Keats Assignment (Bright Star)

Keats “Bright star” is a significant poem. The overall theme of this poem is eternity, perhaps why he titled it “Bright star” because stars last for an eternity. Keats doesn’t only want an eternity of life, but he wants eternity with the chest and breast he lays on.  The octave gives a detailed enhancement of objects in nature that last an eternity, whereas in the sestet, Keats shows a contrasts. In the sestet proportion of the poem, Keats describes his experience laying on a woman’s chest/breast. He explains his desire to never get up from the position he is in.

The octet gives powerful descriptions of the objects in nature. After reading the poem thoroughly, you get a better understanding of why Keats uses certain adjectives in this octet. For example, “sleepless” in front of Eremite, implies the hermit doesn’t sleep. Relating the task of a hermit, while comparing the stars at night; both the hermit and stars watches over the world. Keats is preparing the readers for the sestet. “Pure ablution” meaning he is washing himself, and sacred parts.

In the octet Keats was enduring the nature of objects outside. Shifting to the sestet, he endures the nature of human bodies. From the brief use of descriptive words, I can imagine that Keats has a sexual attraction with a female in the sestet. ‘Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast” he lays on her breast. He uses illustration, Keats head is laying down, while his lover breast is his pillows. In contrast to the octet, he now is longing to hear her breath, while lying on her chest. Keats says “Awake for ever in a sweet unrest” meaning; although we lay our heads down to rest, he does not want to go to sleep because he wants to enjoy the moment, and not miss out on any action. This line is very different from the lines in the octet. The word “sweet” used as an adjective in front of the word “unrest” (which isn’t a good thing not to be rested) lightens up the sentence. Ending the sestet with the words “breath” and “death” can imply: that he doesn’t want her breathing anymore, else he may die, and/or maybe she is already dead.

Final analysis, the octet in the poem described a star and how it looks. The theme played throughout the entire poem was eternity, but eternity within nature in the octet and eternity within humans in the sestet. A metaphor lies within the entire poem connecting the octet and sestet. The steadfastness of shooting stars versus Keats trying to preserve the moment laying on her chest.

One thought on “Keats Assignment (Bright Star)

  1. jdwilner says:

    This is better, ZaQuaesha, as it shows a somewhat clearer understanding of the poem as a whole. You still need to slow down and work more carefully though, as I’ve been emphasizing from the beginning of the semester. Sometimes there’s a nice movement from one sentence to another as you develop an idea, but a lot of the time your sentences are sort of like bags holding the sentences like loose, separated objects. You need to connect those sentences to one another with words and ideas showing how they relate and hold together.


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