Original poem reprinted online here: "Bright Star" by John Keats
Originally read: April 19, 2013
More information about the Poet: John Keats
This is another poem that not only has a lot of scholarship on it, but also is the title of his biographical movie. What can I add to this? Nothing much really. I decided in these situations, I'll just write down the notes I wrote, and explain them the best I can.
The first thing I noticed with this poem is the sonnet form -- 14 lines and it is Elizabethan -- sort of. The first half on the poem is the personification of the bright star where the speaker envies the qualities of the "bright star" (symbol for whatever you want to make it to be). However, the volta in this poem occurs in line nine with "No, yet still steadfast, still unchangeable." It's not a shift in topic, but in tone, then the next line shifts the topic to "earthly delights."
I looked up words I didn't know like "Ablution" and "eremite." and how those definitions add to the idea of "being observant." Also note that I didn't have to look up any terms in the bottom six lines of the poem. Why do I note this -- the first eight lines are pretty heady, but the last lines have the more concrete images.
"Being alone and observing without judgment." Yes, this sentiment sums up the first eight lines for me. There is an object (nature) and it's to be observed, untouched; however, the latter half of the poem has more action -- doing, rest, live, swoon.
"'Speaker wants to take on the attributes of the stars eternal light that, even from a distance that, even from a distance has an impact on things (to brighten up) in this case "love" ripening breast'" Well not really. The observational tone and discussion doesn't necessarily mean that the speaker wants the attributes. Actually, the reverse could be true. The speaker could throw away the attributes of "bright star [dom]" as long as there is something physically there -- okay a woman "to be eternal."
With the last line I noted, "Love to be in love (personal, real) or swoon to death (distance) Does the feeling matter? Or is it all about the feeling." From rereading this poem several more times, it's all about the feeling and the real.