[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] The Last Letter

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!

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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*

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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. 

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To Fanny Brawne, 25 July 1819

Sunday Night.

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,
John Keats.

(I have omitted the postscript.)

His love.
His Venus.
His Star.

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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.

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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!!!

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] A Beautiful, Little Fool// Zelda’s letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald//

“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”

The Great Gatsby is one of those stories that never leave my heart. I might not always be aware but it always stays in the background. I can hear the slow and tragic music in the depth of my being – clear and inviting.

And while reading Zelda Fitzgerald’s letters to her husband I couldn’t help but imagine her as much of a fool in love as was Gatsby.

Continue reading “[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] A Beautiful, Little Fool// Zelda’s letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald//”

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] PASSION + JEALOUSY// Love Letters//

He is angry.
He is irritated.
Many days have passed and yet there is no news of his beloved. She doesn’t write.

WHY DOESN’T SHE WRITE TO HIM?

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Maybe she is ill. Maybe something bad happened to her. Oh, god, what if she is hurt somehow because I wasn’t there to protect her, to care for her? What if she someone else has caught her eye – someone who gives her attention when I couldn’t, who loves her more than me? But surely that’s not possible. Is it?

Love is toxic in the most delightful yet painful way.

You find yourself obsessing over the littlest changes. A single missed text, an unanswered call, and your thoughts go spiraling down, imagining the worst things possible. Isn’t that the truth? 

As all the dark thoughts gather in his mind, turning his every waking moment into a torment, Bonaparte pens down his anxieties and fears hoping that his jealous yet passionate urgings will convince his wife to write more often before loses his mind.

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//MY AESTHETIC// It took me SOOOOOO loooong to make this onee!!! SO YOU BETTER LIKE IT!!!

Napolean Bonaparte to Josephine Bonaparte
Verona, 3 Frimaire, year V [1797]

To Josephine, in Milan

I love you no longer; on the contrary, I detest you. You are a wretch, truly perverse, truly stupid, a real Cinderella. You never write to me at all, you do not love your husband; you know the pleasure that your letters give him yet you cannot even manage to write him half a dozen lines, thrown off in a moment!

What then do you do all day, Madame? What business is so vital that it robs you of the time to write to your faithful lover? What attachment can be stifling and pushing aside the love, the tender and constant love which you promised him? 

Who can this wonderful new lover be who takes up every moment, rules your days and prevents you from devoting your attention to your husband? Beware, Josephine; one fine night the doors will be broken down and there I shall be.

In truth, I am worried, my love, to have no news from you; write me a four-page letter at once made up from those delightful words which fill my heart with emotion and joy.

I hope you hold you in my arms before long, when I shall lavish upon you a million kisses, burning as the equatorial sun.

Bonaparte

One look at his words, even a fleeting one, and your mind is filled with his troubled thoughts, his worry, his MAD ANTICIPATION.

I don’t blame Bonaparte for the hint of anger in his letter. And although everyone may not agree but to me, such a letter – with gentle reprimands and jealousy –  is one of the best ways to convey how much a person means to them.

He wants every bit of his wife reserved for himself. No exceptions are allowed. Even when he is gone, he wants her to devote as much thought to him as he does to her.

Granted, it’s always just a phase in the long-run of relationships but ISN’T IT THE BEST??
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SO? What did you think of Napolean Bonaparte’s letter to his wife?

How you imagine his wife would have felt at the receipt of this letter? 

Which lines were your favorite?

 

 

 

 

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] Quills + Parchments // LOVE LETTERS //

The moment I set my eyes upon it, I was already falling.

With each turned page, I found myself privy to the most intimate thoughts, the purest feelings, the greenest envies. I was in a world devoid of images. My eyesight had no function here. Nor did my hearing. It was all about the heart. About that warm feeling in your gut, that hot churning of something bittersweet. And I kept falling and falling, taking in all of their hopes,
their worries,
their desires. 

I was falling. And they were too.
We were falling in love.

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This little book gave me power over the hearts of all the greatest writers. They bared their feelings to their loved ones on a rough parchment with a drop of ink. They sent it back. And forth. And on and on, not knowing that this exchange was going to get recorded in eternity and some years later, in my mind too.

Their love lives. In between these pages. These pages that I hold close and dear.

But enough about my intoxication with these beautiful words and destruction at the hands of these star-crossed lovers. Why don’t you take a look by yourself and see what fires they carried in the loud beating of their palm-sized hearts?

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John Keats to Fanny Brawne
[Wednesday, 13 October 1819]

My dearest Girl,

This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time.
Upon my Soul I can think of nothing else. The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you against the unpromising morning of my Life. My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of everything but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving – I should be exquisitely miserable without hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you.
My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love – Your note came in just here – I cannot be happier away from you. ‘Tis richer than an Argosy of Pearles. Do not threat me even in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it. I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my Religion – Love is my religion – I could die for that. I could die for you. 
My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet. You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist; and yet I could resist till I saw you; and ever since I have seen you I have endeavored often ‘to reason against the reasons of my Love.’ I can do that no more – the pain would be too great. My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you.

Yours for ever,
John Keats

Can you imagine anything more intimate?

Keats’ hopelessness against the intensity of his emotions empowers his words, electrifies them. I can see him now, with his heart on his sleeve and his throat unable to even whisper, writing awayhis joy and despair mingling with each other. I can taste his impatience with my eyes. I can see his eyes tingling with tears, in remembrance of a sweet face and an even sweeter kiss.

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These letters aren’t just pieces of paper with words written on them. They are testaments to their devotion, the humbling of their great minds.

Let’s cherish them, shall we? As much as we can. as long as we can.

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This month, I wanted to share and discuss with you some of my favorite letters from my most prized book, a collection of love letters. It was just an impulse buy for me but I have been doting on this little piece of beauty ever since I read it the first time.

I have read these letters unnumbered times and yet, whenever I go back, I am struck with their elegance. EVERY SINGLE WORD BURNS WITH SUCH PASSIONATE DESIRE AND ADORATION that it was almost cruel to not share them with you. ♥

I hope you come to love them as much as I do.