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Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,823 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
I have two luxuries to brood over...your Loveliness and the hour of my death

Though John Keats (1795-1821) died when he was just twenty-five years old, he left behind some of the most exquisite and moving poetry ever written.

He also left an incredibly beautiful and tender collection of love letters, inspired by his great love for Fanny Brawne. Although they knew each oth
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 2nd 2009 by Penguin Books
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Community Reviews

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Jun 30, 2013 Dolors rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone in need of beauty and sadness
Recommended to Dolors by: Cristina
”Let me have another opportunity of years before me and I will not die without being remember’d” pleads John Keats in one of the thirty-seven surviving love letters he sent to his “angel”, Fanny Brawne. It was some months before his partying to Italy, where he was sent following his doctor’s advice as the last chance to survive a long, strenuous illness. He was supposed to benefit from the milder winter there. He would never return to England, dying in Rome at the premature age of twenty-five an ...more
Chloe Louise
Jul 08, 2015 Chloe Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I knew that for certain life and health will in such event be heaven, and death itself will be much less painful. I long to believe in immorality. I shall never be able to bid you an entire farewell. If I am destined to be happy with you here - how short is the longest life. I wish to believe in immorality - I wish to live with you forever.

Some of the most beautiful poems and letters I have ever read.
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 02, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, with-movie
The movie is better than the book. Much better.

Normally, it is the book is better than the movie and a friend commented during our book club's Christmas party last month that this line should not be uttered anymore. It is always the case (especially for us readers). However, in my mind, there are exceptions like Tolkien's LOTR and Mario Puzo's The Godfather. And this book joins the two.

Well, in fairness, the book is not a novel but just a compilation of letters that English romantic poet John Ke
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Oct 29, 2009 Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) by:
While I own the Penguin Classics edition of "The Complete Poems of John Keats," this is a marvelous compilation of the beautiful letters that John Keats wrote to Fanny Brawne, the young woman that he fell head-over-heels in love with in the last years of his short life. These letters provide such a beautiful window into the heart and soul of one of mankind's greatest poets. Ms. Jane Campion, the director of the recently released film about Keats's love affair with Fanny Brawne, has collected Kea ...more
May 08, 2016 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
My full review can be found on my blog: https://wheretheresinktherespaper.wor...
Poet Gentleness
Apr 08, 2013 Poet Gentleness rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every romantic
Recommended to Poet Gentleness by: Dolors Casas gifted it to me!
Shelves: classics
I have to start saying that this book is not a novel but a compilation of letters that John Keats, the English romantic poet, wrote to her girlfriend Fanny Brawne during the last four years of his life. It also has the poems that he composed during their relationship including the last one he wrote.
It's absolutely romantic. It makes me wonder what we have lost due to modern times and long for men who could write beautifully like Keats did for Brawne. It's both touching and beautiful.
If you are l
Diana Lynn
Jan 19, 2015 Diana Lynn rated it really liked it
Very's insane to think that there actually were men who wrote poetry like this to women at one time or another. The first half of the book (The letters to Fanny) were both touching and beautiful. The second half which were the best of his poems was wonderful as well, however I had to re-read most of it and look up a lot of the words since it is written in old English. The movie was very well done as well and Jane Champion gives a little intro in this book which helps to put things ...more
May 14, 2015 cris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Qué raro puntuar la correspondencia privada de un poeta, pero la transcendencia de cualquier cosa escrita por Keats se demuestra en estas cartas. La fuerza de sus ideas combinada con la belleza, claridad e intensidad con las que se expresa... Hay párrafos inolvidables para cualquier lector.

Eso sí, esta edición es muy muy introductoria. El prólogo de Jane Campion ofrece una breve presentación del personaje y da un par de apuntes sobre algunos de los temas y motivos de su película (que no hace fal
Oct 13, 2009 Maria rated it it was amazing
Perfect and imperfect. Proof that love never dies. This is the most romantic love story I've ever read...and probably will ever read in my lifetime. Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth and Darcy,Tristan and Isolde, Barbie and Ken...amateurs.
"When Fanny was told of Keat's Death, the effect on her was terrible. The Twenty-year-old cut her hair short and spent three years in widows black, roaming the paths on the Heath where she and Keats had walked together."

