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30 review for The Complete Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Praveen

    It is said that the poem "To Autumn" marks the end of poetic career of Keats. He died at 25, writing poetry for only about 5 odd years. But I think he wrote enough, to exist in the hearts of poetry lovers world wide, forever. A collection of wonderfully composed, natural, sensual and emotional imagery of ...A romantic poet ! Lines from Final stanza of "To Autumn"..... Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,– While barred clouds bloom the soft-dyi It is said that the poem "To Autumn" marks the end of poetic career of Keats. He died at 25, writing poetry for only about 5 odd years. But I think he wrote enough, to exist in the hearts of poetry lovers world wide, forever. A collection of wonderfully composed, natural, sensual and emotional imagery of ...A romantic poet ! Lines from Final stanza of "To Autumn"..... Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,– While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue "if poetry comes not as naturally as the Leaves to a tree it had better not come at all"- John Keats

  2. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    I came across John Keats for the very first time in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own . In the book Virginia talks of John Keats with admiration and hints that had the necessary education and financial independence he would have achieved greater heights and would have stood on par with Lord Byron and William Wordsworth - two of the greatest Romantic poets England has produced. This statement aroused my curiosity and I was determined to read Keat's poetry. It took me nearly two years to satis I came across John Keats for the very first time in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own . In the book Virginia talks of John Keats with admiration and hints that had the necessary education and financial independence he would have achieved greater heights and would have stood on par with Lord Byron and William Wordsworth - two of the greatest Romantic poets England has produced. This statement aroused my curiosity and I was determined to read Keat's poetry. It took me nearly two years to satisfy my curiosity though I purchased this complete collection of Keats's poetry with eager enthusiasm. The very first thing I must say about this collection is that I'm privileged to have read his poems. I have not read so beautiful lines ever in my life. They moved me to such a degree that I cried for its sheer beauty. It may sound foolish, but such was the effect that his poetic expression had on me. John Keats is a poet of the Romantic Movement. Most of his poetry touches on love and longing. Whether it is a happy poetic romance or a poetic tragedy, the varying and appropriate tones and emotions are captured so beautifully and so wonderfully by his rich words. Keats's expression is rich and beautiful, and also passionate and erotic. The latter quality in his poems earned severe criticism for John Keats in his days, many critics dismissing them mercilessly as vulgar. Perhaps it is true for the time period in which it was written, but sadly the critics have failed to look beyond Keats's choice of words to his overall tone and expression which naturally and unreservedly poured from within. Keats wrote from the depth of his heart and soul. His honest expression easily touches the reader and makes him immediately connect with the poems. From the very first line, I knew I was going to go through a pleasant journey with Keats. He took me on a journey which is more than pleasant. It was fantastical. The subjects and characters are chosen from real life and Greek mythology, so the poems vary between reality and fantasy. They take the reader into a wonderful realm. Be it a sonnet, or a few short lines, be it a long poetic love story or a poetic tragedy or be it a poetic play, the effect Keats creates in the mind of the reader and the emotions he arouses in the reader is astonishing. Only an extraordinarily gifted and skilled poet can do that. It is no exaggeration to say that I enjoyed every poem in the collection. And I loved most of them including Endymion – a poetic romance, Lamia – a poetic tragedy, the Eve of St. Agnes and the six Odes: Ode on Indolence, Ode on Melancholy, Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to Psyche and To Autumn. Through the reading of his poems, I really felt closer to their author. I really wished (though unattainable) to have known that amazing poet. So far in my reading life, a book of poetry has not graced my 'favourite' shelf. And I’m really grateful for Keats for helping me to rectify that defect. It is a real pity that the beauty of his poems and his remarkable gift for writing was not appreciated in his lifetime. It had even been speculated that his death was quickened by the severe and merciless criticism exacted on his work. However, Keats’s wish to ‘be among the English poets after my death’ came true posthumously. Today he stands considered as one of the greatest romantic poets who influenced a later generation of poets.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I have a true soft spot for the Romantics, and Keats especially. His poems manage to be both beautifully structured at the same time they're achingly full of feeling. It's quite a dizzying combination. I have a true soft spot for the Romantics, and Keats especially. His poems manage to be both beautifully structured at the same time they're achingly full of feeling. It's quite a dizzying combination.