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unit8 John Keats


John Keats
(1795-1821)

Life and Career
? Born in 1795 in London, the son of a

stable-keeper.
? His father died when he was nine and his

mother

died when he was fifteen.
? Apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary

(pharmacist) and became a licensed apothecary in 1816, but turned to devote himself to poetry

by Joseph Severn, c. 1816 This is the earliest surviving portrait of Keats.

John Keats

The most famous portrait of Keats , by William Hilton, after Joseph Severn; at the NPG, London

Wentworth Place

Wentworth Place, now the Keats House museum (left), The Keats public library (right)

? Published his first important poem “On First Looking into

Chapman’s Homer” in 1816
? Endymion, published in 1818, was a poem based on the

Greek myth of Endymion and the moon goddess. The

reviewers launched savage attacks on Keats, declaring Endymion to be sheer nonsense, recommending that Keats give up poetry and go back to the chemist’s

?Grieves and troubles crowded in upon him:
? he ? his ? he ? he

was in trouble about money; dearly loved brother, Tom, died; became ill with tuberculosis;

fell in love with Fanny Browne but could not marry due to his poverty and poor health.

?It was this yearning and suffering that quickened

his maturity and added a new dimension to his poetry.

Fanny Browne

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And Watching, with eternal lids apart, 睁着一睁双永 不合拢的眼睛, Like nature?s patient, sleepless Eremite, 犹如苦修的 隐士彻夜无眠, The moving waters at their priestlike task 凝视海水 冲洗尘世的崖岸, Of pure ablution round earth?s human shores,好似牧 师行施净体的沐浴, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 或正俯瞰下 界的荒原与群山 Of snow upon the mountains and the moors 被遮盖 在轻轻飘落的雪罩里 No-yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,并非这样—— 却永远坚定如故, Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,枕卧在 我美丽爱人的酥胸, To feel for ever in a sweet unrest, 永远能感到它的 轻轻的起伏,永远清醒,在甜蜜的不安中, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 永远、永远 听她轻柔的呼吸, And so live ever—or else swoon to death.永远这样生 活—或昏厥而死去。

Movie: Bright Star

? From 1818 to 1820, Keats reached the summit of his

poetic creation. The third and best of his volumes of poetry, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, was published in 1820.
? The volume also contains his five great odes:

"Ode on Melancholy," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode to Psyche"; his lyric masterpiece "To Autumn";

and the unfinished poem "Hyperion."

Ode to a Nightingale

?In the fall of 1820 Keats went to Rome to seek a

warm climate for the winter.
?He died there on February 23, 1821, and was

buried in the Protestant cemetery.

Here lies One Whose Name was written in Water
Feb 24th 1821

When I have fears…
When I have fears John Keats WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain, Before high piled books, in charactry, 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. 每当我害怕 每当我害怕,生命也许等不及 我的笔搜集完我蓬勃的思潮, 等不及高高一堆书,在文字里, 象丰富的谷仓,把熟谷子收好; 每当我在繁星的夜幕上看见 传奇故事的巨大的云雾征象, 而且想,我或许活不到那一天, 以偶然的神笔描出它的幻相; 每当我感觉,呵,瞬息的美人! 我也许永远都不会再看到你, 不会再陶醉于无忧的爱情 和它的魅力!——于是,在这广大的 世界的岸沿,我独自站定、沉思, 直到爱情、声名,都没入虚无里。 (查良铮译)

Keats?s Points of View
?Keats is a moderate radical, has great sympathy

for the poor.
?He believes that poetry is a release from misery,

a vehicle to paradise.
?The mission of poetry is to work for the welfare of

the people.
?The message carried in his poetry is the lasting

power of beauty and its union with truth.

Major Features of Keats’s Poetry
?

Characterized by exact and closely knit construction, sensual description, force of imagination,

?

Always sensuous, colorful and rich in imagery, which expresses the acuteness of his senses. Sight, sound, scent, taste and feeling are all taken in to give an entire understanding of an experience.
One great message --- the lasting power of beauty and its union with truth. Major subject matters of his poems –love & beauty and suffering & death

?

?

To Autumn
?

This poem To Autumn was written in the year of 1819. When published the poem was not well received, or appreciated, until much later in the Victorian Era.

