Poetry Friday: Bright Star

Last weekend I watched Jane Campion’s newly released film, Bright Star, about John Keats’ love affair with Fanny Brawne. It’s a good Valentine’s film, tragic of course, but if you can convince your fella to watch it I think you’ll be impressed by the onscreen chemistry and you may learn a little more about Keats. So, educational and sexy and doomed. That works. And it is very beautifully filmed, with lots of lingering shots and scenes of the fair and moody English countryside.

The title of the film is after Keats’ poem, Bright Star, and the movie suggests that he was inspired by his love for Fanny Brawne to write the sonnet. This has not been proven, but it’s a sentiment worthy of almost-Valentine’s Day.

Here’s that sonnet:

Bright Star – by John Keats

Bright star! would I were steadfast 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 steadfast, 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.

Take a look at the teaser for the film:

Ah romance. Happy Valentine’s Weekend!

(Poem at poetry.org)

6 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Bright Star

  1. Melissa (Book Nut)

    I’m in the mood for something educational, sexy and doomed. Thankfully, my library has it.🙂 I had wanted to see this when it was in the theaters, but didn’t get a chance; thanks for the reminder.

  2. Laura

    Loved the trailer — thanks! I missed Bright Star when it was in theaters, too. Looks like Fanny is portrayed as a strong woman. Yes!

  3. Lisa

    Saw the movie today (Valentine’s Day) and loved it. It may not be for everyone, but if you love period pieces and Keats, it shouldn’t disappoint.

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