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Thread: The greatest poem of all time?

  1. #16
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rintrah View Post
    Sorry - things come to me in stages . . . I remember now reading about Keats' notion of negative capability, the concept that the poet has a capacity to exist in a state of un-resolvedness. It's been years since my Keats lectures, but I remember the discussion of this poem as an example of this. There is no clear resolve - there is no attempt to reconcile the notion of the silent urn containing wild ecstasy - also the happy happy love against the notion that the lover cannot ever kiss. This is not really resolved, but held in a state, as it were, of constant stillness. All the sacrifice, the love, the fruit, the barrenness, the pipes and timbrels, the silence, the eternally green boughs, and the parched tongue, all from a vase! These are paradoxes that remain open and active, and I think this willingness to allow such oppositional forces to remain is the basic energy pf the poem.
    Isn't negative capability the ability of the poet to step outside of himself to look at the poem objectively? I can't quite remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by rintrah View Post
    BTW, noticed the Byron image, virgil. Did you know he had one of the largest recorded brains, at over four pounds??
    Quote Originally Posted by Schokokeks View Post
    Sadly there's not much scientific proof for the mere size of a brain to correlate with the intelligence of the bearer .
    I believe it. My wife says I have a fat head and she also says I'm not the brightest person. So for my wife to be correct on both accounts, brain size cannot correllate with intelligence.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  2. #17
    Registered User rintrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Isn't negative capability the ability of the poet to step outside of himself to look at the poem objectively? I can't quite remember.
    I had to look it up myself, but here's the quote from Keats, in a personal letter, 1817: 'Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason'

    So it is a peaceful acceptance of uncertainty. Very needed in order to follow most sports teams, live with a woman, or eat meatloaf.
    Now comes the night of Enitharmons joy!
    Who shall I call? Who shall I send?

  3. #18
    Registered User rintrah's Avatar
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    Dreadnought, I went and read it and was very taken with it. I read it aloud to my wife, and it sent her of into a dreamy state, such is the power of a poet. I come back to this notion of Keats as the man who could probably have been the foremost English poet, but for his untimely death, a man cut off before he really gets going. Needless to say I loved it. You are indeed right about the tangible/ethereal quality.
    Now comes the night of Enitharmons joy!
    Who shall I call? Who shall I send?

  4. #19
    Registered User rintrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I believe it. My wife says I have a fat head and she also says I'm not the brightest person. So for my wife to be correct on both accounts, brain size cannot correllate with intelligence.
    Ha ha! But the extra cells must kick in some where - perhaps not intelligence, but sense of humour, or perhaps 30% more phobias, personality disorders, or more memory capacity? Got to be a reason . . .
    Now comes the night of Enitharmons joy!
    Who shall I call? Who shall I send?

  5. #20
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    Wilde described Shelley as a boy`s poet whilst Keats was a man`s poet. I think I know what he meant and I think he was right.

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