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'm going to come right out and say that I'm not usually a huge poetry fan. (Except in the epic sense where it's actually basically a novel, Byron, or Shakespeare.) But I make a huge exception for Keats. I adore Keats. All of Keats. You can't show me a poem of Keats that I wouldn't like. This stuff is so heartbreakingly beautiful sometimes, I can hardly stand it. If anyone else has a poet to recommend that they can't live without, please do. I would really like to get more into poetry. I just ha I'm going to come right out and say that I'm not usually a huge poetry fan. (Except in the epic sense where it's actually basically a novel, Byron, or Shakespeare.) But I make a huge exception for Keats. I adore Keats. All of Keats. You can't show me a poem of Keats that I wouldn't like. This stuff is so heartbreakingly beautiful sometimes, I can hardly stand it. If anyone else has a poet to recommend that they can't live without, please do. I would really like to get more into poetry. I just haven't found any poet (besides those already mentioned) to motivate me. Thanks!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I taught Keats in Intro to Poetry courses for 35 years, and in 1986 appeared (& contributed to the script) in an Oscar-nominated film, Keats and His Nightingale, originally to be titled Blind Date, but another by that title just edged us out. As a bird-whistler, I also acted the nightingale--I played him more as a Woodthrush (see R Frost's "Come In" on a Wood Thrush). In my companion essay to the film, I argued that that ode has a most unpromising start: Keats is high ("or emptied some dull opia I taught Keats in Intro to Poetry courses for 35 years, and in 1986 appeared (& contributed to the script) in an Oscar-nominated film, Keats and His Nightingale, originally to be titled Blind Date, but another by that title just edged us out. As a bird-whistler, I also acted the nightingale--I played him more as a Woodthrush (see R Frost's "Come In" on a Wood Thrush). In my companion essay to the film, I argued that that ode has a most unpromising start: Keats is high ("or emptied some dull opiate to the drains") and wants a drink ("Oh for a draught of vintage...") and even looks toward suicide, ("That I might drink, and leave the world unseen.."). I said, Why would we teach such behavior in a High School or community college? Helen Vendler did not like my argument, which I take as a compliment. A lucky teacher might prod her students to read, "Away! Away! for I will fly to thee" without flapping their arms like wings and laughing. Furrowing the brow, she might even resort to classroom Gravity--defined by Laurence Sterne as "a mysterious carriage of the body to cover the defects of the mind"(p.15 Keats and His Nightingale, Companion Essays. 1985) I show that this bird ode develops away from the metaphor of flight, to that of song. A poem may be a flight, but it is always a song. A class on the Ode should let students hear the song. While this ode is poetry par excellence, it also has a disreputable side: it has almost as much in common with rock songs about getting high. Keats, world-weary and even ill, wants to drink to numb his senses even more than the "drowsy numbness" he already feels. David Perkins asserts "Throughout the ode the poet has been steadily relinquishing a grip on reality until now, under the influence of the song, it has become possible to assert that death would be a climactic release and outpouring desirable in itself and more desirable because it would bar a return to the human world 'where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes..'"(in Bate, Keats: Critical Essays, NJ 1964). Perkins concludes it is not the bird that fades, but the song; but he misses how the bird's song becomes the poet's. The birdsong lifts Keats out of himself, into that song, into a song which turns out to be his own poem. The birdsong, which he takes to be immortal, the same for millenia, makes him feel as though he, too, may be singing an immortal song. But literary immortality depends on the whims of anthologies and critics, those guardians of immortality (me in Companion Essays, p.17). The first, main critic of Keats published "The Cockney School of Poetry" in Blackwood's, Aug, 1818. The snob John Lockhart snidely --though somewhat justly-- accuses K of being a poetical climber, sprinkling his work with Greek names. "The just celebrity of Burns and Miss Bailie has had the melancholy effect of turning the heads of how many farm-servant and unmarried ladies; our own very footmen compose tragedies, and there is scarcely a superannuated governess in the island that does not leave a roll of lyrics behind in her band-box." But worse than the Poems is the "drivelling idiocy of his 'Endymion,' who is not a Greek sheperd loved by a Grecian goddess, he is merely a young Cockney rhymester, dreaming at the full of the Moon." I just found on my shelf Keats's parody of Wordsworth! Must have missed it when I read through MacDonald's Parodies in 1970. He called it "On Oxford," and his/WW's last stanza: "There are plenty of trees,/ And plenty of ease,/ And plenty of fat deer for Parsons;/ And when it is venison,/ Short is the benison,--/ Then each on a leg or thigh fastens." (MacDonald, p.80)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luís

