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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

Welcome to my own personal exploration of life through reading the great books of the world.

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"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Friday, February 23, 2007

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by Sir Frank Dicksee (1853-1928)

Today is the anniversary of the death of John Keats, one of the major poets of the Romantic era. He died of tuburculosis on this day in 1821 at the age of 25. In his brief life he wrote several poems that are considered major works in English literature such as "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode to Psyche," and "Endymion."

Here is one of my favorite Keats poems:
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
Much have I travel'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then I felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific -- and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise --
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

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posted by Nick Senger at 5:39 AM

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