Here I go, getting all literary on you. But I think I’ve been misquoting Keats for a long time. I thought he said, ‘The easiest way to find fame is to avoid it.’ But now I’m not sure. A quick Google search turned up this poem. Might even be better. The meaning is kind of like that misquote. Be cool, don’t chase it. There was a time when I wanted to do a movie about Keats and his love affair with a Mrs. Brown. ‘Keats: The Movie’ directed by Michael Bay! The literary salons of Keats, Byron and Shelley would become a battle ground where ink spilled like blood and lesser wordsmiths choked on the thick pulp of their writing tablets. Keats, poet, writer of ‘On Fame’, and ultimate fragile romantic guy complete with ruffley shirt and a fatal disease. The Poet Action Figure coming soon.
On Fame by John Keats (1795-1821)
Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy
To those who woo her with too slavish knees,
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease;
She is a Gipsey,–will not speak to those
Who have not learnt to be content without her;
A Jilt, whose ear was never whisper’d close,
Who thinks they scandal her who talk about her;
A very Gipsey is she, Nilus-born,
Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar;
Ye love-sick Bards! repay her scorn for scorn;
Ye Artists lovelorn! madmen that ye are!
Make your best bow to her and bid adieu,
Then, if she likes it, she will follow you.