Bright Star - from Keats' words to screenplay


The following is an example of how Jane Campion adapted the words from Keats' journal for the screenplay of 'Bright Star'. This is one of my favourite scenes!

Words from Jane Campion's screenplay...
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 sprang up beneath us and we rested on them with the lightness of a cloud.
Fanny: Who was the figure?
Keats: I must have had my eyes closed because I can't remember.
Fanny: And yet you remember the treetops?
Keats: Not so well as I remember the lips.
Fanny: Whose lips? Were they my lips?


From Keats' Journal (describing his poem: On A Dream)
The dream was one of the most delightful enjoyments I ever had in my life. I floated above the whirling atmosphere as it is described with a beautiful figure to whose lips mine were joined at it seem'd for an age - and in the midst of all this cold and darkness I was warm - even flowery tree tops sprung up and we rested on them with the lightness of a cloud till the wind blew us away again - I tried a sonnet upon it - there are fourteen lines but nothing of what I felt in it - O that I could dream it every night.

On A Dream

As Hermes once took to his feathers light,
When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon'd and slept,
So on a Delphic reed, my idle spright,
So play'd, so charm'd, so conquer'd, so bereft
The dragon-world of all its hundred eyes,
And seeing it asleep, so fled away,
Not to pure Ida with its snow-cold skies,
Nor unto Tempe, where Jove grieved a day,
But to that second circle of sad Hell,
Where in the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hailstones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows: -- pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss'd, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.

Here's the filmclip of that scene...



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