John Keats and His “Bright Star”

A thing of beauty is a joy forever
Its loveliness increases
It will never pass into nothingness

A poem needs understanding through the senses
The point of diving in the lake, is not immediately to swim to the shore
But to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water
You do not work the lake out, it is an experience beyond thought
Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery

There is a holiness to the heart’s affection, you know nothing of that!

I do not know how elastic my spirit might be, what pleasure I might have in living here if the remembrance of you did not weigh so upon me. Ask yourself my love whether you’re not very cruel to have so entrammelled me, so destroyed my freedom.

We’ve woven a web, you and I, attached to this world, but a separate world of our own invention. We must cut the threads.

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors
No — yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft swell and fall,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.

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