    Keats still fascinates, he who was nevertheless so decried, because of the excesses of his sensitivity, his youthful enthusiasts, his almost macabre complaints, as if he had very early the full consciousness of his tragic fate - the disease was going to take away at 25, during a stay in Italy - in short, all those outbursts of the heart and the spirit which became the mark of Romanticism. There is a sort of Orpheus in Keats, of a bard from an ancient time when Nature and the Gods still spoke to Keats still fascinates, he who was nevertheless so decried, because of the excesses of his sensitivity, his youthful enthusiasts, his almost macabre complaints, as if he had very early the full consciousness of his tragic fate - the disease was going to take away at 25, during a stay in Italy - in short, all those outbursts of the heart and the spirit which became the mark of Romanticism. There is a sort of Orpheus in Keats, of a bard from an ancient time when Nature and the Gods still spoke to men, and looking at a face with such fiery eyes, under its light curls, it seems he scanned both the heavens and the hells, far-off worlds and earth.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    On first looking into Chapman's Homer Bjørneboe's Bestialitetens historie MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his k On first looking into Chapman's Homer Bjørneboe's Bestialitetens historie MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes He stared at the Pacific—and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise— Silent, upon a peak in Darien*. * After which they raped and massacred hundreds of thousands of Aztecs, plundered their country of gold and precious stones, and reduced the remaining people to slavery. The following is an extract from an Aztec account of one of the key incidents:Here it is told how the Spaniards killed, they murdered the Mexicans who were celebrating the Fiesta of Huitzilopochtli in the place they called The Patio of the Gods. At this time, when everyone was enjoying the fiesta, when everyone was already dancing, when everyone was already singing, when song was linked to song and the songs roared like waves, in that precise moment the Spaniards determined to kill people. They came into the patio, armed for battle. They came to close the exits, the steps, the entrances [to the patio]: The Gate of the Eagle in the smallest palace, The Gate of the Canestalk and the Gate of the Snake of Mirrors. And when they had closed them, no one could get out anywhere. Once they had done this, they entered the Sacred Patio to kill people. They came on foot, carrying swords and wooden and metal shields. Immediately, they surrounded those who danced, then rushed to the place where the drums were played. They attacked the man who was drumming and cut off both his arms. Then they cut off his head [with such a force] that it flew off, falling far away. At that moment, they then attacked all the people, stabbing them, spearing them, wounding them with their swords. They struck some from behind, who fell instantly to the ground with their entrails hanging out [of their bodies]. They cut off the heads of some and smashed the heads of others into little pieces. They struck others in the shoulders and tore their arms from their bodies. They struck some in the thighs and some in the calves. They slashed others in the abdomen and their entrails fell to the earth. There were some who even ran in vain, but their bowels spilled as they ran; they seemed to get their feet entangled with their own entrails. Eager to flee, they found nowhere to go. Some tried to escape, but the Spaniards murdered them at the gates while they laughed. Others climbed the walls, but they could not save themselves. Others entered the communal house, where they were safe for a while. Others lay down among the victims and pretended to be dead. But if they stood up again they [the Spaniards] would see them and kill them. The blood of the warriors ran like water as they ran, forming pools, which widened, as the smell of blood and entrails fouled the air. And the Spaniards walked everywhere, searching the communal houses to kill those who were hiding. They ran everywhere, they searched every place.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mademoiselle Karma

    Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing. Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, So haggard and so woe-begone? The squirrel's granary is full, And the harvest's done. I see a lily on thy brow, With anguish moist and fever-dew, And on thy cheeks a fading rose Fast withereth too. I met a lady in the meads, Full beautiful - a faery's child, Her hair was long, her foot was light, And her eyes were wild. I made a garland for her Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing. Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, So haggard and so woe-begone? The squirrel's granary is full, And the harvest's done. I see a lily on thy brow, With anguish moist and fever-dew, And on thy cheeks a fading rose Fast withereth too. I met a lady in the meads, Full beautiful - a faery's child, Her hair was long, her foot was light, And her eyes were wild. I made a garland for her head, And bracelets too, and fragrant zone; She looked at me as she did love, And made sweet moan. I set her on my pacing steed, And nothing else saw all day long, For sidelong would she bend, and sing A faery's song. She found me roots of relish sweet, And honey wild, and manna-dew, And sure in language strange she said - 'I love thee true'. She took me to her elfin grot, And there she wept and sighed full sore, And there I shut her wild wild eyes With kisses four. And there she lulled me asleep And there I dreamed - Ah! woe betide! - The latest dream I ever dreamt On the cold hill side. I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried - 'La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!' I saw their starved lips in the gloam, With horrid warning gaped wide, And I awoke and found me here, On the cold hill's side. And this is why I sojourn here Alone and palely loitering, Though the sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing. Haunting poetry. I'm in love with Keats. The film about him ( Bright Star ) was very adorable and touching as well.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amit Mishra

