Bright Star (2009)
Fanny Brawne: I still don't know how to work out a poem.
John Keats: A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is a experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept the mystery.
Fanny Brawne: I love mystery.
John Keats: I had such a dream last night. I was floating above the trees with my lips connected to those of a beautiful figure, for what seemed like an age. Flowery treetops sprung up beneath us and we rested on them with the lightness of a cloud.
Fanny Brawne: Who was the figure?
John Keats: I must have had my eyes closed because I can't remember.
Fanny Brawne: And yet you remember the treetops.
John Keats: Not so well as I remember the lips.
Fanny Brawne: Whose lips? Were they my lips?
[last title cards]
Title card: Fanny Brawne walked the Heath for many years, often far into the night. She never forgot John Keats or removed his ring. / Keats died at twenty five, believing himself a failure. Today he is recognised as one of the greatest of the Romantic Poets.
John Keats: In what stumbling ways a new soul is begun.
John Keats: [about writing poetry] It ought to come like leaves to a tree, or it better not come at all.
Margaret 'Toots' Brawne: [explaining to the bookseller why her sister Fanny wants to get John Keats' latest poem book] My sister has met the author and she wants to read it for herself to see if he's an idiot or not.
John Keats: [voice over credits, from Ode to a Nightingale] Forlorn! the very word is like a bell / To toll me back from thee to my sole self! / Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well / As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf. / Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades / Past the near meadows, over the still stream, / Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep / In the next valley-glades: / Was it a vision, or a waking dream? / Fled is that music: - Do I wake or sleep?
John Keats: There is holiness in the heart's affection.
Fanny Brawne: [last lines before credits, speaking Keat's poem Bright Star] Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art - / Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night / And watching, with eternal lids apart, / Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, / The moving waters at their priestlike task / Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, / Or gazing on the new soft-fallen masque / Of snow upon the mountains and the moors - / No - yet still stedfast, still unchangeable / Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, / To feel for ever its soft swell and fall, / Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, / Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, / And so live ever - or else swoon in death.
Fanny Brawne: [the night before he leaves] You know I would do anything
John Keats: I have a conscience.
Fanny Brawne: My stitching has more merit and admirers that your two scribblings put together.
John Keats: Good bye, minxstress.
Fanny Brawne: And I can make money from it.
Margaret 'Toots' Brawne: Fanny wants a knife.
Mrs. Brawne: What for?
Margaret 'Toots' Brawne: To kill herself.
John Keats: [voice-over while Fanny reads his letter] Will you confess this in a letter? You must write immediately and o all you can to console me in it. Make it rich as draught of poppies to intoxicate me. Write the softest words and kiss them that I may at least touch my lips where yours have been.
Charles Armitage Brown: Mr. Keats is composing and does not want disturbing.
Fanny Brawne: It's my finding in the business of disturbing, you're the expert.
Mrs. Brawne: Fanny, why not speak to one of us you hold in higher favor?
Fanny Brawne: I'm praising him!
Mrs. Brawne: Mr. Keats knows he cannot like you, he has no living and no income.
Charles Armitage Brown: I failed John Keats. I did not know til now how tightly he wound himself around my heart.
Mrs. Brawne: Hello, Joy.
Dilke Maid: Hello.
Mrs. Brawne: Is all well?
Dilke Maid: Very good, thank you.
Abigail: Mr. Brown has said that I could learn to read still. I said to him, "Sure, what would I read?" And he said, "Abigail, even the Bible is not so dull as you might believe." And that in the Songs of Solomon there're some bits so juicy they'd make even a churchman blush. And he said that when I get down to reading myself I will see he tells not one word of a lie!