Tag: John Keats

Galty: 87 today

Wednesday, 3 April, 2019

In 1932, the year he was born, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was published; Amelia Earhart flew from the United States to Northern Ireland in 14 hours and 54 minutes; the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened; the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at its lowest level of the Great Depression, bottoming out at 41.22; Konrad Adenauer opened the first Autobahn in Germany; the Cortes Generales of the Spanish Republic approved the Autonomy of Catalonia; the first Venice Film Festival was held; the Soviet famine of 1932ā€“33 began and millions starved to death as a result of forced collectivization; India played its first Test Cricket Match with England at Lord’s, and the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd was proclaimed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the rule of Ibn Saud.


“His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness — to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.”

The Human Seasons — John Keats

Ye soft pipes, play on

Saturday, 17 November, 2018

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on.” — John Keats

Water music

The hare and the limousine and the verb

Thursday, 24 August, 2017 0 Comments

“All fine prose is based on the verbs carrying the sentences… A line like ‘The hare limped trembling through the frozen grass,’ is so alive that you race through it, scarcely noticing it, yet it has colored the whole poem with its movement — the limping, trembling and freezing is going on before your eyes.” So wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald to his daughter Scottie in 1938 and you can find the exchange in F. Scott Fitzgerald On Writing.

The image of a hare limping through frozen grass is found in the writing of one of the major influence on Fitzgerald’s work, the Romantic poet John Keats. It’s in the first verse of his great, 42-stanza poem, “Eve of Saint Agnes“, and Fitzgerald was so taken by it that he began a magazine story titled “Love in the Night”, that was published on 14 March 1925 in The Saturday Evening Post, thus: “The limousine crawled crackling down the pebbled drive.”

St. Agnes’ Eve — Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

By the way, the evening before the feast of Saint Agnes (St. Agnes’ Eve) falls on 20 January.

Season of mists and mellows

Saturday, 24 September, 2016 0 Comments

Autumn mist

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

To Autumn by John Keats

Keats forever

Friday, 7 September, 2012

“When John Keats read George Chapman’s translation of Homer he felt, in his elevated, poetical way, like ‘some watcher of the skies/When a new planet swims into his ken’.” So begins The new world of DNA in the current issue of The Economist. It’s always reassuring when journalists dealing with the most complicated of subjects […]

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Galty at 80

Tuesday, 3 April, 2012

The Great Galty at 80

“His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings / He furleth close; contented so to look / On mists in idleness — to let fair things / Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.” The Human Seasons, John Keats. Today, we hope that Galty will be contented to look back on 80 memorable years as he looks out upon the mists along the the mountains that carry his noble name. Happy birthday!