    John Keats is a perfect illustration of one aspect of romanticism. He is probably the most sensuous poet in English and his poetry is a riot of sounds, colours, perfumes. However, there is nothing gaudy about his richness. It is all in keeping with a subdued tone which is sometimes one of melancholy, and sometimes one of nostalgia for far-off times or enchanted worlds.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Conor Walsh

    Every morning I would wake at 7am just to read this work of genius. Keats was the Romantic poet who cared most about art and beauty. He didn't allow himself to get mixed up in religion and politics. But in quiet ways, he did comment on political, religious, aesthetic, and sexual beliefs, sometimes in ways that were less traditional than his poetic style. Above all, he was supremely conscious of beauty in the world, as well as the world's suffering. His 143page poem 'Endymion: A Poetic Romance' wo Every morning I would wake at 7am just to read this work of genius. Keats was the Romantic poet who cared most about art and beauty. He didn't allow himself to get mixed up in religion and politics. But in quiet ways, he did comment on political, religious, aesthetic, and sexual beliefs, sometimes in ways that were less traditional than his poetic style. Above all, he was supremely conscious of beauty in the world, as well as the world's suffering. His 143page poem 'Endymion: A Poetic Romance' would have to be a favorite. I am certainly not one to judge poetic writings but this really stuck me down with the upmost awe. To quote the great man himself.... WHAT is more gentle than a wind in summer? What is more soothing than the pretty hummer That stays one moment in an open flower, And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower? What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing In a green island, far from all men’s knowing? More healthful than the leafiness of dales? More secret than a nest of nightingales? More serene than Cordelia’s countenance? More full of visions than a high romance? What, but thee Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes! Low murmurer of tender lullabies! Light hoverer around our happy pillows! Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows! Silent entangler of a beauty’s tresses! Most happy listener! when the morning blesses Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise

  11. 4 out of 5

    Athena Shardbearer

    Lamia I was a woman, let me have once more A woman’s shape, and charming as before. I love a youth of Corinth – O the bliss! Give me my woman’s form, and place me where he is. Stoop, Hermes, let me breathe upon thy brow, And thou shalt see thy sweet nymph even now

  12. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    This book contains all of John Keats poems. It's really only 480ish pages if you don't count the note and appendix and intros. I still find it amazing Keats wrote all these poems before he was 25. Sadly, he died too young, but I'd imagine we'd have more poems if he lived longer. Only thing I'll say about this edition is it's not as well set up as Penguins other poetry books. It was hard to tell looking at he index which poem was long and which one was short. Usually they capitalize all the letters This book contains all of John Keats poems. It's really only 480ish pages if you don't count the note and appendix and intros. I still find it amazing Keats wrote all these poems before he was 25. Sadly, he died too young, but I'd imagine we'd have more poems if he lived longer. Only thing I'll say about this edition is it's not as well set up as Penguins other poetry books. It was hard to tell looking at he index which poem was long and which one was short. Usually they capitalize all the letters to a long poem.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Ah Keats, truest literary love of my life. At least once or twice a year I feel the need to get lost in this book for a little while, and it always feels like having tea and a deep, tearful discussion with a dear friend. It also takes me back to my wonderful memories of studying in England, and all the time I spent belatedly stalking Keats (walking along the path in Winchester where he composed "To Autumn," visiting his home in Hampstead, reading rare biographies in gorgeous old libraries, etc.) Ah Keats, truest literary love of my life. At least once or twice a year I feel the need to get lost in this book for a little while, and it always feels like having tea and a deep, tearful discussion with a dear friend. It also takes me back to my wonderful memories of studying in England, and all the time I spent belatedly stalking Keats (walking along the path in Winchester where he composed "To Autumn," visiting his home in Hampstead, reading rare biographies in gorgeous old libraries, etc.). I love his words-they resonate with me in a way no other poet (and few people in general) ever have.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hirdesh

