Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a thing of beauty

We finally hit John Keats in the Norton Anthology of British Literature today, and I reveled in a class spent digging through poetry that I wholly and truly love. I respect and enjoy the brilliance and thought of Milton, respect and politely dislike Swift, and will happily read and appreciate Wordsworth if asked to, but Keats! A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Which quote, by the way, I happily quipped this morning in one of those rare effervescent moments of prepared understanding when Dr. Ryken asked for a few of Keats' thoughts on beauty. My education is not for naught! In fact, when the student near me, whose desk was devoid of literature, was asked if he hadmemorized Keats' "When I Have Fears" and thereby had no use for the anthology, (He of course did not know it), I was able to happily think to myself that I did know the poem, and could recite it with the soft sigh of a college student who has fallen in love with artistic intelligence. Unfortunately, 99% of the time I am not demanded of the improbable feats of knowledge which I do possess, but rather asked for those which I do not. So I have no right to sit smugly. But ...

When I have fears that I may cease to be
before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain . . .

I believe that my 'cease to be' poem would have to be worded a bit differently, because while I do fear that I will never succeed in gleaning my teeming brain with an inky sword, unlike Keats I do not possess young genius or a fatal illness. Such is life.

On another note: This is a Wheaton police vehicle. Please picture it in a high speed chase. You can't?


  1. Haha - oh Torunn, the police car thing is hilarious. :)

    And three cheers for Keats! I was so excited to finally reach him in 216 too. We should have a movie night sometime soon and watch Bright Star . . .

  2. Yes we should! I watched it a few weeks ago but really want to see it again. Maybe Thai takeout and then Bright Star next Friday or Saturday?