John Keats and Fanny Brawne: “Bright Star” Finds Its Path

where are the words to name our love

where are the words to name our love

Just when one starts to lament the lack of English period pieces apart from Masterpiece Classic—there is news of director Jane Campion’s latest film, which chronicles the relationship between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. A U.S. distributor has picked up the film, which is currently competing at Cannes and stars Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish. The film’s title is taken from a poem written by Keats after becoming engaged to Brawne.

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.


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