To Autumn
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.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

雾气洋溢、果实圆熟的秋, 你和成熟的太阳成为友伴; 你们密谋用累累的珠球, 缀满茅屋檐下的葡萄藤蔓; 使屋前的老树背负着苹果, 让熟味透进果实的心中, 使葫芦胀大,鼓起了榛子壳, 好塞进甜核;又为了蜜蜂 一次一次开放过迟的花朵, 使它们以为日子将永远暖和, 因为夏季早填满它们的粘巢

谁不经常看见你伴着谷仓? 在田野里也可以把你找到, 弥有时随意坐在打麦场上, 让发丝随着簸谷的风轻飘; 有时候,为罂粟花香所沉迷, 你倒卧在收割一半的田垄, 让镰刀歇在下一畦的花旁; 或者.像拾穗人越过小溪, 你昂首背着谷袋,投下倒影, 或者就在榨果架下坐几点钟, 你耐心地瞧着徐徐滴下的酒浆。

啊.春日的歌哪里去了?但不要 想这些吧,你也有你的音乐— — 当波状的云把将逝的一天映照, 以胭红抹上残梗散碎的田野, 这时啊,河柳下的一群小飞虫 就同奏哀音,它们忽而飞高, 忽而下落,随着微风的起灭; 篱下的蟋蟀在歌唱,在园中 红胸的知更鸟就群起呼哨; 而群羊在山圈里高声默默咩叫; 丛飞的燕子在天空呢喃不歇。

Appreciation of the poem
1. A poem of movement/progression: ? pre-harvest; harvest; post-harvest ? morning; noon; evening ? 2. A poem of imagery/appealing to different senses: ? From tactile sense to visual, to auditory ? From vegetable world, to human activity, to the world of animals, birds and insects
?

What might be implied by the movement/progression/change of the poem?
?

Beauty on earth is transitory and death is inevitable.

(personification+ action, alliteration; sensual images )
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.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Stanza 1
Autumn: a season of harvest; fruiting stage ? Metaphors of the autumn: “close bosom-friend of the maturing sun,” ? “him” ? the sun ? “bless with fruit the vines that round the thatcheves run ” ? bless the vines that run round the thatch-eves with fruit ? “load and bless”: Autumn and the sun not only load but also bless the vines with fruit. The effects of using the word bless may include autumn’s benediction over the ripening of the fruits and its power to enrich the fertility of nature.
?

“To bend with apples the moss’d cottagetrees”? To bend the moss’d cottage-trees with apples ? The apples become so numerous that their weight bends the trees. ? “to set budding more ”: ---ing form suggests activity that is continuing ? “And still more ” suggests the mushrooming of flowers ? Use of flashback : line 9 - line 11(cause and effect are reversed)
?

Stanza 2
Autumn: lax or resting; the stage of slowing down; personification of autumn as a reaper or a harvester ? “sound asleep,” “Drows'd ” ? Autumn is listless and even falls asleep ? “Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours ”: The end of the cycle is near. The squeezing of the apple cider is nearly finished (“the last oozings”)
?

Stanza 3
Autumn: Description of the beauty of autumn. Keats blends living and dying, the pleasant and the unpleasant, because they are crucial elements of the mixed nature. ? Mention of “spring”: 1. representing process; the proceeding flow of time (like the “summer” in stanza 1) 2. Spring is a time of rebirth of life which contrasts with the seemingly dying autumn of stanza 3.“the soft-dying day”: Its dying also creates beauty (as the following lines present)
?

“While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue ”: the setting sun casts a “bloom” of “rosy hue” over the stubble left after the harvest. ? “And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn”: sheep will be slaughtered in autumn ? “And gathering swallows twitter in the skies”: The swallows are gathering for their winter migration ? suggesting that the autumn will cease
?

?

Keats wrote a letter to his friend J. H. Reynolds after he wrote "To Autumn."

?

Even the letter alludes to ancient myths, where Diana (in Roman myth, or Artemis in Greek) is the moon and the goddess of chastity and hunting.

Letter to J. H. Reynolds
?

“How beautiful the season is now -- How fine the air. A temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking,

chaste weather -- Dian skies -- I never lik'd stubblefields so much as now -- Aye better than the chilly green of the Spring. Somehow a stubble plain looks warm -- in the same way that some pictures look warm -- This struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I

composed upon it. “

Thesis Statement:
Nature runs in cycles, but Keats’s “To Autumn” focuses on the sensual beauties of autumn in its very moments--but not what comes before or after.

Autumn’s beauties are shown in its bountiful harvest and storage, in its various and transient music, both of which, though suggesting winter and nearing death, are enhanced and prolonged by the mellifluous sounds and long vowels.

Outline:
1. the sensual beauties of autumn in its very moments-early, mid and late autumn with their specific kinds of beauty. A. Fruition B. storage C. music 2. Transience vs. prolonging the effects
A.
1.

Examples of transience + prolongment:

From “never cease” to last oozing, bloom the softdying day, stubble-plains, gnats 2. Actions gets smaller and smaller, but accumulated to show autumn?s richness B. Effects prolonged by the mellifluous sounds and long vowels. C. Long sentences throughout the whole poem.

Romantic poets compared 1. Wordsworth:beauty in simplicity; ? 2. Coleridge: beauty in the extraordinary and supernatural; ? 3. Byron: powerful poetry with satire; philosophy and picturesque descriptions of natural scene; ? 4.Shelley: exquisite beauty; ? 5. Keats: sensuous beauty.
?


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