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Give Me Women, Wine, and Snuff -- John Keats

Guest poem submitted by Suresh Ramasubramanian, <suresh at hserus dot
net> :
(Poem #1496) Give Me Women, Wine, and Snuff
 Give me women, wine, and snuff
 Until I cry out "hold, enough!"
 You may do so sans objection
 Till the day of resurrection:
 For, bless my beard, they aye shall be
 My beloved Trinity.
-- John Keats
A short and sweet poem, almost Khayyam-ish, almost certainly strongly
inspired by Khayyam's verse.

This is from his posthumous and fugitive poems - a set of poems that
includes the famous "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" that he wrote during the
last three or four years of his short life, dying of tuberculosis.

On February 3, 1820, Keats suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage - a sign
that he was in the terminal stage of tuberculosis, with death almost
upon him.  He quickly broke off his engagement with Fanny Brawne and
began what he called a "posthumous existence".  He was too ill to
compose any further poems, but the volume Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of
St. Agnes, and Other Poems, including most of his most famous ones, was
published that July.

A year later, he died in Rome on 2/23/1821 and was buried there on
February 26 in the Protestant Cemetery. On his deathbed Keats requested
that his tombstone bear no name, only the words 'Here lies one whose
name was writ in water.'

I remember a poem (I think by Kahlil Gibran) that says something to the
effect that Keats' name was writ in water, when it should have been writ
on the sky in letters of fire. Can't trace the poem though :(  Somebody
please do find it and post it ...

Suresh.

[Minstrels Links]

John Keats:
Poem #12, On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer
Poem #182, La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Poem #316, Ode to a Nightingale
Poem #433, Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell
Poem #575, To Mrs Reynolds' Cat
Poem #696, Last Sonnet
Poem #770, A Thing of Beauty is a Joy for Ever
Poem #910, On the Grasshopper and the Cricket

Omar Khayyam:
Poem #162, Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Poem #342, Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
Poem #545, The Moving Finger Writes; and, Having Writ
Poem #654, Think, in this Batter'd Caravanserai
Poem #750, Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough
Poem #1354, Ah, Love!, Could Thou and I with Fate Conspire

46 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

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