Celebrating 200 years 2016-20121

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Celebrating 200 years 2016-20121

Postby BrokenLyre » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:41 am


It occurred to me that right now - this month - begins the 200 year anniversary of Keats's coming-of-age as a determined Poet. It was in October 1816 that he wrote "Chapman's Homer" and in so doing declared his intention to live the life of a poet. I simply find it wonderful that now, in October 2016, we get to live out those same years as Keats lived, only 200 years before. The calendar acts as a map, for me at least, to trace Keats's incredible life and achievements. As we live out these next few months and years, I find it helpful and a bit more meaningful to actively reflect upon what Keats was doing TODAY in 1816 (or on any given day between now and 2021).

I hope we can appreciate the special opportunity we are all afforded today to live throughout Keats's 200th anniversary - celebrating 1816-1821. The next four years and five months will be more meaningful for me as I constantly remember what the specific day meant for Keats 200 years ago. Thankfully, we are left with enough writing about Keats's activities that we know pretty well what he was doing and even thinking on any given day.

So in that light, enjoy the 200th anniversary of whatever Keats was doing on whatever day you are living through.
"Come... dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home."
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Re: Celebrating 200 years 2016-20121

Postby Oceansea » Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:52 pm

Hi BrokenLyre,

I'm new to this website. I joined today, from Tasmania, Australia (the Island State).

I enjoyed your post.

A copy of Homer's Odyssey was the first serious book my mother ever bought me when I was younger - the Penguin Classics version. She had to wait in line one day at the bookshop, and saw it on a little display as her eyes wandered. It changed my whole understanding of what literature could be and I fell in love with the classics from that day forth. It was a prose version, but as a result I have always had a soft spot for "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer". Keats always seems so immediate and alive to me - his poetry is eternal - like "...a fresh woodland alley, never ending" - "I stood tip-toe". It is strange to be reminded that it was 200 years ago.

It is springtime here at the moment in Tasmania and all of the blossom is out in full flower. It was only the other day I saw a bush weighed down with flowers, with all of the bees excitedly swarming over it, little petals falling down to the ground as the bees buzzed from flower to flower. I know that it is springtime, but it reminded me of "To Autumn":

to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease...

Thanks for your post again. Maybe talk again. Just know that all the way down here in the Southern Hemisphere Keats is thought of too!
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Re: Celebrating 200 years 2016-20121

Postby CasaMagni » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:04 am

Nice post BrokenLyre. The Keats House FB page has been quoting some of his 1816 lines and the difference in quality compared to his 1819 masterpieces is really mind-boggling. What we measure for other artists in years we measure for JK in months.
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