Par hasard à un rêve


4. John Keats, my French soul, and Poetry
July 27, 2009, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Like Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet,
Orpheus and Eurydice, their love had to come
to an end. Did not they know that true love
never lives, but it dies and dies and dies.

True love, in all it’s celestial charm, and
star-crossed ways, only exist in a writer’s
mind, for humans have not yet learned
how to manifest it.

So, I decided to look up John Keats. It’s really sad that his love with Fanny Brawne didn’t work out and he died so young. And he even requested to have letters by her to him, destroyed, so their relationship must have been tragic.

But what amazes me is the impact he’s had on poetry. I mean, he was one of the greatest poets of the Romantic period.

I’ve only read three so far, but I plan to get to more. The first I read, was La Belle Dame Sans Merci which means in French,  The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy. But (my French teacher would be proud) Merci actually means Thank You in today’s language, but in another time it actually meant mercy.

This spoke to me because though I only took two years of French, I am completely in love with the language. I almost regret switching over to Spanish, but I’ll have to pick up classes again soon, so that the bit of French that I know doesn’t turn to dust.

But anyways, I liked the poem. I read that somewhere it was based on both a dream he had and his indecision about whether he should continue the relationship with Fanny.

Most of his poems seems to be about beauty, which then leads to pleasure, and ultimately love. I think that John Keats was a romantic. He seemed very passionate, and if he loved, he loved deeply. So, when Fanny broke his heart, he fell into a sort of rut.

I think the message he is trying to get across is that things are not always what they appear to be. When you see something so beautiful, like say a butterfly. If you’re religious or not, you wonder at how it came to be. You might wonder how it got those colorful specks in it’s wings or you may wonder why it’s so lithe and free. You don’t really get why it’s there, but you think it’s really really beautiful and that’s all that matters at the moment. If you were a painter or a photographer or a writer or some type of artist, you’d want to capture the creature the best you can. You focus on it, trying to get that mental picture but then it flies away or a bird swoops down and eats it.

Now, it’s gone. You’re sad because you wanted to capture that beauty so bad. You were mesmerized, addicted to it’s presence, and now that it is absent from sight, there’s a piece of your artistic soul missing.

I know my example wasn’t good but exchange that butterfly for a beautiful woman (okay, in my case a handsome man) whom you love dearly and you kinda get what John Keats was trying to say.

I think if somehow I could talk to John Keats, I would tell him that with time, the heart can heal, even after love is lost. I read that he had died a bitter man, and that is truly sad.

But poetry, speaks what the heart feels and from reading his other poems like Bright Star, The Eve of St. Agnes (my favorite) and On a Grecian Urn, I think that John Keats had a beautiful soul.

All poetry comes from the soul, and if not from the soul, it comes from your mind. That’s why I love poetry so much. I don’t know why I stopped writing it. I am so caught up in story writing, that I forget my roots.

When I was seven, I always used to sit on the porch and write about all around me. I remember I wrote this one poem about Spring. It had a pretty basic rhyming scheme, but I like it because it was the first poem I ever wrote. From then on, I just loved poetry. It helped me through a lot of tough times.  And then I fell in love with characters and the stories they had to tell.

* The two stanzas at the beginning of this post, comes from a poem I wrote called The Dissection of Hearts

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Whew. You’ve dissected every inch of that poem of his. I’ve just read one so far. You’ve convinced me to read more.

Artists and their tragic lives. Shelley (also famous poet during the 19th century) led a tragic life. He ended up committing suicide.

Comment by junebugger

Oh dear, he committed suicide! It seems like a lot of artist during that time and even before then, had tragic ends.

Comment by raven




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