    review later

  15. 4 out of 5

    Justin Wiggins

    Today I finshed reading The Complete Poems of John Keats, along with some of his letters. He was steeped in John Milton, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and mythology. His poetry is brilliant, captures the divine in the natural, and reminds me of the gift and brevity of life . It is very sad that he only lived until he was 25 and died in poverty; yet his legacy still lives on in his transcendent poetry. Many of my favorite writers praise his work, and I understand why. I found the modern lib Today I finshed reading The Complete Poems of John Keats, along with some of his letters. He was steeped in John Milton, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and mythology. His poetry is brilliant, captures the divine in the natural, and reminds me of the gift and brevity of life . It is very sad that he only lived until he was 25 and died in poverty; yet his legacy still lives on in his transcendent poetry. Many of my favorite writers praise his work, and I understand why. I found the modern library edition at a used bookstore in downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina for quite cheap to my utter joy, and the edition inspired by the film Bright Star at Waterstone's in Oxford, England. They had one copy after the bookseller told me, and I bolted upstairs to the poetry section to find it, and I did- I vividly remember that night. I greatly cherish both copies. My favorite poem out of them all is certainly Endymion which was published in 1818. My favorite line from Keats comes from Endymion, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever it's loveliness increases it will never pass into nothingness."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lidia Mascaró

    Keats? Johnny? What should I call you? I consider you a close friend, for you /always/ manage to speak to me on a very spiritual level. There is not really much I can say. If I began to talk about these poems, I'd write a novel. Simply amazing, genius, excellent, superb... you get the drill. Your poems have been my safe haven for the last six months now, and I can safely say you have made me fall in love with both life and death in the best ways possible. Thank you very much. Keats? Johnny? What should I call you? I consider you a close friend, for you /always/ manage to speak to me on a very spiritual level. There is not really much I can say. If I began to talk about these poems, I'd write a novel. Simply amazing, genius, excellent, superb... you get the drill. Your poems have been my safe haven for the last six months now, and I can safely say you have made me fall in love with both life and death in the best ways possible. Thank you very much.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Avdhesh Anand

    This is a wonderful collection of poems by a passionate poet who was not only in love with someone but also in a constant dilemma of love... wonderful poetry!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephan

