A Brighter Word Than Bright
Keats at Work
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Iowa Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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...I owe many people a debt of thanks in the writing of this book; without them it wouldn’t have been written. Joseph Parsons first approached me to ask if I’d be interested in working on the Muse Series, and when I answered “Yes, if Keats,” he was all encouragement. I am very lucky to find myself surrounded by colleagues who both support and...
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Keats’s profile into his painting “Christ’s Entry into Jeru-next months, on into years, this replica of Keats’s face gains arrived. In his letters, Keats asks after his own face, pursues mortals of the art he’d practice—that he is one whose voice is in search of his face. Such is the condition of a poet whose ...
A Note on the Book
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...and, in adjusting the reader’s focal distance, reveals to us the reticent to tell his own friends the facts of his history, accu-have little interest in of_fering a portrait of Keats more accu-This book’s ef_fort is to mine Keats’s poetic concerns even ing of Keats’s poems and letters, from 1816 to 1820, attending ...
First Portrait: Young Keats, Weeping Beneath the Desk
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...ration, this fighter, this scrapper, went to the master’s desk come. The accurate portrait isn’t the boy crying; that boy is The portrait is the desk itself, where forever in the cloistered “the purest red brick” that is “wrought by means of moulds sees that past as immediate, as present. Let’s say the reader ...
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...not only of reaching Helicon’s heights, but also of being led Keats feels the threat inside desire’s promise—or is it the kind of attraction, but more deeply, an existential pull: it is her once again before his “rev’ling eyes.” Keats wants the self and self- history and self- want—return pure, essential, ...
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...quently mentioned.”three.super Almost all of the poems of the time place was Clarke’s home, where they “revel’d in a chat that ceased not / When at night- fall among your books we got.”five.super the fact of that silence slowly enveloping him: “You chang’d the footpath for the grassy plain.”six.super The foot in the grass is ...
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...hear the steady drone of the bee’s wings in f_light. That hum and their “mournful wail,” creates a drone so steady it ceases to be heard even as it is ever present, so ever present it seems Keats’s own time to the “Cockney” inf_luence in the poems, the early poems as the young poet’s failing, if still needed, ...
Sacred & Profane
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...cipient’s eyes. The image faces all who hold the letter, a pub-“half- discover’d revels” of her bridal night. It is a strange herself discover—it is as if in her peering out the curtains, “wonders of the sky and sea” without the “social thought” the need to unfold the sonnet’s brevity into the later poem’s ...
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...all.” 1zero.super But the earliest imprint of organic form confuses grown substantial, and the source of that breath is another’s guided by that voice in the self that is not the self’s own. It confine, disables the ease of our self- sufficiency. Our genius of us. That dif_ference, once established, is vast, is filled with ...
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...ing breeze is inspired itself. Keats, throughout his poetry, is carries it. Air also carries the bee’s hum, the bird’s music. green island, far from all men’s knowing?,” Keats writes in the opening of “Sleep and Poetry,” making of “blowing” a “blowing” is far from “knowing,” is no fact of mere witness, ...
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Imagination pulls the mind into that “gentle tale” of which this mind’s beguilement, this imagination’s spell, conducts in the mind, so that the nightingale’s song isn’t merely the in the air to hear, but to hear within the bird’s song another eye sees that it sees; the ear hears that it hears; and the figure ...
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...the ear’s labyrinth into a sense that is no longer the nerve’s “Nature’s observatory,” but he prefers “the sweet converse refin’d.”2six.super The erotic strand of Keats’s poetic concerns is not pattern in it. To sing is to be among the sinews, the tendrils, witness of “where the deer’s swift leap / Startles the wild ...
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...ciple dismissive of thought’s logic. The mind alters in beauty’s The eyes stare until they “forget they stare.” Beauty disables if to a single point—but it is a point that is also an expanse.tear is “an intellectual thing.”three.superzero.super Keats doesn’t know, nor is it for him appears again in his eyes, beauty’s tantalizing re-...
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...seems right to say it occurs in “an instant of time.”three.super1 Zeno image, his “intellectual and emotional complex,”three.super2 into a “sitting careless on a granary f_loor,”three.superfour.super this image in “I stood tip- toe upon a little hill” is one facet of the same concern, And how they kist each other’s tremulous eyesthree.superfive.super...
Second Portrait: Apprenticeship
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...the singing of birds, beauty and beauty’s own world. I like to not yet poetry’s bower, but the doctor’s office in which the Keats’s medical training was far from “modern”; no one had gloom and darkness.three.super Keats in later years suf_fered from his circulates in the arteries, and fertilizes the sperm is the same ...
The Burden of a Shepherd Song
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...to be finished at summer’s end, the “laurel crown” going to fully—to the realization that such a crown is not Hunt’s to of being unable to lose himself in that “delphic labyrinth” gains greater reality than its social significance. To be called pair, Keats returns to sensibility, and sensibility alters ambi-...
Third Portrait: Ascent & Descent
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...fair weather until his return. Keats himself felt in his consti-ability to recover strikes some as a sign of the latent illness that Dante had reached hell’s lowest circle where the frozen, alive again into the world. But sometimes one is lost in one’s Keats sees to the limits of his seeing; he has no Virgil to hide ...
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...wilting f_lower too delicate to bear the world’s buf_feting, but in the abstract makes him a severe critic of his own Works.”1 inf_lict upon him; Keats also knows that the long poem’s fail-rally as the Leaves to a tree”three.super lurks a deeper ethic than vessel, not creative in itself, but in whose crucible that which ...
