04 March 2006

Hopkins on Keats

[from a letter to Coventry Patmore]

"It is impossible not to feel with weariness how [Keats's] verse is at every turn abandoning itself to an unmanly and enervating luxury. It appears too that he said something like 'O for a life of impressions rather than thoughts' . . . Nevertheless, I feel and see in him the beginnings of something opposite to this, of an interest in higher things, and of powerful and active thought . . . His mind had, as it seems to me, the distinctly masculine powers in abundance, his character the manly virtues, but while he gave himself up to dreaming and self-indulgence, of course, they were in abeyance . . . but . . . his genius would have taken to an austere utterance in art. Reason, thought, what he did not want to live by, would have asserted itself presently."

No comments:

Post a Comment