John Keats was influenced by

• 1795-1821
• English poet, b.
• He is considered one
of the greatest of
English poets.
• John Keats, a major figure in the Romantic
movement, was born in 1795 in Moorefield,
London. His father died when he was eight
and his mother when he was 14; these
sad circumstances drew him particularly
close to his two brothers, George and Tom,
and his sister Fanny.
Keats was well educated at Clarke school in
Enfield, where he began a translation of Virgil's
Aeneid. In 1810 he was apprenticed to an
surgeon. His first attempts at writing poetry date
from about 1814, and include an `Imitation' of
the Elizabethan poet Edmund Spencer.
In 1815 he left his apprenticeship and became
a student at Guy's Hospital, London; one year
later, he abandoned the profession of medicine
for poetry.
Early stages in the Romanticism period in poetry
Poets believed in:
• nature
• beauty
• freedom
• emotion
Used visual images to portray this.
John Keats was influenced by:
•Percy Bysshe Shelly
•Samuel Taylor Coleridge
•William Wordsworth
•Other writers of the time, and all key protagonists in the
romanticism movement.
 Published first poem in a magazine with help from
another artist named Leigh Hunt
 A year later: Thirty poems and sonnets published,
printed in the volume "Poems”.
 Negative feedback
- Isle of Wight
- Oxford
- Married; went to America
- Later falls in love with another girl
Spending a month in Oxford had an immense impact
on Keats's development as a man and poet. It
marked a new understanding of his desires and
purpose, and a new dedication to a literary career.
• He had a great influence on writers and on
• In his short life he influenced many English
poets, and had an impact on the Pre-Raphaelite
Brotherhood, a group of painters that included
Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
• He also had the greatest single influence on
Victorian poetry and poets such as Edgar Allan
Poe, Emily Dickinson, and others.
• Keats' first volume of poems was
published in 1817. It attracted some good
reviews, but these were followed by the
first of several harsh attacks by the
influential Blackwood's Magazine.
Undeterred, he pressed on with his poem
`Endymion', which was published in the
spring of the following year .
• During the following year, despite ill health and financial
problems, he wrote an astonishing amount of poetry,
including `The Eve of St Agnes', 'La Belle Dame sans
Merci', `Ode to a Nightingale' and `To Autumn'.
• His second volume of poems appeared in July 1820;
soon afterwards, by now very ill with tuberculosis, he set
off with a friend to Italy, where he died the following
• Keats and his friend Joseph Severn arrived in Rome,
after an arduous journey, in November 1820. They found
lodgings in a house near the Spanish Steps. Keats
rallied a little at first, and was able to take gentle walks
and rides, but by early December he was confined to
bed, extremely ill with a high fever.
• Severn nursed him devotedly throughout the next few distressing and
painful weeks. Keats died peacefully, clasping his friend's hand, on 23
February 1821.
• Keats requested that on his tombstone all that would be written was
"Here Lies one whose name was writ in water".
However Keats’ friend ,Charles Brown felt that this was too short and
had this carved into the tombstone:
"This Grave contains all that was Mortal of a YOUNG
ENGLISH POET Who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness
of his heart ,at the Malicious Power of his Enemies,
Desired these words to be engraved on his Tomb Stone
“Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water"
Tombstone on John Keats ‘ Grave
Negative Capability:
• Poetry that is evidently shaped by the writers
personal interests and beliefs.
• Poetry of impersonality that records the writer’s
receptivity to “uncertainties” of experience.
• Imagination communicates an intense emotion.
• The poet gives up personal identity to focus on
the object being described.
• As a result, the object becomes symbolic of
these intense emotions, and all other matters
not important to this emotion are sidelined.
• The poem's beauty/truth are a combination of
poetic emotion and perceived object.
• This leaves open the enjoyment of mystery
because the poem is a subjective truth.
Negative capability is being capable of eliminating one’s
own personality in order imaginatively to enter into that
of another person or and object or animals. According
to Keats, a poet is unpoetical of anything in essence,
because he has no identity, he is continually filling
some other’s body; the sun, the moon, the men and
women… He can change into his surroundings
temporarily and you can move to a different identity to
hide from the world. Negative capability is the way
Keats escapes- possibly it allowed him to cope with
the knowledge that he did not have long to live–
Negative capability is when a man is capable of being
in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts without any irritable
reaching after fact and reason.
Ode on Grecian Urn
Ode on a Grecian Urn
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:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'
Ode to a Nightingale
Inspired by his brother’s death
Ode to a Nightingale
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.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?
• Referred to by critics of the time as "the longest and most personal
of the odes," the poem describes Keats” journey into the state of
Negative Capability. The poem explores the themes of nature,
transience and mortality, the latter being the most personal to Keats,
making as he does a direct reference to the death in 1818 of his
brother, Tom.
• The image of human misery is very profound when Keats alludes to
his brother’s death:
"Where youth grows pale , and spectre-thin and dies; Where but to
think is to be full of sorrow and leaden-eyed despairs".
• This image, of the youth dying and transient nature of love, is
further heightened by the image of Keats” predicting his own death.
As the poem progresses, Keats associates his death with the song.
The image used by Keats of a human body becoming a clod of
earth, the human body becoming one with the earth creates a vision
of coffin being lowered into grave and covered by shovels of earth,
the human body becoming one with earth

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