Having read, re-read, re-re-read all of these lovely letters countless times, I was actually quite excited to start this series here.
AND THE RESPONSE I GOT FROM ALL OF YOU MADE IT EVEN MORE SPECIAL!!!! I got into it with a mindset that people aren’t going to like them that much so you can imagine the extent of my happiness when you shared your thoughts and reflections on EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
So, thank you soo much for increasing my excitement for these beautiful letters. I LOVE YOU ALLL!
And now I am sad that this is going to be the last one in this series. ALAS! I was having SOO MUCH FUN discussing them with you! 😦 Maybe I will bring them back again? *EXCITED AT THE THOUGHT*
We started this journey – this wonderful journey – with a passionate display of John Keats’ feelings for Fanny Brawne spilled naked on the parchment. It only makes sense that that’s EXACTLY how we should end it.
I got my first copy of Complete Poems and Selected Letters of JOHN KEATS exactly 5 years ago. I was very much into metaphysics back then and Keats was one of my favorites. When my friend showed me his letter to Fanny, the very first that I shared with you, I fell even more in love with his love for her. Destined to die at a very young age, his letters were infused with the imminence of death and a longing for days he, sadly, will never be able to witness.
It was this sadness that drew me to him even more.
He once said – “Nothing ever becomes real ’til it is experienced.” True. His love, his desire, the depth of his heart – I experienced it all with misty eyes. All of it. And the only question this experience left on my lips was –
WHY MUST THE GREAT DIE SO YOUNG?
”Love is my religion.
I could die for that.
I could die for you.”
These words haunt my mind still. And I have a feeling that they forever will.
To Fanny Brawne, 25 July 1819
My sweet Girl,
I hope you did not blame me much for not obeying your request of a letter on Saturday: we have had four in our small room playing cards night and morning leaving me no undisturb’d opportunity to write. Now Rice and Martin are gone, I am at liberty. Brown to my sorrow confirms the account you give of your ill health.
You cannot conceive how I ache to be with you: how I would die for one hour – for what is in the world? I say you cannot conceive; it is impossible you should look with such eyes upon me as I have upon you: it cannot be. Forgive me if I wander a little this evening, for I have been all day employ’d in a very abstract Poem and I am in deep love with you – two things which must excuse me.
I have, believe me, not been an age in letting you take possession of me; the very first week I knew you I wrote myself your vassal; but burnt the Letter as the very next time I saw you I thought you manifested some dislike to me. If you should ever feel for a Man at the first sight what I did for you, I am lost. Yet I should not quarrel with you, but hate myself if such a thing were to happen – only I should burst if the thing were not as fine as a Man as you are as a Woman. Perhaps I am too vehement, then fancy me on my knees, especially when I mention of part of your Letter which hurt me; you say speaking of Mr. Seven ‘but you must be satisfied in knowing that I admired you much more than your friend.’ My dear love, I cannot believe there ever was or ever could be any thing to admire in me especially as far as sight goes – I cannot be admired, I am not a thing to be admired. You are, I love you; all I can bring you is a swooning admiration of your Beauty.
I hold that place among Men which snub-nos’d brunettes with meeting eyebrows do among women – they are trash to me –unless I should find one among them with a fire in her heart like the one that burns in mine. You absorb me in spite of myself – you alone: for I look not forward with any pleasure to what is call’d being settled in the world; I tremble at domestic cares – yet for you I would meet them, though if it would leave you the happier I would rather die than do so.
I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your Loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute. I hate the world: it batters me too much the wings of my self-will, and would I could take a sweet poison from your lips to send me out of it. From no others would I take it. I am indeed astonish’d to find myself so careless of all charms but yours – remembering as I do the time when even a bit of ribband was a matter of interest with me.
What softer words can I find for you after this – what it is I will not read. Now will I say more here, but in a Postscript answer any thing else you may have mentioned in your Letter in so many words – for I am distracted with a thousand thoughts. I will imagine you Venus to night and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Heathen.
Your’s ever, fair Star,
(I have omitted the postscript.)
Keats loved Fanny the way everyone wants to be loved. What fleeting joys all the rest of them will be if a heart hasn’t known such love, such burning passion!
”A thing of Beauty is a joy forever.”
Indeed. Indeed. For I will treasure every single word you ever wrote, will inscribe it in my heart, will take it with me whichever world I go to next.
I really hope you enjoyed this series as much as I did! I had so much fun sharing and discussing with you these wonderful letters. ❤
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR LOVE. ❤ YOU GUYS ARE THE BESTEST!!!