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Bright Star: The Complete Poems and Selected Letters (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 29 Oct 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (29 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099529653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099529651
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Littered with sensuous descriptions of nature's beauty, Keats's odes also pose profound philosophical questions" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Sublime" (Sunday Times)

"In what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare...no-one else in English poetry has...his perception of loveliness" (Matthew Arnold)

"One of the half-dozen greatest English writers" (Edmund Wilson)

"His letters are certainly the most notable and most important ever written by any English poet" (T.S. Eliot)

Book Description

'O soft embalmer of the still midnight,/ Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,/ Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light, / Enshaded in forgetfulness divine' John Keats, 'Ode to Sleep'

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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