? It is a doll, dress'd up,
For idleness to cosset, nurse and dandle;
A thing of soft misnomers, so divine
That silly youth doth think to make itself
Divine by loving, and so goes on
Yawning and doting a whole summer long,
Till Miss's comb is made a pearl tiara
And common Wellingtons turn Romeo boots;
Then Cleopatra lives at number seven,
And Antony resides in Brunswick Square

In this first section, the tone is sardonic and humorous. Starting by disparaging love as a mere doll, a toy of idleness, Keats goes on to show how idle youth (male or female - carefully left unspecified) builds sentimental castles in the air, converting everyday into romantic objects and idly believing that famous lovers of history live just round the corner

Fools! if some passions high have warm'd the world,
If Queens and Soldiers have play'd deep for hearts,
It is no reason why such agonies
Should be more common than the growth of weeds.

Having built up the tension by mocking love, Keats lets loose his invective and makes a direct attack on sentimentality and imagined love, arguing that most love is a mere desire to imitate the great lovers of history; and to give power to his point, deliberately places romantic agonies next to mundane weeds.

Fools! make me whole again that weighty pearl
The Queen of Egypt melted, and I'll say
That ye may love in spite of beaver hats.

Or in other words, it's about as likely that the ordinary person (ie someone wearing the normal hat of the day) can truly love as it is that you could reconstitute Cleopatra's pearl after it was melted.

The poem is a minor masterpiece of sardonic invective. I'd class it with Shakespeare's 'The excess of spirit in a waste of shame...' but attacking romantic fantasy rather than lust - and using rather more humour.
RussellL
 
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Re: Modern Love

Postby ricaluanna » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:12 am

I totally agree with this one!
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