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...circling his head, a remnant vision in his eye. But in Keats’s death,”six.super to an indolence “abominably idle.”seven.super Both extremes the hot hand of thought.”nine.super That leaf is a f_lower’s petal and That lock of Milton’s hair acts as a strange catalyst to Keats’s poetic mind. It tempers the fever of his intent; it deepens his ...
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...ever deeper into a sense of his life’s not distant limits, he pen, a gleaner’s tool; the book, a granary. Keats’s organic as the Leaves to a tree it had better not come at all”1seven.super— tural rhythms, agricultural rites. Poetry unfolds a leaf in the sense of the mind that is not only cyclical in the agricultural ...
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...tence for the delight of one’s fellows.”2five.super Now, preparing to I live to the completion of the three next.”2six.super He hopes to in his ear despite the mist that clouds his vision. Those mists, their obscuring veils, re- echo in Keats’s mind as, sitting on As thrilled as he is by wonder at the landscape with its epical ...
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...wanted, but is pulled toward it. Eros’s string is an invisible one Night as a tune of Mozart’s might do. . . . I don’t cry essence,”three.superthree.super that sense of essence has become one that can-tity.” Keats sees and becomes: “I forget myself entirely be-who it is that says “I” so only the saying remains, and when ...
Fourth Portrait: Of Thrushes & Sparrows (A Palimpsest, 1817–1820)
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...seeking that “fine suddenness” that shocks it out of its delib-one’s own face so it is recognizable to oneself. It is a kind all Keats’s singularity of person, for all the solidifying drive fines of the self, as a f_ledgling might f_ly from the nest, be-ingale, a poem which has been the delight of every one.four.super...
Of the Odes: A Speculative Context
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...former Miltonic in feel, the latter invested with Dante’s lyric “I”—take as their concern the result of a great battle be-all of the Imagination.”1 “Imaginary grievances have always real ills better than imaginary ones.”three.super His real grievances are maker, of returning to medicine, of writing “professionally,” ...
Indolence; or, The First Seen Shades Return
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...page, but that page is itself a leaf, and turned over, it falls fruit.”1three.super Indolence puts at stake extraordinary opposites: the mind’s native temperature, a secret solar force that like indolent fit, plague inverts into passion, a feeling so fervent of intelligence as a poem’s primary source. “I am three and ...
Psyche; or, The Wreath’d Trellis of a Working Brain
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Keats begins “Ode to Psyche” with an invocation that is also state to achieve: “I wander’d in a forest thoughtlessly.”2four.super learn to accept that he is a seer. What he sees, he must speak. and the Devil”: “The fact is, it is a Libel on the Devil and as Muse how can he expect to write.”2six.super The implied dif_ference ...
Melancholy; or, The Rainbow of the Salt Sand-Wave
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...almost sobbing long “oo,” cut by the tongue hitting the back “b” and “p”—Keats creates within a soundscape of sorrow of “Ode on Melancholy” sings into Keats’s godless crisis, his “sorrow on a morning rose,”three.super2 but instinct presses on his a purpose and his eyes are bright with it.three.superthree.super...
Nightingale; or, Fled Is That Music
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...has—willingly or not, we don’t know—partaken of in “Ode sation. “Hemlock” not only implies that this “drowsy numb-irreversibility—of the soul’s immortality. Socrates can die as the gift writing’s labor of_fers as recompense. But poetry’s gence destined to possess the sense of Identity. I can scarcely ...
Urn; or, To What Green Altar
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To write the line “Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness” ing the object of his concern. That object holds within itself, power is in its lack of abstraction. It questions itself in pal-tals”—that recall both Psyche and Cupid found in the poet’s ingale’s song transforms into “soft pipes” that play “spirit ...
Autumn; or, Careless on a Granary Floor
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...in my [S]unday’s walk that I composed upon it.six.superzero.superyears has referred to his condition as being “in a Mist,” we “more happy love.” That shape, the circle, first encountered again, more intimately, in Keats’s own hands, as he turns the Urn around to see the entirety of its brede, of_fers to the poet ...
Fifth Portrait: Envelopes (Opened & Unopened) & Aeolian Harps
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...day—their brittle parchment. He is staying at Leigh Hunt’s, you. Everything else tastes like chaf_f in my Mouth.”1 Fanny’s the letter. A maid had opened it, perhaps read it. In a fury, in I like to think of Keats right then, in fever of body and fever ened, a silhouette, no features visible. And I like to think of ...
The Many Last Months: Imagination’s Ambivalence
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...forget me,” he writes to Fanny in one of his nearly daily let-to the possible but improbable.”four.super One of the measures of those “consequitive reasonings”five.super of which Keats is so criti-Keats’s aesthetic vision dif_fers. He wants a poem to include ‘If I should die,’ said I to myself, ‘I have left no immor-...
Sixth Portrait: The Late Flowers
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...convulsed as he died in his friend’s arms. “[H]e said, ‘did growing over me—O for this quiet—it will be my first’—”four.superthe men put tufts of daisies upon the grave—he said—‘this would be poor Keats’s wish—could he know it’—.”five.super...
Last Portrait: Of His Hand
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...pleting their projects, as if the fragmentary nature of Keats’s other’s still living hands. Severn, Keats’s friend and nurse to paint Keats in the most “poetic” light, giving us not the perceptive life that saying “I” would falsely limit the nature of the vision whose imaginative force expands past the self’s ...
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Page Count: 184
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Muse Books
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth