Friday, November 2, 2018

John Keats

John Keats
The Complete Poems of John Keats with an Introduction by Robert Bridges
  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Publishing (January 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781420951844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420951844

Along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats is considered one of the most important figures in the second generation of English Romantic poets. Born on Halloween in 1795, John Keats lived a very short life, dying at the age of twenty-five from tuberculosis. In 1814 John Keats began an apprenticeship with Thomas Hammond, a surgeon, and apothecary and by 1816 had achieved his apothecary’s license, which allowed him to practice medicine. However, Keats passion lied elsewhere and by the end of 1816, he was resolved to be a poet and not a surgeon. Despite his short life, Keats produced an immense volume of poetry; however, the esteem of his reputation rests primarily on the quality of his Odes, which are marked by their use of sensual imagery. Keats was not well-received during his lifetime and sensing his imminent death viewed himself as a failure as is evidenced by the following statement written in an 1820 letter to Fanny Brawne: “I have left no immortal work behind me—nothing to make my friends proud of my memory—but I have lov'd the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remember’d.” History, of course, has remembered Keats differently, as one of the truly great poetic talents of all-time. This edition includes his complete poetical works, is printed on a premium acid-free paper and includes an introduction by Britain’s poet laureate Robert Bridges.

My Thoughts

This week, I was reminded of John Keats. So, I decided to recognize some of his work.

If you are not familiar with John Keats, his birthday was 0ctober 31. He was born back in 1795 and only would live 25 years after his birth. But during that short lifespan, he created  3 volumes and published fifty-four poems mostly between his 23-24 year. 

 Lyrically, I think his words sing off the pages. And, this is an excellent time of year to read Keats as 'To Autumn' is one of the most well-known poems about the autumn season in all of English literature. 

It is said that what people like best about Keats work is that his poems stimulate the imagination of his readers.

If you're not familiar with Keats,  there is a link to a podcast below that has some reciting's that are wonderful. Basically, they included discussions about his thinking about mortality and the arts but there's a selection from 'Bright Star' and 'Ode to a Grecian Urn'. ("Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and "Ode on Melancholy", were all written in one month .)

Endymion would have to be near the top of my favorites. 

If you want to listen to a  Spenserian stanza -you might check out ‘The Eve of St. Agnes’.  

If you are into Greek religion or mythology you may wish to head in the direction of his poem  Lamia about Hermes’ search for a beautiful nymph. ( Lamia assists him in finding the nymph.) 

I also love to study letters, and T.S. Eliot said the Keats letters were,  "the most notable and the most important ever written by any English poet."They can be found at the link below.

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