Bright Star (2009) Poster


Ben Whishaw: John Keats



  • John Keats : I had such a dream last night. I was floating above the trees with my lips connected to... to those of a beautiful figure, for what seemed like an age. Flowery treetops sprung up beneath us and we, um... rested on them with the lightness of a cloud.

    Fanny Brawne : Who was the figure?

    John Keats : I must have had my eyes closed because I can't remember.

    Fanny Brawne : And yet you remember the treetops.

    John Keats : Not so well as I remember the lips.

    Fanny Brawne : Whose lips? Were they my lips?

  • Fanny Brawne : I still don't know how to work out a poem.

    John Keats : A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is a experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept a mystery.

    Fanny Brawne : I love mystery.

  • John Keats : [about writing poetry]  If poetry does not come as naturally as leaves to a tree, then it had better not come at all.

  • John Keats : In what stumbling ways a new soul is begun.

  • John Keats : Touch has a memory.

    Fanny Brawne : I know it.

  • John Keats : There is a holiness to the heart's affection. Know you nothing of that?

  • John Keats : [voice-over while Fanny reads his letter]  Will you confess this in a letter? You must write immediately and do all you can to console me in it. Make it rich as draught of poppies to intoxicate me. Write the softest words and kiss them that I may at least touch my lips where yours have been.

  • [last lines] 

    John Keats : [voice over credits, from Ode to a Nightingale]  Forlorn! the very word is like a bell / To toll me back from thee to my sole self! / Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well / As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf. / Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades / Past the near meadows, over the still stream, / Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep / In the next valley-glades: / Was it a vision, or a waking dream? / Fled is that music: - Do I wake or sleep?

  • Fanny Brawne : [the night before he leaves]  You know I would do anything.

    John Keats : I have a conscience.

  • Fanny Brawne : My stitching has more merit and admirers that your two scribblings put together.

    John Keats : Good bye, minxstress.

    Fanny Brawne : And I can make money from it.

  • Fanny Brawne : [refraining from judging John's poetry]  I'm not clever with poetry.

    John Keats : [having sold only one book of poems and to Fanny herself]  Well, neither, it seems, am I. Still, I have some hope for myself.

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