A very good lecture by Professor Belinda Jack
A very beautiful reading by Mark Bradshaw
"Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow."
John Keats (October 31, 1795 to February 23, 1821) was a leading figure in English romanticism along with Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley and Byron. His "Ode to a Nightingale" is considered one of the most exquisitely beautiful poems in the English language. I am not foolish enough to make many comments upon this work of high art. I read it five times, reading time just a few minutes, listened to three podcasts, the one I link to above is the best, and I also profited from a very erudite lecture by Professor Belinda Jack (also linked above). I was moved by the sense of despair conveyed, the longing to be a Nightingale, above the pain of humanity. I was very struck by the attitude toward death shown, for me this is the full flowering of romanticism. I will return to this in future posts. I hope to soon post on two other classic romantic poems, "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" and "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard". Both focus very much on death.
I will be returning to Keats, reading his remaining odes then longer works.
I read this work in an E-Book published by Bybliotech, The Complete John Keats. It is beautifully formatted and a bargain at $0.99. I prefer it to,other such works by different publishers You can, of course, find his works online. YouTube has a number of lectures on literary matters by Professor Belinda Jack and I plan to listen to all of them.