The Works of John Keats: With an Introduction and Bibliography

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Wordsworth Editions, 1994 - 491

With an Introduction by Paul Wright.

'What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth' So wrote the Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821) in 1817. This collection contains all of his poetry: the early work, which is often undervalued even today, the poems on which his reputation rests including the 'Odes' and the two versions of the uncompleted epic 'Hyperion', and work which only came to light after his death including his attempts at drama and comic verse.

It all demonstrates the extent to which he tested his own dictum throughout his short creative life. That life spanned one of the most remarkable periods in English history in the aftermath of the French Revolution and this collection, with its detailed introductions and notes, aims to place the poems very much in their context. The collection is ample proof that Keats deservedly achieved his wish to 'be among the English Poets after my death'

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Dedication To Leigh Hunt
2
Specimen of an Induction to a Poem
10
To Some Ladies
17
Imitation of Spenser
23
SONNETS
38
SLEEP AND POETRY
47
ENDYMION
59
Book II
87
Sonnet on a Picture of Leander
273
Sonnet to the Nile
286
Epistle to John Hamilton Reynolds
297
A Song About Myself
304
The Gadfly From a Letter to Tom Keats
311
Translation from a Sonnet of Ronsard
318
Ode to Fanny
325
Sonnet A Dream after Reading Dantes Episode
331

Book III
114
Book IV
141
LAMIA ISABELLA THE EVE OF ST AGNES etc
169
Isabella or The Pot of Basil A Story from Boccaccio
190
The Eve of St Agnes
206
Ode to a Nightingale
218
Ode to Fancy
225
Robin Hood To a friend
230
On Death
261
To the Ladies who Saw Me Crownd
267
La Belle Dame Sans Merci
336
Sonnet on the Sonnet
342
King Stephen
407
A Party of Lovers
417
The Cap and Bells or the Jealousies
435
Lines Supposed to Have Been Addressed to Fanny Brawne
461
Notes
471
Index of First Lines
505
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Informacje o autorze (1994)

John Keats was born in London, the oldest of four children, on October 31, 1795. His father, who was a livery-stable keeper, died when Keats was eight years old, and his mother died six years later. At age 15, he was apprenticed to an apothecary-surgeon. In 1815 he began studying medicine but soon gave up that career in favor of writing poetry. The critic Douglas Bush has said that, if one poet could be recalled to life to complete his career, the almost universal choice would be Keats, who now is regarded as one of the three or four supreme masters of the English language. His early work is badly flawed in both technique and critical judgment, but, from his casually written but brilliant letters, one can trace the development of a genius who, through fierce determination in the face of great odds, fashioned himself into an incomparable artist. In his tragically brief career, cut short at age 25 by tuberculosis, Keats constantly experimented, often with dazzling success, and always with steady progress over previous efforts. The unfinished Hyperion is the only English poem after Paradise Lost that is worthy to be called an epic, and it is breathtakingly superior to his early Endymion (1818), written just a few years before. Isabella is a fine narrative poem, but The Eve of St. Agnes (1819), written soon after, is peerless. In Lamia (1819) Keats revived the couplet form, long thought to be dead, in a gorgeous, romantic story. Above all it was in his development of the ode that Keats's supreme achievement lies. In just a few months, he wrote the odes "On a Grecian Urn" (1819), "To a Nightingale" (1819), "To Melancholy" (1819), and the marvelously serene "To Autumn" (1819). Keats is the only romantic poet whose reputation has steadily grown through all changes in critical fashion. Once patronized as a poet of beautiful images but no intellectual content, Keats is now appreciated for his powerful mind, profound grasp of poetic principles, and ceaseless quest for new forms and techniques. For many readers, old and young, Keats is a heroic figure. John Keats died in Rome on February 23, 1821 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.

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