I had to read a lot of unusual and previously unread poems when I started doing the literature course last year. One poem that stuck with me was Keats’ Hyperion. Out of many favourites, this is a recent addition. I enjoyed studying it because of the ease with which I understood it and the theme on which it is based. The imagery is beautiful and in my opinion is one of Keats’ best works, it is also his last. I cannot imagine he was only 26 when he finished it.
The poem opens with the scene when the Titans have been defeated by the Olympians. Saturn, who has lost his throne to Jupiter, sits sad and broken. Thea, an Amazon, attempts to rouse him to stand back up and motivate the other Titans that all is not lost. The still unfallen Hyperion rejoices n his palatial abode but eventually he too, admits defeat to Apollo.
It is a very long poem and so I am not posting all of it; the following is a good part to get a flavour of the poem and then you can follow the link to go read the entire text.
He stood, and heard not Thea’s sobbing deep;
A little time, and then again he snatch’d
Utterance thus.—”But cannot I create?
Cannot I form? Cannot I fashion forth
Another world, another universe,
To overbear and crumble this to nought?
Where is another chaos? Where?”—That word
Found way unto Olympus, and made quake
The rebel three.—Thea was startled up,
And in her bearing was a sort of hope,
As thus she quick-voic’d spake, yet full of awe.
“This cheers our fallen house: come to our friends,
O Saturn! come away, and give them heart;
I know the covert, from thence came I hither.”
Thus brief; then with beseeching eyes she went
With backward footing through the shade a space:
He follow’d, and she turn’d to lead the way
Through aged boughs, that yielded like the mist
Which eagles cleave upmounting from their nest.
For the entire poem, click here.