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The Poetry of Keats: Language and Experience

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His life does indeed describe a heroic attempt to accommodate and understand hardship, and his poetry is indeed crammed with exceptionally rich evocations and descriptions. But these things, and many other qualities associated with them, are part of a response to the wider world that has only recently begun to receive the attention it deserves. In order to appreciate this, it is helpful to look at the context in which his poems were written. Following the early death of his parents he was raised by his grandmother he attended a school in Enfield that was to all intents and purposes a dissenting academy — somewhere providing a broad liberal education and encouraging liberal thinking.


  • Anthem.
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  • Using ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and one other, examine how Keats uses language.
  • The Poetry of Keats: Language and Experience.

Usage terms Public Domain Once he had left school he trained as a doctor in Guy's Hospital, absorbing the radical influences that were then sweeping through the medical establishment. New kinds of intervention and new standards of patient care were aligned with his larger social sympathies. It began to regulate the medical profession by introducing compulsory apprenticeships and examinations.

Once again, it was a change of course which allowed him to stay true to himself. Actually, to find himself.

He took with him into poetry the fundamental principles that his education as a whole had rooted in him. He became friends with Leigh Hunt, editor of The Examiner , the great free-thinking journal of the day. He consorted with Hunt's circle, which included Shelley. But by the time Keats reached his maturity — the ascent is astonishingly rapid and steep — he had absorbed the lessons of Shakespeare and found a way of writing that was simultaneously of its own particular time, and universal in its reach and application.

This means that when we read his best poems — which with a few exceptions are those in the volume — we are watching a writer grapple with the largest eternal questions: what is the role of the imagination? What is the value of art? What is the purpose of suffering? How can we create our own selves, and integrate with the lives of others? At the same time as he was producing these great poems, Keats was also writing letters to friends and loved ones that clarify the theoretical thinking that lay behind them.

Ode on a Grecian Urn - Wikipedia

They cover an extraordinary amount of ground, and show an equally extraordinary amount of wisdom, but they converge on a few central convictions. One of these is the idea that large theoretical concerns will only be comprehensible to people if they are rehearsed in very physical language. This is where the sensuality of his writing is so important.

It is not merely a form of delighted and delightful engagement with things-in-themselves, but a way of thinking. It is a notion that every poet writing after Keats has had to negotiate, and that most have shared. From the very small base of his early readership, he has become one of the most influential poets, as well as one of the most beloved.

John Keats as a Poet - Characteristics

He was knighted for services to poetry in , and his most recent collection of poems is The Customs House Some features of WorldCat will not be available. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or.

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Catalog Record: The poetry of Keats : language & experience | HathiTrust Digital Library

Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. Subjects Keats, John, -- -- Criticism and interpretation. Keats, John, -- -- Philosophy.