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Thread: The Eve of St. Agnes

  1. #1
    Lost Poetic Soul Currer Bell's Avatar
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    The Eve of St. Agnes

    Hello!

    I recently read The Eve of St. Agnes by Keats and found the imagery absolutely wonderful. I was wondering if anyone perusing this site has read the poem, and if they have any thoughts they would like to share about it.

    Ciao

  2. #2
    There is useful work called Reading "The Eve of St Agnes": The Multiples of Complex Literary Transaction by the American critic Jack Stillinger which collates and catalogues 59 different academic readings of this poem. He also points out that there are no two printed texts of the poem which are exactly alike.

    With this caveat in mind I read the poem as a transgressive text which encourages the reader to become self-indulgently absorbed in and stimulated by the erotic atmosphere of the poem. In other words it is pornographic which may have been what Byron had in mind when he wrote that Keats's writing was "a form of mental masturbation".
    Last edited by vagantes; 02-06-2009 at 05:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Hmm, I was cirtainly self indulgently absorbed in and stimulated by the erotic atmosphere of the poem. and so were the rest of the group I was reading it with.

  4. #4
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    I have studied it in depth, but I wonder about what you think - I know what I think.

  5. #5
    Lost Poetic Soul Currer Bell's Avatar
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    I found it intriguing that there is a question as to whether or not the lovers survived the storm. I found this commented upon in one source, and have been thinking about it ever since. It leaves the poem ambivalent to the readers...a good tactic.

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