Don’t hide the candle
of your clarity. Stand up and burn
through the night, my prince.
Without your light
a great lion is held captive by a rabbit!
-Rumi, One Who Wraps Himself
The darkening was like riches in the room
in which the boy sat, almost hidden from sight.
And when his mother entered, as in a dream,
a glass trembled in the quiet cupboard.
She felt how the room betrayed her,
and she kissed the boy: “Oh, you’re here?…”
Then both looked fearfully at the piano,
because some evenings she’d play the child a song
in which he found himself strangely deeply caught.
He sat very still. His great gaze hung
on her hand, weighed down by its ring,
as if struggling through drifted snow
it went over the white keys.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
From The Essential Rilke
About this time (October 1816) I met John Keats at Leigh Hunt’s, and was amazingly interested by him prematurity of intellectual and poetical power.
I read one or two of his sonnets and formed a very high idea of his genius. After a short time I liked him so much that a general invitation on my part followed, and we became extremely intimate. He visited my painting-room at all times, and at all times was welcome.
He was below the middle size, with a low forehead and an eye that had an inward look, perfectly divine, like a Delphian priestess who saw visions. The greatest calamity for Keats was his being brought before the world by a set who had so much the habit of puffing each other that every one connected with it suffered in public estimation. Hence every one was inclined to disbelieve his genius. …
One evening (November 19, 1816) after a most eager interchange of thoughts I received from Keats his sonnet, beginning “Great spirits now on earth are sojourning.” I thanked him, and he wrote, “Your letter has filled me with a proud pleasure, and shall be kept by me as a stimulus to exertion. I begin to fix my eye on one horizon. The idea of your sending it to Wordsworth puts me out of breath. You know with what reverence I would send my well wishes to him.”
As I was walking one day with him in the Kilburn meadows, he said: “Haydon, what a pity it is there is not a human dusthole.”
Hear sexy Tom Hiddleston read Bright Star here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vlIXu9C3Hw
Cool article on a writer’s life via The Wit of the Staircase, Theresa Duncan.