Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Week of the Odes

We're celebrating John Keats' odes and we want you to join us: post a video of yourself reading your favorite of the odes, or read your own, or write one and then leave them in the comments section of this blog—we want to hear from you!

If you're in the Portland (Oregon) area please join us on Sunday, September 28th at Powell's on Hawthorne. We'll be hosting poet
Stanley Plumly as the jewel in our Week of the Odes celebration. The acclaimed poet and Keats scholar will draw you wonderfully into the truths and beauties about the afterlife of the Romantic poet, John Keats. Find out what makes poetry truly poetry.

Plumly's acclaimed new book, Posthumous Keats, is the result of 20 years of reflection on the enduring poetry of one of England's greatest Romanticists. Incisive in its observations and beautifully written, this work is an ode to the man who saw his mortality as fatal to his poetry. This event is free. Bring a friend or two.

Read more about the book & the event

Click here to read about Stanley Plumly

Praise for Posthumous Keats

The New Yorker / The New York Times

The Washington Post / The Los Angeles Times

Read an excerpt

Ode on a Grecain Urn

Monday, September 8, 2008

To Autumn by John Keats

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,
Drowsed 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 cider-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 redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.