Presentation on theme: "John Keats 1795 – 1821 Trained as a physician Gave up medicine for poetry Died of Tuberculosis."— Presentation transcript:
John Keats 1795 – 1821 Trained as a physician Gave up medicine for poetry Died of Tuberculosis
My spirit is too weak—mortality Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep, And each imagined pinnacle and steep Of godlike hardship tells me I must die Like a sick eagle looking at the sky. Yet ’tis a gentle luxury to weep That I have not the cloudy winds to keep Fresh for the opening of the morning’s eye. Such dim-conceived glories of the brain Bring round the heart an undescribable feud; So do these wonders a most dizzy pain, That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude Wasting of old time—with a billowy main— A sun—a shadow of a magnitude. “ON Seeing the Elgin Marbles” What is the TONE? which words / images denote this? What do you think the situation is? What is the role of nature in the poem? how is this different from what we’ve seen in the other romantics?
My spirit is too weak—mortality Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep, And each imagined pinnacle and steep Of godlike hardship tells me I must die Like a sick eagle looking at the sky. Yet ’tis a gentle luxury to weep That I have not the cloudy winds to keep Fresh for the opening of the morning’s eye. Such dim-conceived glories of the brain Bring round the heart an undescribable feud; So do these wonders a most dizzy pain, That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude Wasting of old time—with a billowy main— A sun—a shadow of a magnitude. “ON Seeing the Elgin Marbles” Imagined that you are a young poet or artist (even a sculptor) just learning your craft. How might the age, the condition, and the craftsmanship of these statues effect you? What are the themes of this poem?
John Keats 1795 – 1821 Trained as a physician Gave up medicine for poetry Died of Tuberculosis “Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ in Water” --engraved on his tombstone.
“Ode to a Nightingale” I. My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,-- That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
Loss of self – “Negative capability” is the poet’s ability to lose himself in something larger and not understandable, to takes oneself out of the poetic experience without intellectualizing or reducing or totalizing it by structured knowledge (i.e. experiences beauty rather than forming an overarching, philosophical world view). Stems from Keats criticism of Coleridge whom he thought searched for knowledge over beauty. Notice the “loss of self” …
II. O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country green, Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim: How does the poet use the senses?
III. Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
IV. Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays; But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. Characterize this “place” the poet is taken to? Given this and the last stanza, what is the purpose of song, poetry, art?
V. I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child, The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. What is the “mood” of this stanza? What has happened to the poet? What is the role of nature and the senses here?
VI. Darkling I listen; and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die, To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad In such an ecstasy! Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain-- To thy high requiem become a sod. Is this a happy or sad stanza?
VI. Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. Are there similarities here to “Elgin Marbles?” How is art characterized?
VII. Forlorn! the very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:--Do I wake or sleep? Is the poet changed by this “trip?”
Questions? How is this different or similar to other Romanic poetry? Keats turned his back on medicine (and financial stability) because he thought that he could do more good with poetry. How? What is the purpose or role of art? What is the hope for the poet? How does this poem relate to Keat’s tombstone?
Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822 Born to an aristocratic and conservative family (father in parliament) Went to Oxford in 1810 (and published his first book) Thrown out in 1811 for publishing “The Necessity of Atheism.” eloped with Harriet Westbrook (16, he was 19) to Scotland, where he passed out incendiary panphlets (to a peasantry that wasn’t literate) Met William Godwin, author of Political Justice…. Fell in love with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and abandoned Harriet who was pregnant (2 nd child) with Mary for Italy. …