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Thread: Bright Star

  1. #1
    knowledge is power irishpixieb's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Arrow Bright Star

    I'm trying to write up a paper on this simple poem and I was wondering if anyone knew what it meant. I've looked all over google but everyone seems to have a completely different story. Is there any official meaning for it?

    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.

    Any help would be AMAZING! Thanks!

  2. #2
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    First, there is no such thing as official meaning when it comes to poetry, with the arguable exception of the author saying: this is the official meaning of this poem...

    As for the poem itself. The best way to comb through the imagery is to break it up into simple sections.

    First he says he wishes he was as stead-fast as the bright star, but he does not want to be the star. The first part of the poem (the images) explore what the bright star is and what is represents, and then at the end, he talks about what he wants.

    He wants to be as immortal as the star, but he does not wish to be the star.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  3. #3
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    Feb 2007
    Belo Horizonte- Brasil
    Keats to his brother once : "the two views we have had of it re of th most tenderness - they can never fade away - they make one forget the divisions of life; age, youth, povertry and riches; and refine one's sensual vision into a sort of north star which can never cease to be open lidded and steadfast over the wonders of a great power."

    Keats was also dying when he copied this poem in one of his Shakespeare's books. I would think, the duality in Keats is all here. The star must be steadfast watching eternity, it must cease to be nature, go to emotion... It maybe that he once more took from nature inspiration to talk about poetic power.

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