    The fact that John Keats died young had swayed my rating towards leniency. I've read the harsh reviews here, and I must admit that there is a grain of truth in some of them. As for the very positive reviews here, I fear that most of them have deviated from context and have been therefore biased with a parroting tone of extravagance. Keats was neither a lousy poet nor was he an excellent one, he had some remarkable and brilliant punchlines, particularly in his sonnets and odes, and yet he lacked The fact that John Keats died young had swayed my rating towards leniency. I've read the harsh reviews here, and I must admit that there is a grain of truth in some of them. As for the very positive reviews here, I fear that most of them have deviated from context and have been therefore biased with a parroting tone of extravagance. Keats was neither a lousy poet nor was he an excellent one, he had some remarkable and brilliant punchlines, particularly in his sonnets and odes, and yet he lacked message. Moreover, most of all he lacked originality. Therefore, with all due respect, in fairness, Keats cannot be regarded as one of England's most prominent poets. Yes, he was influenced by Shakespeare in use of archaism and yes he was very much influenced by John Milton and Chaucer in structure and rhymes (Observe his long epic poems). Furthermore, Keats quotes them and shows respect to his role models. However, what really destroyed the fun of reading his poems was the fact that his influential inspirations were on the verge of imitations. He was also influenced by Byron and Spencer among other past English poets and in some way these poets were equated with the Greek gods whom he worshipped. However, lack of character and lack of originality cannot be compensated by remarkable sonnets or by impressive artistic expressions. It is a pity. I've seen it happening to so many budding young poets. Thus, by imitating their role models they have degraded their own works. Keats was very much influenced by the Greek mythology as well in his poems, which is impressive, but on merits he was more digressive than impressive and more ambitious than original. Unlike Milton or Chaucer, his long epic poems faded away into abstraction. Keats tendency to merge with abstraction was also expressed in some of his sonnets and odes. He wrote sonnets and odes to and on 'sleep, fame, peace, melancholy, fancy' and to and on 'Apollo, Byron, Spencer, Homer' etc. He was a fascinated poet. He could write about anything. His admiration of nature and poetry was felt throughout his entire poetical works. Keats was an extraordinary versifier, and a very powerful expressionist. But what is the power to versify worth when it doesn't end with a great message? Throughout the entire collection I've felt that John Keats had the same character as of Theodore from 'The Monk' by Matthew Lewis. Admiring poetry and full of the joy of spring of youth. Yes, Keats was young at the time he wrote his poems, and some of them were really enjoyable, but think about it as such, a caterpillar is not as remarkable as when it is a butterfly. I felt that Keats were somewhat immature, somewhat rapt in reverie of narcissism. Keats linguistic creativity was somewhat restrictive and rigid in rhymes patterns and structure. His creative writing tendency was rather conservative than liberal. As a reader I was longing for the formation of an identity. Sadly his lack of originality rendered his poetry preliminary and experimental, aye, in his first evolutionary stages. I admired Keats passion for life and for nature and I admired his love for humanity. Artistic beauty and powerful poetical utterances shaped him and made him a brilliant young poet with a great potential. But a butterfly without wings is just a caterpillar. On merits Keats did not quite diverge from orthodox linguistic conventions in English poetry. His archaic tone was in conformity with poetical language and in line with the set of conventions which revealed his true nature as a budding poet. I wish Keats lived longer, for some of his poems suggest that he could have been one of England's greatest poets by merits, rather than by aspirations. Here are some few interesting verses which intrigued me: In 'Sonnet on the Sonnet' he wrote, 'If by dull rhymes our English must be chained And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet Fettered, in spite of pained loveliness, Let us find out, if we must be constrained Sandals more interwoven and complete To fit the naked foot of Poesy' Paradoxically Keats questions the restriction which he himself used in most of his poetry. Only in 'The Fall of Hyperion' which he wrote two years before his death he has evolved and broke free from the dull structure of rigid rhymes. He evolved from a caterpillar to a Pupa, which is a transitional stage before becoming a butterfly. I was happy that he was aware of it, and I know he was on the right path to become an original free spirited poet. It was really encouraging to read it. The third stanza in 'Ode on melancholy' begins with the following two lines 'She dwells with beauty- Beauty that must die And joy, whose hand is ever at his lips' Here I thought it was ironic as Keats also implied in other poems that the notion of death is superior to life. He also implied that he would die young, a fact which contributes to the mood of melancholy in some of his poems. At the same ode he advocates for the negative polarity and for the weak in humanity, in my interpretation the poet here is also an altruist. In 'Sleep and poetry' I enjoyed the half chorus in the fourth stanza: 'Oh Poesy! For thee I hold my pen That am not yet a glorious denizen' And later on 'Oh Poesy! For thee I grasp my pen That am not yet a glorious denizen' Despite the use of archaism 'Thee' which is a typical Shakespearean expression there was something epic about the bard's exclamation. In other words Keats admits that he is not yet worthy to be among England's elite of poets. Yes, he loves poetry and he adores, it, but to be an established prominent poet requires maturity, particularly an empirical one. I also enjoyed the first two lines of the fifth stanza in the same poem 'Stop and consider! Life is but a day; A fragile dewdrop on its perilous way' Keats is not entirely without message. His grand message, probably his only message is 'Carpe Diem' Enjoy the moment, enjoy life. Life is short, live it to the full. The same message appears also in his very first poem 'I stood tiptoe upon a little hill' where nature is majestic in description. Here I also enjoyed the following oxymoron: 'A little noiseless noise among the leaves' And the following use of alliteration 'Or by the Bowery clefts and leafy shelves' And the powerful expression 'Starry diadems' impressed me as well Keats is an emotive talented poet, no doubt, and despite his abstract and narcissistic tendencies and despite his young age, he does strike a chord here and there. Keats most brilliant poem ever in my humble view is a short two stanzas poem called 'On death' I 'Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream, And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by? The transient pleasures as a vision seem, And yet we think the greatest pain's to die. II How strange it is that man on earth should roam, And lead a life of woe, but not forsake His rugged path; nor dare he view alone His future doom which is but to awake. Here there was both artistic beauty and grand a message. It gives solace when we think about death. Simply brilliant. All in all I recommend reading a book of 'Selected poems' by Keats instead of this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lady Jane

