Date: 01/12/2021
Email: Keep my email address private
**Your comments must be approved before they appear on the site.

You are posting a comment about...
Infuriating Poet Right Again

by Reg Green

Nicholas, 27 years ago, on the lower slopes of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, a few days before he was shot by two minor Mafia figures on the Naples to Sicily autostrada who mistook our car for one delivering jewelry.

Like many other high school kids I writhed my way through a few of John Keats' Best-Loved Poems, though Best-Hated would be more accurate. In my class of thirty boys in England every one of us boiled with rage at language that was deliberately perplexing, needlessly archaic and (the last and unforgivable straw) soppy. 

One poem in the syllabus was Ode on a Grecian Urn whose main phrases I tried to commit to memory without the slightest desire to understand a word.  It opens:

       'Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
     Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
     Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
     A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme.'

Only a committee of sado-masochistic pedophiles could have made a school-leaving certificate dependent on such stuff. The main theme is that the lovers on a classical piece of art have never aged, never lost their innocence, though they are thousands of years old. It's a lovely idea. If only he had written it more simply!

One day, having magnified the photo above, however -- the last one we took before the boy in it, my seven-year old son, Nicholas, was shot in a botched robbery while we were on a vacation in Italy -- I saw with a shock that we weren't alone. On the trail below us were two other hikers. 

 We never met them, they may never have seen us but, like the lovers in the poem, they live on, youthful, jaunty and unaware to this day of being on the edge of a tragedy that caused a tectonic shift in tens of millions of hearts. I mean it literally. A book I wrote, The NIcholas Effect, was the basis for a made-for-television movie, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, callled "Nicholas' Gift," about how we donated his organs and corneas to seven very sick Italians, four of them teenagers, that has been seen by 100 million people world-wide. Everywhere -- Russia, Venezuela, Taiwan etc. --  awareness of the power of organ donation to save multiple families from devastation spread rapidly. In Italy alone thousands of people are alive who would have died (

So the maddening Keats was doubly right. On top of its original lesson, his poem now has an extra layer of meaning, even though it too has remained unchanged for two hundred years. 

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK today!



Adam Selene (2) A.J. Caschetta (7) Adam Smith (1) Ahnaf Kalam (2) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew E. Harrod (3) Andrew Harrod (5) Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Bat Ye'or (6) Bill Corden (7) Bradley Betters (1) Brex I Teer (9) Brian of London (32) Bruce Bawer (31) Carol Sebastian (1) Christina McIntosh (869) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (774) Daniel Mallock (6) David Ashton (1) David J. Baldovin (3) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Devdutta Maji (1) Dexter Van Zile (75) Donald J. Trump (1) Dr. Michael Welner (3) E. B Samuel (1) Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (1) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (15) Esmerelda Weatherwax (10161) Fergus Downie (23) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (78) G. Tod Slone (1) Gary Fouse (185) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (350) George Rojas (1) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hesham Shehab and Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Hossein Khorram (2) Howard Rotberg (33) Hugh Fitzgerald (21503) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (26) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (4) Janet Charlesworth (1) Janice Fiamengo (4) jeffrey burghauser (2) Jenna Wright (1) Jerry Gordon (2524) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (6) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (122) John Hajjar (6) John M. Joyce (394) John Rossomando (1) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Jordan Cope (1) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Francis (2) Kenneth Hanson (1) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (29) Lawrence Eubank (1) Lev Tsitrin (34) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Manda Zand Ervin (3) Marc Epstein (9) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mark Zaslav (1) Martha Shelley (1) Mary Jackson (5065) Matthew Hausman (53) Matthew Stewart (2) Michael Curtis (807) Michael Rechtenwald (69) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2594) New English Review Press (135) Nidra Poller (75) Nikos A. Salingaros (1) Nonie Darwish (10) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Oakley (1) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McGregor (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (251) Rebecca Bynum (7253) Reg Green (40) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (19) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (85) Sally Ross (36) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sam Westrop (2) Samuel Chamberlain (2) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stacey McKenna (1) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (35) Sumner Park (1) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (988) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (4) Tyler Curtis (1) Walid Phares (33) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
Site Archive