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4.2 out of 5 stars11
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 7 December 2009
It's been a few years since I studied Keats at A-Level and I'm still no closer to understanding the significance of that line. And I'm pretty sure I never will. Poetry is not a Su Doku puzzle that requires decoding, it is the expression of self and ideas on life. All a reader needs to do is to let themselves be taken in by the words and to feel, if not understand, their meaning. For me John Keats is the master of his art and this book goes some way to presenting a definitive account of both his work and his tragic life.

At his own request Keats' gravestone reads: 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water.' He died before he could truly enjoy his success, and never got to see the way in which he affected the Romantic movement, or how you now are sat reading this review, considering purchasing his life's work (Or maybe just laughing at my spelling errors). I imagine the man himself would be very pleased indeed.

Keats' two published works are present in the text and feature some very long narrative poems. 'Endymion' is epic in size and principally concerned with Greek Mythology. 'Isabella,' 'Eve of St Anges' and 'Lamia' are also focused on narrative. They are all beautifully lyrical and 'Eve of St Agnes' in particular contains some wonderful sensory imagery:

Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant boddice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:

Never has a girl getting her kit off been descibed so beautifully.

But for me Keats is at his best when he writes of simple things. His fear of death, his passionate love for Fanny (Brawne) and his lifelong pursuit of fame. This collection contains so many wonderful posthumous poems too; my favourite being 'When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be'. In this typically sad poem Keats confronts his own mortality, and dispels all notions of love and fame. It's truly beautiful stuff and should be read by anyone who has had to confront such emotional turmoil. His various Odes are also strong in this regard, marking a move from greek mythology to inner fears and personal trauma.

This collection also contains selected letters by Keats. Though sadly not many to his Fanny. Which is a real shame because the film that this collection is tied into, Bright Star, contained multiple examples of Keats' obsession and his tendancy to put pen to paper. Either way it's an interesting addition if you are wanting to know more about the man behind the poetry then it is useful insight.
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on 19 July 2010
If like me, you were introduced to a number of poets and their work at school, the selection may have influenced the next few decades. We studied W.B. Yeats and in the years since I've thanked my lucky stars! Keats was never mentioned, or I don't recall him being mentioned, and, thus, this DVD is a superb introduction. It made me purchase the Vintage edition of The Complete Poems.

The DVD 'adds' to the enjoyment of Julien Temple's 'Pandaemonium' movie (about Coleridge and Wordworth) as it's set shortly after, historically.
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on 25 October 2013
It may be that there is some system I have not yet discovered, but I cannot find Bright Star, nor When I have fears.
There is no index, nor does the Go To option recognise any of the words I put in to try to stimulate it. Since those two poems were a primary reason for getting this book, I am hugely disappointed. I gave one star because you can't dismiss Keats, even though you might wish there were a better way of getting his poetry. It's back to the paper-back, I'm afraid.
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on 16 October 2014
purchased for my daughter as this is on her reading list for her creative writing degree. She has informed me she is enopying reading this book and would recommend it to others undertaking or thinking of undertaking a similar degree / course.
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on 20 October 2014
I enjoyed this film immensely. It is a lovely/sad love story, very well acted and very informative about the life of Keats and his sad early death from tuberculosis. This film is well worth watching.
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on 5 February 2014
This was a present for my wife she loves keats and tells me that this is her most treasured books in her collection now prompt delivery I'm a happy man
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on 30 January 2015
Good condition, very happy
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on 14 August 2012
Hmm

I have to say I am slightly disappointed with this book which arrived this morning.

Not because I don't like Keats' poetry - I already own various collections of his work - but therein lies the problem... I thought that this book would be, foremost, a collection of his letters , in particular those written to Fanny Brawne.

What this book is, in fact, is yet another (unannotated)collection of his poetry with a (very) few letters at the end of the collection - and only one of which is addressed to Fanny.

So, caveat emptor - This is a reasonable addition for collectors of poetry but is definitely not going to greatly enhance anyone's understanding of the relationship between John Keats and Fanny Brawne.

Next time I will check out the blurb on Amazon more carefully rather than trusting to other people's reviews!
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on 10 May 2015
A very lovely book.
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on 19 February 2011
I agree. He is a great, poetic genius. As an English teacher, in the past, I was lucky enough to teach him at A' Level.

I've integrated one of his great poems, `La Belle Dame Sans Merci.', into the narrative of my novel in a crucial love scene between the two main characters, Chris and Jo. When I saw `Bright Star' I thought Jane Campion has ripped my idea off, the similarities are unnerving! Of course it's just coincidence. Her writing is brilliant of course and I believe the same can be said of mine!

A major theme in my novel `A Song for Jo is the attempt by a young couple of English students to live and love by the ideals expressed in some great Literature. The novel explores, in the narrative, how the force of great literature can inform and develop a receptive, creative mind, making it a love story with a difference!

People of all ages and sex have liked it a lot. It's also got a stunning Pre-Raphaelite art work on the cover to complement the Keats and Tennyson poetry worked in there.

It's available on Amazon - please follow the link.

A Song for Jo
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