Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bright Star

Yesterday I watched the Jane Campion movie Bright Star about the very short romance of John Keats and Fanny Brawne (1818/19-1821), which happened in the last year of his life before he died of consumption (tuberculosis). It made me cry like a baby, especially when he died, as it seemed to have shattered Fanny. It is said the at she wore his mother's ring until she died. The poetry in it was beautiful and made me realize that I've never really read any of his stuff, so I borrowed his complete poems from the library. Bright Star is actually the name of one of his poems, in the movie and apparently real life he composes it for Fanny, so I thought I would include it on here. Everyone needs a little poetry in their life.

By John Keats
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art---
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors---
No---yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever---or else swoon in death.

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