The Eve of St Agnes by John Keats
This volume contains a selection of Keats's greatest verse - including his gothic story in verse, 'The Eve of St Agnes', and the mysterious 'Lamia' - exploring themes of love, enchantment, myth and magic.
This little volume taught me that even poetry of the greats will fail to enthral me. A real it's not you, it's me relationship with verse, the whole time I had my heart closed, praying for prose. It's a real shame there's no Little Black Classic on Spike Milligan, as it seems his poems are the only ones my tiny little mind can enjoy. I don't know what's wrong with me.
I was really excited about the gothic and mythical feel this choice of poetry promised, and I did get the gist of it, I promise. The Eve of St Agnes itself was pretty enjoyable, imbued with superstition and forbidden romance. Highly descriptive, I found myself lost in stained glass windows, and although the pace was slow, it felt like an intended drunkenness. Lamia was also interesting, sheer mythical elegance hinting at love being merely a consuming enchantment. Both longer narrative poems, this was as close to prose as I was going to get. While the shorter poems flowed beautifully, they didn't have any real impact on me.
Perhaps I'm too rash in my poetry readings. I do think certain poems, particularly the longer ones in this Keats collection, take more than one reading to truly enjoy and understand. I just didn't have the patience.
The Poetry Dunce