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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning (77 comments)

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  •  I'm shamefully ignorant (14+ / 0-)

    of British literature during this period because of some decisions I made at the ages of eighteen and nineteen. Thank you for this nice serving of Browning and that (unintentionally?) hilarious link. Lit crit has certainly been though a lot in the last century.

    Nevertheless, I'll contribute John Keats discussing something he read, and getting some details wrong:

    On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

    Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
    And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
    Round many western islands have I been
    Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
    Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
    That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
    Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
    Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
    Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
    When a new planet swims into his ken;
    Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
    He star'd at the Pacific — and all his men
    Look'd at each other with a wild surmise —
    Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
    So what if it was stout Balboa? That would NOT have scanned correctly.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:53:38 PM PDT

    •  A favorite, for the gleaming inspiration, (12+ / 0-)

      for how Keats puts us atop a brave new world, and perfectly evokes a heart full of hope and dreams. That's a Book, right in the fluorescent arc of Going Boom!

      At the other end of Keats, in the exquisite sad yearning side, we find his

      Sleep and Poetry

      . . .
      O for ten years, that I may overwhelm
      Myself in poesy; so I may do the deed
      That my own soul has to itself decreed.
      Then will I pass the countries that I see
      In long perspective, and continually
      Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I'll pass
      Of Flora, and old Pan: sleep in the grass,
      Feed upon apples red, and strawberries,
      And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees . . .
      Keats was 20 when he wrote this. Four years later, he had grown so sick that he had almost stopped writing. Two years later, he died. I prefer On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, but these lines, and the tragedy imminent in them, haunt me.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:32:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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