By John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.
Rather than one of my own, I thought I'd share a poem that is well and truly out of copyright.
Over Easter I finally managed to go and see Bright Star, Jane Campion's latest movie, which is about the relationship between Keats and Fanny Brawn. I'd been meaning to see it for ages. I find Jane Campion's movies interesting (I can't say I always like them, but she definitely has a viewpoint), and I've known some people to be really quite batty about Keats, so was curious. I guess I'd hoped that it would help me 'get' Romantic poetry. I've never really got it - much preferring modern poetry instead - but for a long time I've been meaning to give it more of a go.
During the movie, and especially during the credits, there was quite a bit of Keats's poetry read out, but I have to say, it didn't really help me. I still find Romantic poetry fairly impenetrable. Sean described it as hearing someone speak in te reo - a language you understand bits of, but don't really know that well - we understood quite a lot of the words, but certainly not all of it. I felt like there were times when a spotlight was shone on a phrase, that would sparkle and make sense, but in between was all these words that just didn't add up to much.
But anyway, this poem makes perfect sense, is short, and I like it.
For more Tuesday poems, visit the Tuesday Poem blog: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/