Poetic Interlude
Published on August 4, 2011 by Sara Foss

I've never been one for romantic poets, and I'd heard mixed things about the 2009 Jane Campion film "Bright Star," which tells the story of the uncommumated love affair between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. (Keats died of tuberculosis at the age of 25). The title of the film refers to one of Keats' poems, which was written for Brawne. Here it is:

"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."

The film itself is pretty good. It even manages to make sewing seem sexy.

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