John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

Bright Star



Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
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# 52 poem on top 500 Poems


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  • Rookie - 171 Points Richard D. Remler (4/19/2011 10:07:00 PM)

    A thoroughly enjoyable read. Keats had a way with words, and this gem still reads easily and has a terrific flow to it. A vividly beautiful write. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (4/19/2011 12:57:00 PM)

    This is an astonishingly beautiful poem. The idea of eternal bliss (“To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, /Awake for ever in a sweet unrest...”) presages Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian Urn” (”More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoyed...”) and the poem, I feel, is generated with almost unbearable intensity from the passionate love Keats had for Fanny which he knew, because of his TB, would never be consummated. In his imagination this consummation is forever foregone in a dream of eternal post-coital bliss. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Mohammad Akmal Nazir (4/19/2011 7:03:00 AM)

    Though these lines seem to be extremely sensuous yet they express poet's pain for he knew that he was to leave the world and relax among the stars. The poem has great vivid imagery. It is the voice of a sad heart who wants some comfort. Excellent write. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 936 Points Unwritten Soul (4/19/2011 5:08:00 AM)

    Well composed by ray of heart, it starlight steal the night close to heart :) _Unwritten Soul (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (4/19/2010 4:02:00 PM)

    The poet opens with an apostrophe to 'Bright Star.' The object of his direct address symbolizes the everlasting nature of a heavenly body, which hangs in the sky through all eternity, and by its very nature burns forever. We who look up and see the burning star draw the inevitable conclusion most mortals would given the circumstances. The star sits in the sky, every night in the same place, or so it seems to us who cannot see that the star is in reality undergoing daily changes from one night to the next. The star seems to be a stationary object, and so we attribute the human quality of steadfast devotion and patience to the unmoving star as it watches the changes that take place under its steadfast gaze!

    The sestet beginning with 'still steadfast, still unchangeable' puts the poet's longing to possess his love like he imagines the eternal star to be forever gazing down at earth's mutability, exactly what he desires to be as he lies aswoon on his beloved one's breast which rises and falls with her breathing, and so he will live forever in ecstasy or die in her arms. She is his sole aim in life or death. The ever recurrent preoccupation Keats has with death comes to the fore once again! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 461 Points Ramesh T A (4/19/2010 10:09:00 AM)

    wonderful bright star quite sensuous to feel about while reading the poetry of John Keats! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 461 Points Ramesh T A (4/19/2010 10:07:00 AM)

    Wonderful bright star quite sensuous to feel about while reading the poetry of John Keats! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 461 Points Ramesh T A (4/19/2010 10:04:00 AM)

    Wonderful Bright Star quite sensuous to feel about it while reading the poetry of John Keats! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Subrata Ray (3/25/2010 2:08:00 AM)

    The poem Bright Star, relates to Keats' preparation to receive death.The poet was counting the last days of life as the-then, fatal disease, -consumption was getting hold over the poet's body.
    His lady-lovw Fenny Browne had already given him a good-bye.The image of the pole-star evokes in him the desire of getting lost in the breast of his lady.The purpose is simply aesthetic delight.
    Again the idea of purification and getting purified find display in the emission of light of the bright -star...The with its light goes on performing the function of a priest. Again the bright-star is the symbol of beauty.

    Subrata Ray.Mousumipara.Uluberia.West Bengal. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joan Beech (2/4/2010 1:44:00 AM)

    This is my take. After seeing the movie 'Bright Star' and crying through a good part of it, I'm feeling how deeply John Keats loved and how steadfast his lover was in her love. Facing death, he realized the splendor and magnificence of love and the limits of his own humanity to embrace her and her love. And yet there she was - forever - shining in the night, as patient as nature, moving as sacred waters - pure as new fallen snow. To feel that presence and feel her tender breath - What bliss! This man is after my heart and yours! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jessica Green (2/3/2010 10:33:00 PM)

    Was he comparing his love to a bright star that he was unable to touch but to admire. Something he could only wish upon like a dream. So beautiful and I don't understand why his poetry wasn't appreciated in his time. I mean there was no tv, no radio, just books and letters for entertainment. Everything seemed so romantic in those days. How could you not appreciate the words of Keats. So young to die at 23 and have so much passion. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Marilyn Hochfield (4/19/2009 12:44:00 PM)

    A marvelous sonnet! It moves, along with the 'moving waters' in the poem, to the wonderful closing couplet with its surprising and happy repetition of 'Still, still....' (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Travis Snell (3/29/2009 11:53:00 AM)

    I feel ya john, if only you werent dead i would ask you why you wrote the first line the way you did but oh well (Report) Reply

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