home page poesis, so called    

a persistence of Romanticism
september 2009


I’m in San Francisco, waiting underground for “BART” (the train). A poster for Aldo accessories covers the wall facing the platform. Here, though, you can’t see that she’s wearing fishnet stockings with her Shonna boots. Homey bleached denim (persona 1) with high city accoutrement (persona 2) makes one’s pretentious teen evening affordably haute.

aldo high-heel leather boots

The personas are modeled by someone who cares about none of it (she told me). Her character is sartorial disaster. “But it’s rent.”



This is Jane Campion, seamstress of images, doing a scene for “Bright Star,” about Fanny Brawne and John Keats.

Life was rough in Georgian England, Dickensian in the city,
a matter of estate in the country. The poet without estate endures patronage of poseurs. A woman,
no matter how great a seamstress, dancer, master of French, or painter of great scenes, must marry a man with estate.

Prostitution is a species memory belonging to both genders.

  Yet, the ascendent soul of our modernity, the authentic Self, may live so far beyond,
never to be undone.

Campion’s perfectly made film, her beautifully told story, would be worthwhile just to see Edie Martin play little sister of Fanny, the bright star.

Born of the ecstatic quotidian,
Romanticism is longing for synergy
of kinds of being—sensual, emotional, intellectual, erotic—anewing sacredness,
a wholehearted freedom of one’s nature— of, with, in, as, for, to,...


little sister


reading a letter in a field of violets

May I witness your flourishing as long as I live.

I will never break your heart—‘til your face is the last I behold.

february 12, 2010

So, who is “I” in the lines below the image?

The English Romantics were not basically about relational romanticism. But the Romantics carried the ethos of the troubadors (via Shakespeare, etc.) into their naturalist sense of being, in turn embodied as a sense of “our” potential for appreciative being.

Where Keats would let Fanny be the inspiration for his own flourishing (sublimely displacing himself from the source of inspiration, only to contain her inspiring presence through the poem—rather than letting her also seem to be the origin she is), Campion’s film turns Keats’ poetic inspiration back to his source, celebrating in filmic witness a reality of the bright star that Keats doubly displaces: writing “to” his own ambiguity (to celestial witness inspired by the woman contained by the inspired poem), then only tacitly to the woman reading. Campion’s film is Of her, no longer merely to. The caption for the photo (“May I witness...”) may also be the stance of feminist film toward The Woman of Romanticism, due appreciation. I want that.

Also, of course, those lines below the violetted image could be taken as addressed to you by me.

Or Keats, Campion, Romanticism, and I could be portrayed as altogether celebrating an ecstasis of Relationship, celestial and sensual, fictive and real, as natural origin?

Ha, such a synergistic notion is just me straining for as much as possible from the thing (the page)?

It’s that at least, for I certainly suggest above the violetted image that I want something profound from a notion of being With. “Relationship” (capped) is what we want to have and to hold, to advance, from quotidian joys to a sense of the stars, being With as largely as we may.




  Be fair. © 2017, gary e. davis