This one goes out to my cyber friend Keatsbabe.
Visually I was going for a kind of unrehearsed contrast in this video, keeping the city images throughout, instead of the pastoral scenes Keats supplies up in the poem itself. I think I like the result. The opening scene is of the Chrysler Building, once upon a time the tallest in NYC’s landscape. I am not certain of the building with the blue lit tower. The guide told me but I forget now. But those flashing lights in between the buildings near street level are actually the lights of Time Square.
Philomel is Keats’s proper name for the nightingale. It is also the name of a stringed instrument. The latin root words, philo (love) and mel (song, as in melody) work well for the nightengale’s apparent love of singing. In the Ovid Philomela was turned into a nightingale. Pantheon provides a succinct overview of the myth here if you’d like to learn more, but it has little to do I think with the simple desire of Keats to quietly recoup from the city in a grassy field somewhere, being soothed by nature and the bird’s song.
To One who has been Long in City Pent
To one who has been long in city pent, 'Tis very sweet to look into the fair And open face of heaven,--to breathe a prayer Full in the smile of the blue firmament. Who is more happy, when, with heart's content, Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair And gentle tale of love and languishment? Returning home at evening, with an ear Catching the notes of Philomel,--an eye Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career, He mourns that day so soon has glided by: E'en like the passage of an angel's tear That falls through the clear ether silently.