Friday 10 August 2007

A Man To Move You

I'm going to cheat tonight.
I think I did mention recently that I've got a lot on right now.
I had hoped to visit a few blogs tonight before going away tomorrow, but I have guests tonight and must be at a party tomorrow.

So I hope you'll find Keats enjoyable. I think he's pretty amazing, myself, though he doesn't float everyone's boat.

Keats was two years younger than me when he died.
But he was easily the greatest of his set.
Shelley, Byron, yes, they wrote a lot of good poetry, all of it making Wordsworth look as talented as Baldrick, but Keats, Keats was up there with Coleridge and Blake.

I really hope you like this as much as I do.

Ode To A Nightingale

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-wingèd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal 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-stainèd mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

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 grey 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.

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.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmèd 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.

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 musèd 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.

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 ofttimes hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

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 famed 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?

Top quality.
Don't you agree?


Anonymous said...

That's not cheating at all! I loved it! Great choice!

Anonymous said...

Aaaah, gorgeous, glad you were busy, I needed the pulse of Keats on mine.

Anonymous said...

Here we are, Crushed! Byron, Keats, Shelley (in alphabetic order!).
An interesting triumvirat. Plus Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin ... Ah, who cares about Harriet Westbrook, who about their kids? A tribute to the genius.
a) Don't mind certain comments to come.
And b)Beware of sailing then, mate. I hope you'll get stone-old.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Stone-old would be German. Thus: ... old as a hill. :)

Anonymous said...

Thats crap Mr Ingsoc - I could do better meself and Im tone deaf? For a start loads of it doesn't rhyme...

Anonymous said...


What doesn't rhyme?

Anonymous said...

Well no one is complaining I see.
One of the nicest tourist things I've ever done is go to Keats house in Rome by the Spanish Steps where he lived and died in 1821. It is now a museum dedicated to him and the other romantic poets, Shelley and Byron. We spent ages reading letters he wrote and a found it a delightful spot.

Anonymous said...

Nice choice. Marlowe is my own personal fave though.

Anonymous said...

I do agree. Couldn't have written this in a million years :-)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I'll post a response to that in the next few days. Its a classic Oz writing, gives me shivers down my spine.

Anonymous said...

Jenny- I'm glad you like him. To me, Keats has something about him that Jin Morrison had too.

Helen- That's a lovely image. Good to see how strong your soul is.

Sean- Do you have to die young to be great?
I think many great artists have been lucky enough to die before they ruined their own reputation by selling themselves.
Compare Lennon and McCartney.

Mutley- I eagarly await 'Ode to a Radioactive Howler Monkey'

David- Morever the rhythym in this is amazing. This is what makes Poetry great, it is music, using words as the beat.
The beat here is as strong as some Dance tracks.

Jmb- I would like to see that, I do mean to go to Rome, but I'd need to make it a good month or so.
There's just too much to see for someone like me, who likes art and history AND is a practising Catholic.
Byron is considered one of Greece's national heroes!

Steph- I really want to se a performance of Tamburlaine, I love the intensity of that work, it feels driven to its conclusion.

Eve- I'm not sure. I think a lot of it is about mindset. I think poets are tuned in to life in a way most people don't.
Poets are alive, whilst the rest of us exist.
If we all freed our souls, we could see the world this way.

Phish- That's the beauty of it, it's ambivalent, but direct also, it challenges and reaches into you.
I'll be interested to see your response.

Anonymous said...

How uplifting, Crushed. Thank you for reminding us. Have a great time!

Anonymous said...

I have written loads of odes...tee hee!

Anonymous said...

Awww someone's being entirely social :) Do have fun whilst your away but don't forget about us! :)

Anonymous said...

(back tracked through phishez)
Keats - studied him in Year 12.

I particularly liked "Ode to Autumn":
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

and "Ode on a Grecian Urn" struck a chord too.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, once again, thanks for this one. Took it as impetus to to grab the works of Byron, Keats and Shelley plus biographies to read a little here, a little there, while you hopefully also enjoyed some pleasures.
To make up I tryed to think of any other poem including a nightingale. Finally I found one in the layers of my memories and put it on my site. May you enjoy, although there are no rhymes . . . :-)

Oops, just think of another gem. Without nightingale, but . . .

Anonymous said...

Welshcakes- Very nice party. I always like any party where nobody makes a tit of themselves and you can have a decent conversation with someone that develops your own worldview.

Mutley- I'll confess, I haven't.

Princess B- My weekend was upon me sooner than I planned.
I knew about the party Saturday.
I had thought I wasn't doing anything Friday night, but that changed.

I never forget you :)

Miss E- 'Truth is Beauty, Beauty truth, that is all you know on earth and all ye need to know.'

Sean- I think nightingales are quite gloomy.
But I think this poem is quite transcendental in parts.