(It’s Back!) Become A Better Person, pt. 6: “Bright Star”

And Become A Better Person has returned to A Fellini Movie! So cherish these special posts and collect them as if they were to become your personal bible. Well, or something like that.

Bright Star

Jane Campion’s new film Bright Star opened to great public acclaim at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and stars the impeccable Ben Whishaw and the delightful Abbie Cornish as its leads. The story evolves around tragic poet John Keats, who pursued magical but impossible love and died, unfulfilled, but leaving some of the most beautiful and excruciating British poetry.

Just watch the following trailer, which is a haunting and enthralling preview of the film.

Bright Star will be released in Dutch cinemas on Thursday, October 15th, 2009.

John Keats’ Poetry

Though Ode to a Nightingale is possibly Keats’ most well-known work, it is surrounded by a selection of poems that are as masterfully written as Nightingale. What follows are my two favorite Keats poems.

When I have fears that may cease to be (January 31st, 1818)

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;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;–then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci (original version, 1819)

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful – a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said –
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep
And there I dreamed – Ah! woe betide! –
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried – ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

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