"Is there another life?...There must be, we c
Feb 16, 2010 Anya rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Iryna
I picked this book after I saw the movie and I was absolutely stunned by the beauty, sincerity and poetry of these letters. They are intense and heartbreaking. I couldn't believe they were written 200 years ago...
I loved poems as well, although I wish there were more.
Lily Calder
I very nearly cried whilst reading this. Full review here:
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
Aug 01, 2010 Patricia (Patricia's Particularity) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite, own
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 mask
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 fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
May 07, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing
I hate to admit it, but before I saw the film "Bright Star" in October of 2009, I knew next to nothing about John Keats. I knew he was an english poet, and that he was mentioned in a Natasha Bedingfield song, but that was pretty much the extent of it. I was entirely taken off guard when I saw this film, and began what has now, I think I can safely say, become a love affair with his life and poetry. The letters in this volume are what strike me the most. As I read them, I felt as if I were someho ...more
I feel like the poems and letters made a fairly visible and hard to watch/hard to look away from transition between thoughtful and romantic to frantic, paranoid, obsessive and overwhelming. Particularly the last two letters and two poems were almost begging fanny never to look or love anyone else and the very last poem seemed to me like he was saying he was going to haunt her from the grave. God this was so captivating.
The poems are wonderful as always but the letters are the true gems, at the
Sep 18, 2011 Blake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Divided into two diverse parts between the love letters and the poems, this is Keats in love and inspired. It is also more poignantly a vision of Keats slowly fading and with the final letters he disappears from the world.

Out of this devotion comes a portrait of Fanny Brawne, whose presence, rather than ghostly and ethereal, stands instead of looming as a kind of grounded substance and whose, so grounded, being contrasts strangely and almost unromantically with the more lifted imagination of Kea
Dec 23, 2010 SarahC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-century
This is a companion book to the Jane Campion-directed film Bright Star about John Keats and Fanny Brawne. It is first a collection of letters written from Keats to Brawne and it ends with a selection of his poetry. The letters are absolutely wonderful love letters-- beautiful, simple, captivating. They are mostly written during the illness that would end his life, so of course they are poignant, but moreso they are simply beautiful love letters. This volume truly shows the complete unity of the ...more
Sep 08, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Call me biased, but I have a hard time rating anything by Keats less than 5 stars. I know not all of his poems are good, but I'm very fond of him as a person so I'm willing to overlook any shortcomings in his verses. Also, this rating and review are only for the first portion of this book--his letters to Fanny Brawne.

It's a bit of an auspicious point in my life to be reading these letters. The way he felt about Fanny and the suffering he went through because he did not think she felt as strongly
Taymara Stephania  Jagmohan
Have you ever written a billet-doux? ; )

The lippy, ill and coronary young man, Keats, is the pure example of a champion that gets jealous, loves tenderly in rich sentimentality, and allows his words to be in frequency with his heart. It is amazing how humans joggle the counter parts of loving someone, and earning a living in the extremities of reality. Do you think it is possible to love truly, and live in reality (earning a living)? It is difficult to be in love, and focus on something else. Wh
"For myself I know not how to express my devotion to so fair a form: I want a brighter word than bright, a fairer word than fair."

Bright and delicate may just be the two perfect words to describe this book. With his bare words, Keats creates pictures that are so vividly beautiful and hurtful, that they cast an excruciatingly bright light over feelings such as love, desperation, jealousy, torment and desire. As a glittering firework the words of Keats unfold with such a power and magnanimity tha
Apr 09, 2011 Sherri rated it it was amazing
I have to give this 5 stars because, well, it's Keats. Except for a short introduction it's all Keats, his letters to Fanny Brawne and a selection of his poems.