    John Keats... lovely as his writings were, achieved fame only posthumously. Posthumous fame has to be one of the saddest things for an artist, especially for John Keats, whose situation never really got any happier. The poor lad died at the age of 29 after struggling with tuberculosis for years. As if this were not bad enough, critics of his time were very harsh on him... they disliked him because he did not derive from a wealthy family, and claimed that an farm boy like John Keats cannot possib John Keats... lovely as his writings were, achieved fame only posthumously. Posthumous fame has to be one of the saddest things for an artist, especially for John Keats, whose situation never really got any happier. The poor lad died at the age of 29 after struggling with tuberculosis for years. As if this were not bad enough, critics of his time were very harsh on him... they disliked him because he did not derive from a wealthy family, and claimed that an farm boy like John Keats cannot possibly write such poetry, and that he probably plagiarized it. Were not the same claims made about William Shakespeare? John Keats' poetry was much more morbid than his fellow Romantic and poet laureate William Wordsworth. Keats' poetry was nevertheless beautiful and focused on the power of imagination, whereas Wordsworth's poetry emphasized more on the deification of nature and the innocence of childhood. Back in my Polyanna days I admired William Wordsworth more than any of the Romantics. That happiness and sense of bliss that permeates his poetry greatly appealed to me. My admiration for him reached its peak when I was about 19, then slowly it waned. Perhaps it is partly due to cynicism, and partly to have read other more critical writers like William Blake... but suddenly John Keats is the guy. How can anyone not be touched with poems like, "When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be," "Ode To Melancholy," "Ode To A Nightingale," or "Ode To A Grecian Urn?" How can any poetic soul not be but gay when relishing in the allusions to Greek mythology that are typical of Keats or reflect melancholically on the brevity of all that is beautiful? Such characteristics are typical of Romantic Poetry, and in my opinion, John Keats is the best one of the Romantics when it comes to conveying such things. That is too bad Keats did not achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a famous writer. If only he knew what my generation knows now! If only he knew his works are part of the literary canon and have become basic required reading for English majors!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Helen Torres

    John Keats had sense of the power and romance of literature and espoused the sanctity of emotion and imagination, and privileged the beauty of the natural world. Many of the ideas and themes evident in Keats’s great odes are quintessentially Romantic concerns: the beauty of nature, the relation between imagination and creativity, the response of the passions to beauty and suffering, and the transience of human life in time. Definitely a collection of wonderfully composed, natural, sensual and em John Keats had sense of the power and romance of literature and espoused the sanctity of emotion and imagination, and privileged the beauty of the natural world. Many of the ideas and themes evident in Keats’s great odes are quintessentially Romantic concerns: the beauty of nature, the relation between imagination and creativity, the response of the passions to beauty and suffering, and the transience of human life in time. Definitely a collection of wonderfully composed, natural, sensual and emotional imagery of ...A romantic poet ! He stole my heart with his poems! This is one of my favorites.... His Last Sonnet- Poem by John Keats Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! - Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night, And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors - No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever -or else swoon to death.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul Dinger

    I have to admit that it was the movie Bright Star that got me to read the very slim oveare that is Keat's body of work. Yet, for such a small output, it had a huge following. Keats is very influentional through out the Victorian age. There are all kinds of influence on writers from Tennyson to Matthew Arnold and Browning. It seems to me that a major theme in Keats is work is potential unfufilled. It is a major theme in Ode to a Grecian Urn and Eve of Saint Agnes, where the love story is told fro I have to admit that it was the movie Bright Star that got me to read the very slim oveare that is Keat's body of work. Yet, for such a small output, it had a huge following. Keats is very influentional through out the Victorian age. There are all kinds of influence on writers from Tennyson to Matthew Arnold and Browning. It seems to me that a major theme in Keats is work is potential unfufilled. It is a major theme in Ode to a Grecian Urn and Eve of Saint Agnes, where the love story is told from the point of view of two people who never knew love in their lives. Ode to a Grecian Urn isn't about truth being beauty, but about a moment frozen in time. It is literally sung to those who are stuck in time and unable to fulfill what they want to do. It is no surprise that major characters like the nightingale and Psyche die in realizing their potential, much like Keats himself did. Tennyson would return to these themes in poems like The Lady of Shalott and others which really show Keats influence. I really enjoyed reading this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Gibson

