John Keats, Bright Star, Would I were Steadfast as Thou Art

This poem begins with the exclamation in which the speaker appears enamoured with the “steadfast” “art” that the “Bright Start” exudes. Bright Star can be interpreted both literally (as an actual star) and metaphorically (as a personification of a woman). I am particularly taken the jealousy that appears in the speaker’s voice. To me, it seems like the speaker (presuming Keats himself) is almost envious of the star in that it can exude art continuously (“steadfastly”) while he as a poet/writer cannot. After reading “Like Nature’s patient sleepless eremite,” I looked up the word “eremite” and found that it means a hermit or a religious recluse. According to dictionary.com, the word also means “lonely, solitary, desolate” and originally derives from Latin and Greek and means “living in the desert.” In context, its meaning is an interesting juxtaposition with the following line that uses imagery that is the opposite of the desert, namely “moving waters.”

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