Bright Star (2009)
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.
[last title cards]
Title card: Fanny Brawne walked the Heath for many years, often far into the night. She never forgot John Keats or removed his ring. / Keats died at twenty five, believing himself a failure. Today he is recognised as one of the greatest of the Romantic Poets.
John Keats: In what stumbling ways a new soul is begun.
Margaret 'Toots' Brawne: [explaining to the bookseller why her sister Fanny wants to get John Keats' latest poem book] My sister has met the author and she wants to read it for herself to see if he's an idiot or not.
John Keats: There is a holiness to the heart's affection. Know you nothing of that?
Margaret 'Toots' Brawne: Fanny wants a knife.
Mrs. Brawne: What for?
Margaret 'Toots' Brawne: To kill herself.
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.
Mrs. Brawne: Mr. Keats knows he can not like you. He has no living and no income.
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.
Charles Armitage Brown: Uh, Mr. Keats is composing and does not want disturbing.
Fanny Brawne: It's my finding, in the business of disturbing, you're the expert.
Mrs. Brawne: Fanny, why not speak to one of us you hold in higher favor?
Fanny Brawne: I'm praising him!
[last lines before credits]
Fanny Brawne: [speaking Keat's poem Bright Star] Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art - / Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night / And watching, with eternal lids apart, / Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, / The moving waters at their priestlike task / Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, / Or gazing on the new soft-fallen masque / Of snow upon the mountains and the moors - / No - yet still stedfast, still unchangeable / Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, / To feel for ever its soft swell and fall, / Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, / Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, / And so live ever - or else swoon to death.
Charles Armitage Brown: I - failed - John - Keats! I failed him, I failed him! I did not know till now how tightly he wound himself around my heart.
[first lines between major players]
Mrs. Brawne: Hello, Joy.
Dilke Maid: Hello.
Mrs. Brawne: Is all well?
Dilke Maid: Very good, thank you.
Abigail: Mr. Brown has said that I could learn to read still. I said to him, "Sure, what would I read?" And he said, "Abigail, even the Bible is not so dull as you might believe," and that in the Songs of Solomon there're some bits so juicy they'd make even a churchman blush. And he said that when I get down to the reading myself, I'll see he tells not one word of a lie!
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.
Maria Dilke: Attachment is such a difficult thing to undo.
Charles Armitage Brown: If Mr. Keats and myself are strolling in a meadow, lounging on a sofa, or staring into a wall, do not presume we're not working. Doing nothing is the musing of the poet.
Fanny Brawne: Are these musings what we common people know as thoughts?
Charles Armitage Brown: Thoughts, yes, but of a weightier nature.
Fanny Brawne: Sinking thoughts.
Charles Armitage Brown: Not really, Miss Brawne, musing, making one's mind available to inspiration.
Fanny Brawne: Mr. Brown? As in amusing?
Charles Armitage Brown: [fuming]
Mrs. Brawne: Mr. Brown, our thought are all very simple so you never need worry about interrupting us. And we should be happy if you would join us for dinner on any day.