Most of these letters are little more than notes, short missives to his beloved. Considering his health, which he often alluded to, she was probably lucky to receive as many as she did. None of Fanny's letters to Keats is included since he was buried with many of them. He does refer to her notes and how he treasures them though frankly I
Vorrei essere fra le tue braccia colmo di fiducia, o che un fulmine mi colpisse.

Ogni volta che ho tra le mani le lettere o i diari di qualche scrittore mi sento un po' come se stessi spiando dal buco della serratura la vita degli altri.
Leggere le lettere, i sogni privati di qualcun altro è una delle forme più brutte di voyeurismo, però non se ne può fare a meno. Almeno per me, perché in questo modo riesco a farmi un'idea più concreta dell'uomo o della donna dietro lo scrittore.
Ma potrei sbaglia
Feb 28, 2010 Jack rated it really liked it
I wasn’t sure whether to write a “review” of his love letters and poems. Like all love letters, they are meant as personal correspondences, private to the lovers themselves. They are not meant for any outside audiences, and their content isn’t for me to judge.

Yet, as I read though some of the included poetry, I noticed that it coincided much with much of his own feelings written in his love letters. Not surprising perhaps, that he would use some of his own experiences in his poetry.A number of t
Kelly Oissar
Mar 07, 2015 Kelly Oissar rated it it was amazing
My dearest Fanny,
The power of your benediction is of not so weak a nature as to pass from the ring in four and twenty hours - it is like a sacred Chalice once consecrated and ever consecrate. I shall Kiss your name and mine where your Lips have been - Lips! why should a poor prisoner as I am talk about such things. Thank God, though I hold them the dearest pleasures in the universe, I have a consolation independent of them in the certainty of your affection. I could write a song in the style of
Mar 09, 2012 Pearl rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy, classics
Only picked this book up because I wanted to familiarize my self with more poetry, as I will have to write a piece of poetry in one of my assessments this semester. I watched the movie when it first came out and enjoyed it, but never read the letters it was based off of until now.

Needless to say, I don't get poetry and it doesn't get me. But good lord, it is beautiful. Especially Keat's letters to Fanny. In the past two decades of reading, I have never read anything so beautiful. It makes you wa
Carla Minieri
Dec 13, 2015 Carla Minieri rated it it was amazing
Struggente e intenso. Le lettere d'amore più belle che abbia mai letto dal mio poeta preferito in assoluto !
Jul 10, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2010 Brandonne rated it it was amazing
If Keats's poetry is sublime, his letters to Fanny Brawne are heady perfection. He writes, "My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you," and laments, "I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days–three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain." Dramatic professions, yes, but written with such fluid sincerity, I felt that I could happily drown in them.
Feb 24, 2011 Priya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Without a doubt John Keats is the best romantic poet ever and my favorite too. He did not just write his poems; he had experienced each one. What is more painful is that he died without knowing what he's capable of.

All his letters and poems are Simple and Heart touching. I would recommend this book to all romance lovers. A must read.
Aug 30, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: keats
Beautiful letters written by a very sick Keats to Fanny Brawne, in addition to poems he wrote. A first love for both of them. Tragically Keats died at the age of 25 from tuberculosis.

Looking forward to seeing the film based on this love story directed by Jane Campion (The Piano).
Anna Christina
Jun 20, 2010 Anna Christina rated it it was ok
You've got to love Keats' poetry. I mean, come on...he is classic. This book, however was not so interesting in my opinion. I wish they had found Fanny Brawne's reciprocal letters...That would have made the book much more enjoyable.
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John Keats was one of the principal poets of the English Romantic movement. During his short life, his work received constant critical attacks from the periodicals of the day, but his posthumous influence on poets such as Alfred Tennyson has been immense. Elaborate word choice and sensual imagery characterize Keats's poetry, including a series of odes that were his masterpieces and which remain am ...more
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“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” 1655 likes
“My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you.” 222 likes
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