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Recommended Reading: The poetry of John Keats


Volete leggere in inglese? Prendete in considerazione le poesie: sono brevi e potete leggerle più e più volte, per comprenderle meglio. Giuseppe Albano, il curatore della casa museo Keats-Shelley di Roma, ovviamente ci consiglia... Keats!
by Mark Worden - LANGUAGE LEVEL B2 (UPPER INTERMEDIATE) 

Giuseppe Albano (Scottish accent)

For Italians learning English I would always recommend Keats’ sonnets, which might not be the most obvious thing to recommend, but I recommend them for the following reasons: first of all, they’re very short, of course; the sonnet, of course, is a 14-line form; they’re very easy to digest, to read, but you can read them time and time again, and each time discover something new, something wonderful, something that you might not have realized, or understood the first time you read it. It’s also interesting for Italian people to read sonnets in English because the Italian... the sonnet is an Italian form. it was very influenced... but it also, you know, very much influenced  a great number of English writers, from Shakespeare and his contemporaries onwards through the 18th and 19th centuries and into the present day. So I think it’s very interesting for Italian people to... to look at how their literature, how their language, how their forms have influenced English writers. And Keats in particular does wonderful things with the sonnet because he uses real, living language; he doesn’t use very... he doesn’t use the dead words of the past, he uses the language of the living present. So it might take a little bit of effort to read and appreciate some of Keats’ sonnets in English today, but you can also read them in dual language editions, and you’ll be amazed how much of the original language you can actually appreciate and understand, if you go to the originals.

(Giuseppe Albano was talking to Mark Worden: to find out more about the Keats-Shelley House, go to: www.keats-shelley-house.org)

To read the main article, A literary love affair, published in Speak Up (October 2014), click here.

 


 

SPEAK UP EXPLAINS

 

The first time you read it.
La prima volta che lo leggi. Il verbo to read (read-read) in inglese può essere problematico, soprattutto per via della pronuncia. Questo è perché sia l’infinito sia il presente si pronunciano read (“reed”) mentre il passato e il participio passato si pronunciano “red” (che è uguale al colore red, rosso). Infatti c’è un indovinello (orale e non scritto) per i bambini in inglese che si basa su un gioco di parole: Question (domanda): “What’s black and white and red all over?” (“Cos’è quella cosa che è bianca e nera, ma rossa dappertutto?”) Answer (risposta): A newspaper (un giornale) – because it’s read all over! (perché viene letto dappertutto).