Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bright Star

Because I love books and the written word as an artform I'm often driven to reading and learning about the authors, poets, and creators of such things.
While I am not at all a proper student of literature, I am of course familiar with "the greats" that every high school literature class tries to introduce to students.  So I was intrigued to see Bright Star on dvd.

Jane Campion's film is based on the biography Keats by Andrew Motion, from which she was inspired by his love letters to Fanny.  It's a beautiful movie. The film photography is absolutely stunning in its depth of field and colors. And the story is both a tragic drama and a romance at once.  I can not believe he was only 25 when he died and had written such poems by then....

Bright star, would I were stedfast 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 fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.
~John Keats

John Keats on 23 February 1821 and was immortalized as the quintessential poet in Shelley's Adonais.

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