Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy 217th Birthday, John Keats

Happy Birthday to the jewel in my nerd crown, Mr. John Keats. Today is his 217th birthday and I've been saving talking about my experience at his house in Rome for today. 

Essentially, the Keats- Shelley Museum was the primary reason for my desire to go to Rome. I knew I'd love the whole place, but that was the main event. What I came to see. I find connecting to the artists I love gives me clarity. I wanted to see Keats' things. Be in the room where he wrote and where he died. (His death and illness being such a huge well of gravity for his persona and his writings.) I'd already been to the Keats House in Hampstead, but something about this felt more important. I'm not quite sure why. 

Trusty flatmate Fiona indulged my nerdery and I just took my time in the building, looking over his letters to Fanny, his handwriting, his watch, various comic book interpretations of some of his more epic poems. There was a lock of his hair there too and I was surprised to see his hair was blonder than most renderings of him let on. 

I believe there is a soul to buildings. And I could feel the soul of this place. The legacy of those who lived and died there and a kind of cool quiet in contrast to the bustling Spanish Plaza and famous Spanish Steps just outside. There is a steadfast energy to the place. The kind Keats himself so much admired.

Of course I loved all of Rome. But if I had only gone to see my man Keatsy's last domain, it would have been worth it. Happy 217th!

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