    People always pair Keats and Milton. Milton shmilton. Keats is the man. Probably the finest English poet. I think he should shack up with John Donne. Wouldn’t you like to take a walk with those two by your side? I wonder if they ever wrote any dirty limericks? Think Of It Not, Sweet One John Keats Think not of it, sweet one, so;— Give it not a tear; Sigh thou mayst, and bid it go Any—anywhere. Do not lool so sad, sweet one,— Sad and fadingly; Shed one drop then,—it is gone— O ’twas born to die! Still People always pair Keats and Milton. Milton shmilton. Keats is the man. Probably the finest English poet. I think he should shack up with John Donne. Wouldn’t you like to take a walk with those two by your side? I wonder if they ever wrote any dirty limericks? Think Of It Not, Sweet One John Keats Think not of it, sweet one, so;— Give it not a tear; Sigh thou mayst, and bid it go Any—anywhere. Do not lool so sad, sweet one,— Sad and fadingly; Shed one drop then,—it is gone— O ’twas born to die! Still so pale? then, dearest, weep; Weep, I’ll count the tears, And each one shall be a bliss For thee in after years. Brighter has it left thine eyes Than a sunny rill; And thy whispering melodies Are tenderer still. Yet—as all things mourn awhile At fleeting blisses, E’en let us too! but be our dirge A dirge of kisses.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I bring this with me when I am forced to ride the Metro. Mostly I read "Ode to a Nightengale", "Ode on Melancholy" and "The Eve of St. Agnes" and teeter on the edge of crying and not-crying. I think he really understood depression. Hit up that last stanza of "Melancholy" and you'll have a little window into my brain. Mom assures me that "Endymion" will also make me cry. Maybe it will make you cry, too! I bring this with me when I am forced to ride the Metro. Mostly I read "Ode to a Nightengale", "Ode on Melancholy" and "The Eve of St. Agnes" and teeter on the edge of crying and not-crying. I think he really understood depression. Hit up that last stanza of "Melancholy" and you'll have a little window into my brain. Mom assures me that "Endymion" will also make me cry. Maybe it will make you cry, too!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Kotsiuba

    MY FAVORITE POET EVER. Super sophisticated review, right?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Edita

    My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,— That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease. My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,— That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Therese Ptak

    I am in LOVE with Keats. He's one of my favorites if not my absolute FAVORITE poet. His sonnets are deep touching and beautiful. His poem "the Lamia" and "Bright Star" are so beautifully written. If you haven't yet aquainted yourself with him, buy a book of his poetry and start. If you can get a hold of some of his written letters (they are often published with his poems) read them, it's so interesting to see his thought process! I am in LOVE with Keats. He's one of my favorites if not my absolute FAVORITE poet. His sonnets are deep touching and beautiful. His poem "the Lamia" and "Bright Star" are so beautifully written. If you haven't yet aquainted yourself with him, buy a book of his poetry and start. If you can get a hold of some of his written letters (they are often published with his poems) read them, it's so interesting to see his thought process!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    What a beautiful poet and beautiful man - he died too soon. I love the poetry, the letters, all of it. Found it on Google for free (pubilc domain!) in e-book form, sought it out after watching the movie Bright Star, about his love affair with Fanny Brawne. I recommend that as well.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I like Keats more than I like his poems, somehow.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Descending Angel

    It's amazing to think that the guy wrote all this before dying at just 25 years old, mindblowing in fact. There is all sorts in this complete collection of his work, short poems, long poems, narrative poems, plays, I can't say I loved everything but a lot of it is really good. Highlights ~ "O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell" "Give me women, wine, and snuff" "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" "sleep and poetry" "endymion" "On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again" "God of the meridia It's amazing to think that the guy wrote all this before dying at just 25 years old, mindblowing in fact. There is all sorts in this complete collection of his work, short poems, long poems, narrative poems, plays, I can't say I loved everything but a lot of it is really good. Highlights ~ "O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell" "Give me women, wine, and snuff" "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" "sleep and poetry" "endymion" "On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again" "God of the meridian" "Isabella, or the Pot of Basil" "Welcome joy, and welcome sorrow" "why did i laugh tonight?" "ode on a grecian urn" "ode to a nightingale" "ode on melancholy" "lamia" "to autumn" and “Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art”.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    "Awake forever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever - or else swoon to death." Beautiful and full of feeling. Just as great poetry should be. (I started this in May last year but somehow the mix of autumn and feeling of isolation made it a perfect time to read this) "Awake forever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever - or else swoon to death." Beautiful and full of feeling. Just as great poetry should be. (I started this in May last year but somehow the mix of autumn and feeling of isolation made it a perfect time to read this)

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