Monday, February 15, 2010

Bright Star

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; . . . "

wrote John Keats in "Endymion" at the age of 23. He described both the grandeur of nature and the despondency of gloomy days.

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Beauty is once again the inspiration for Keats in his "Ode on a Grecian Urn" written in 1819.

"Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart, . . .
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, . . . "

Keats wrote "Bright Star" for his young love, Fanny Brawne. This is also the name and subject of the movie directed by Jane Campion. Living and loving life while desperately ill and poverty-stricken probably contributed to the depth of his writing and upheavals in his relationship with Fanny.

The movie bravely follows Keats to Italy and his subsequent death of tuberculosis in 1821. Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned while sailing a year later and is buried near Keats. You can still visit the studio of Keats in Rome at the top of the Spanish Steps.


  1. An apple a day keeps a flower in pray
    As the seed it need to feed away
    Lifes' bitterness spill
    Is intriguing instil.

    Really liked the pictures. You know if I do well with writing I'd like to offer you a position! You are a beautiful person. Thank you. Take care. Bye.

  2. Lovely photos. I had a bit of a mixed response to the film Bright Star, I think I would have liked them to make more use of the poetry, or maybe that is just me.

  3. I think Jane Campion is 'one of ours' - a Kiwi. She has done some great films over the years.
    Lovely post, Margaret.

  4. Loved the film - so visually enthralling, such a sad love story. And I bought Swan Thieves, but haven't opened it yet. Is it wonderful?

  5. There you are, Margaret! I've thought of you often and wondered at your disappearance from the blogosphere. So happy to see you back. Your new blog looks lovely, and promises to be of great interest. I missed seeing Bright Star when it was in the theatres so must look it up at the rental store. I loved the romantic poets when I was a student.

  6. What a hoot! A hummingbird told me to stop by. I'll be sure to fly back soon!

  7. those delicate pastel shades of your photos are wonderful and so apt for Keat's poetry.
    It is very good to have you back.

  8. You are a star by yourself! Need your e-mail please. Hugs. Philip

  9. Hi Margaret, I can see you are a fan of the movie, "Bright Star," as well as I. This is a lovely post on Keats and his works. Thanks for stopping by my blog today, and taking the time to leave your kind comment!

  10. Hi Margaret, thanks for your visit to my travel blog. I find your blog a refreshing take on book review with your own pictures and illustrations. Hope to be inspired enough to pick a book to read. Have been blogging so much, I need to make time for reading books. And to think I majored in English Literature, shame on me for not reading.
    I'm following your blog.

  11. I just saw that movie! It was very beautifully filmed, and I learned a lot about the poet that I never knew before. (I'd love to visit his studio - wouldn't that be fun??)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your comment made my day :) I still haven't quite figured out where Lucius is going, but I know he started out in Rome and is heading to someplace he's never been before.