The Meaning of "Bright Star"

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Postby uniqueniqueib » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:13 pm

quote="Scrib"]Not to interrupt your squabbling about religion (which I agree that a person doesn't have to believe in something to write about it)

Are you serious so you are telling me JK believes in withces and magic and everything she writes about in Harry Potter. I could write about greek mythology but that doesnt mean i believe in zeus and all the other gods and goddess.
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Postby jediace90 » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:15 pm

I got the idea that Keats was the "Bright Star." In the poem he is accepting his coming death because he knows he will then be able to be with Fanny forever in spirit, in heaven, from the moon, or wherever he believes one goes after death. In line two, he says, "Not in lone" meaning he will not be alone in death cause he will be with Fanny.
This may be a rather far-fetched observation, but in the last six lines of the poem there are a lot of 'l's together. "Still, still, pillow'd, fall, swell, still, still" The many 'l's together led me to believe that it represents Keats and Fanny being together.
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Postby ibasleep » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:44 am

I found the poem to be symbolic of Keats attempting to repent his sins, as he felt he might die soon. The "Bright Star" represents the star over Jesus's manger, which the three wisemen used to find Jesus (who became the path to heaven), therefore the star represents the guiding light to heaven and repent. The rest of the poem follows this theme of repent along with eternal life, even the last line, "And so live ever—or else swoon to death" which is Keats's way saying through God eternal life exists, but with out Him you shal faid into nothing.
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Re: Coming off the tangent...

Postby ibasleep » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:52 am

Scrib wrote:Not to interrupt your squabbling about religion (which I agree that a person doesn't have to believe in something to write about it) I think that Bright Star doesn't have to do with religion. Instead I think Keats is trying to let it through in our minds that repeatedly the Earth goes through it's stages, spring, summer, winter, fall, and even though it's the same stages over and over again, it's still beautiful and it will last much longer than any of us will.

I think that your interpretation though interesting is somewhat wrong, mainly do to the fact that there are biblical/religous references thoughout the entire poem. Not even on a deeper level, there are words such as priestlike, Eremite, and ablution, these are three words that would right away make me think that this poem has some religous meaning.
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Postby Papillon » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:55 am

Jediace, you said: This may be a rather far-fetched observation, but in the last six lines of the poem there are a lot of 'l's together. "Still, still, pillow'd, fall, swell, still, still" The many 'l's together led me to believe that it represents Keats and Fanny being together.

Hmmm....that does seem to be a bit of a stretch in my mind. How does the "L" sound represent the love of John and Fanny?

However, perhaps the consonance of the "L" might represent something else? Maybe the lulling, drifting off? Maybe an insistent and enduring tone -- remember me as I'm fading? (You know how the "L" sound just seems to resonate and echo?)
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Postby Scrib » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:06 am

uniqueniqueib wrote:quote="Scrib"]Not to interrupt your squabbling about religion (which I agree that a person doesn't have to believe in something to write about it)

Are you serious so you are telling me JK believes in withces and magic and everything she writes about in Harry Potter. I could write about greek mythology but that doesnt mean i believe in zeus and all the other gods and goddess.



in case you didn't read it right the first time I AGREE that a person does NOT HAVE to believe in something to write about it...

responding to ibasleep...I didn't say religion wasn't involved whatsoever...but I do believe that he may be referring to religion in a new sense, given how he worships nature and all...he mentions ablution...which is when they purify themselves with holy water.....purifying ones-self through nature, rivers, lakes, streams....Eremite, a nature lover who spends as much time as s/he can amongst nature, practically living in it even....priestlike is continuing the ablution thing...worshipping nature...notice he says priestlike
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:50 am

Please... enough with trying to make put Keats was religious - its just plain wrong.]

You guys are reading your OWN religious beliefs into Keats' writings.

He I'm sure would be horrified at people tacking religious meanings to his work.

Its as ridiculous as putting Christian meaning into the work of the ancient Pagan authors, and equally erroneous.
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Postby Apollonius » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:59 pm

Saturn wrote:Please... enough with trying to make put Keats was religious - its just plain wrong.]

You guys are reading your OWN religious beliefs into Keats' writings.

He I'm sure would be horrified at people tacking religious meanings to his work.

Its as ridiculous as putting Christian meaning into the work of the ancient Pagan authors, and equally erroneous.



I totally agree with you. Keats was contemptuous of religion and had no expectation of eternal life.

"Here lies one whose name was writ in water"

No religious symbols on his grave. Will you religious types please leave the poor old poet alone!
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Postby ibasleep » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:41 pm

Apollonius wrote:
Saturn wrote:

I totally agree with you. Keats was contemptuous of religion and had no expectation of eternal life.

"Here lies one whose name was writ in water"


It is true that Keats had no expectations of eternal life, but it was the thing he craved the most. Keats shows many signs of having the fear of being forgotten when he dies, such as “When I have fears that I may cease to be,” which is more than obvious in its meaning. But in the poem “This Living Hand” Keats speaks of “So in my veins red life might stream again” which purely shows a rebirth of some kind, now in context with the poem this new life is through people mainly Fanny remembering him; but this shows that he has some hope of eternal life. Therefore it can be seen that he is contemplating the Christian beliefs of eternal life, in the hopes of making his own life eternal like the people in the “Grecian Urn” who are “for ever young.” A person does not have to believe in something to understand stand it, therefore Keats may have not been a religious person, but he was most definitely craving something that they held in their own grasps.
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:05 pm

He wanted immortal FAME for his work.

That's what all writers want, isn't it?
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Postby Scrib » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:14 pm

is it so wrong to thing he could be worshipping nature?...trying to refrain from the word "religion" but Keats could be considering transcendentalism* a religion...and couldn't it be all three?...immortality for his poetry which often describes nature (also immortal) which Keats worships (religion-immortal)...
~Scrib
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Postby ibasleep » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:17 pm

Scrib wrote:is it so wrong to thing he could be worshipping nature?...trying to refrain from the word "religion" but Keats could be considering transcendentalism* a religion...and couldn't it be all three?...immortality for his poetry which often describes nature (also immortal) which Keats worships (religion-immortal)...


Thank you, finally someone who in someway supports their anwser.
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Postby Kaki » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:40 pm

Saturn wrote:He wanted immortal FAME for his work.

That's what all writers want, isn't it?


It's interesting you say that, I would have thought most writers wanted to inspire a thought or emotion, to make a connection with the reader. Fame, that is a rather specific word... I would have thought he just wanted to live on in his work, famous or not. As long as it has been written down it will always have the potential to touch someone even long after the author has "ceased to be".
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:49 pm

Kaki wrote:
Saturn wrote:He wanted immortal FAME for his work.

That's what all writers want, isn't it?


It's interesting you say that, I would have thought most writers wanted to inspire a thought or emotion, to make a connection with the reader. Fame, that is a rather specific word... I would have thought he just wanted to live on in his work, famous or not. As long as it has been written down it will always have the potential to touch someone even long after the author has "ceased to be".


Yes I know he wanted to touch his readers, inspire them and all that but the only kind of immortality he wanted was for his work to survive him, not some religious belief in life-after-death.
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Cool!

Postby ibsilly954 » Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:39 am

I'm liking all of these interpretations. Especially that of Black Fire's. Keats is just such a Romantic character. And the idea of the smell of the sea and the billowing wind through his hair as he hopes to recover strikes a chord in me. I love the idea of him being desperate to be remembered for something which is another theme that our class has been following throughtout several of Keats's other poems. I think it's a universal theme that helps us to identify with Keats as more than an author/poet but a person like us. Someone who wants to be important to someone else, basically.
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