John Keats pintado por Benjamin Robert Haydon 

A alcunha comum deste mundo entre os equivocados e supersticiosos é “um vale de lágrimas”, do qual seremos redimidos por uma certa intervenção arbitrária de Deus, e levados ao céu. Que noção circunscrita e arranjada! Chamem o mundo, se assim desejarem, de “o vale da edificação das almas”. Então vocês descobrirão para que serve o mundo (agora estou falando nos mais elevados termos para a natureza humana, admitindo-se que ela seja imortal, o que eu vou tomar aqui como certo com o propósito de apresentar um pensamento que me ocorreu a respeito dela). Digo “edificação das almas”, alma como algo distinto da inteligência. Pode haver inteligências ou centelhas da divindade aos milhões, mas elas não são almas até que adquiram identidades, até que cada uma seja pessoalmente ela mesma. Inteligências são átomos de percepção, elas sabem e vêem e são puras, em resumo, elas são Deus. Como, então, elas são almas a serem criadas? Como, então, essas centelhas que são Deus podem receber uma identidade, de modo a possuírem para sempre uma bem-aventurança [que é] peculiar à existência individual de cada uma delas? Como, a não ser por meio de um mundo como este?

Desejo sinceramente considerar este ponto, porque penso que é um sistema de salvação maior que a religião cristã — ou melhor, é um sistema de criação do Espírito. Isso se realiza através de três grandes materiais agindo um sobre o outro por uma série de anos. Esses materiais são a Inteligência — o coração humano (distinguido da inteligência ou Mente) — e o mundo ou espaço elementar adequado para a ação da mente e do coração, um sobre o outro, com o propósito de formar a alma ou inteligência [que está] destinada a possuir o sentido de identidade. Mal posso expressar o que vagamente percebo — e, ainda assim, penso que o percebo –, o que você poderá julgar, quanto mais claramente o colocar, de forma mais simples possível. Chamarei o mundo de uma escola, instituida com o objetivo de ensinar crianças pequenas a ler. Chamarei a criança capaz de ler de alma, criada por essa escola e sua cartilha. Você não vê o quão necessário é um mundo de dores e dificuldades para ensinar uma inteligência e torná-la uma alma? Um lugar onde o coração deve sentir e sofrer de mil maneiras diferentes!

O coração não é apenas uma cartilha, é a bíblia da mente, a experiência da mente; é a teta da qual a mente ou inteligência suga sua identidade — tão variadas quanto as vidas dos homens, tão variadas tornam-se suas almas e, assim, Deus cria seres individuais, almas, almas idênticas [a partir] das centelhas de sua própria essência…

John Keats  (em carta para seu irmão George, 21 de abril de 1810)

Tradução: Jussara Almeida

>> Para mais trechos de cartas de Keats, com comentário (em inglês).


Posted by: Jussara & Carol


The Poetry of Autumn

Forget spring. Fall is the season for poetry.

by Annie Finch

“The poetry of earth is never dead,” wrote John Keats, and yet that quintessential poet of autumn, his own life fading as the colors of his glory blazed and flew, was exquisitely alive to the season’s dying. His sleeping Autumn, cheeks flushed and hair awry, personifies the sensual richness of the early part of the season as iconically as the yellow leaves of Shakespeare’s Sonnet LXXIII embody the forlorn grandeur of the late. And yet both of these poems contain the tinge of their opposites, more exquisite for being so subtle: the unspoken sexual passion in the sonnet and the hint of the ominous in the ode (the wailing of the bugs, the swallows gathering) are so delicate they are barely there. 

Through just this kind of sensitivity to duality, the poetry of autumn tends to ambiguity—and to greatness. What poet or lover of poetry could resist, now, when death and beauty are afoot? Together? The stereotypical poet writes of spring; the odds are that any parody of poetry will involve twittering and budding. But Millay answers, from the end of “The Death of Autumn”: “Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky! / Oh, Autumn! Autumn—What is the Spring to me?”

The evidence for the greatness of autumn poetry, at least in the Romantic tradition in English, is everywhere: Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind”, Keats’s “To Autumn”, Hopkins’s “Spring and Fall”, Yeats’s “The Wild Swans at Coole”, H.D.’s “Orchard”, Stevens’s “The Auroras of Autumn”, Brooks’s “Beverly Hills, Chicago.” Dickinson seemed to take the connection between poetry and autumn for granted, writing “Besides the Autumn poets sing / a few prosaic days” as if it were as standard a subject for poetry in her mind as spring is in ours. It seems likely that her own “Wild nights – Wild nights!”, not to mention its ancient ancestor, “O Western Wind,” was inspired by late autumn, by the kind of mood when Rilke wrote, “Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter; / who lives alone will live indefinitely so.”

Rilke’s poem partakes of the tradition of relentless autumn poems, those sad or bitter mournings of the season, the “withered” world on which Alice Cary so utterly turns her back. This is the aspect of autumn that drives Walter de la Mare, in “Autumn,” to spell-like obsession:

There is a wind where the rose was;
Cold rain where sweet grass was . . .
Sad winds where your voice was;
Tears, tears where my heart was . . .

It drives Paul Verlaine to hear such long long sobs, and most brutally of all perhaps, Adam Zagajewski to political despair at the power of autumn “merciless in her blaze / and her breath”.


(To read the rest of the article, visit The Poetry Foundation site)

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,
   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 ladenladen Loaded down 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.

keats19A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

John Keats