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BRIGHT STAR

 
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Peter Blumsom



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 1093
Location: Wembley, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: BRIGHT STAR Reply with quote

While it is still on I-Player it's well worth watching BRIGHT STAR - the story of the romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. A tragic but deliciously well made Aussie film (I think) with Fanny played by the even more delicious Abbie Cornish. And then of course there is the poetry itself...

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
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I saw the film at the cinema it was the only time I can remember when none of an audience moved until all of the credits had rolled - and the reading of the sonnet (which takes the place of the more usual credit-music) had been completed.

On a study day on John Keats held at Keats House, in Hampstead - well worth a visit! - we were introduced to two versions of the poem, set alongside each other for us to compare and give our initial impressions. This is the second version:

Bright star! would I were stedfast as thou art!

Not in lone splendour hung amid the night;

Not watching, with eternal lids apart,

Like Nature's devout sleepless Eremite,

The morning 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,

Cheek-pillow'd on my Love's white ripening breast,

To touch, for ever, its warm sink and swell,

Awake, for ever, in a sweet unrest;

To hear, to feel her tender-taken breath,

Half passionless, and so swoon on to death.
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