Love, Death, Beauty & Fame : Life experiences and feelings of John Keats as they influenced his writing.
John Keats was born in 1979, the son of Horse-stable keeper. Keats was an orphan by the age of fourteen; he was an apprentice of a surgeon for certain time but decided to move on to poetry instead. His early works were famously savaged by the critics, but Keats remained assured in "drive" that eventually be "among the English poets". Keats's longed for marriage to Fanny Brawne was prevented by the tuberculosis that eventually was the cause of his death at the age of twenty-six, in 1821.# What are the experiences and feelings Keats felt in life and how they influenced his poetry? Keats's letters to Frances 'Fanny' Brawne, his fiancée, are among the most famous love letters ever written. Keats was deeply in love with Fanny; however he was often unsettled by her behaviour and flirty nature and uncertain of her loyalty to him. In collection of the letter written to Fanny in February 1820 , at the time when Keats's illness got worse, he mentions his feelings towards his own death and how unsettled he feels by the thought it self. "If i should die,” said I to myself “I have left no immortal work behind me - nothing to make my friends proud of my memory." # Shortly after he wrote one of his poems that is connected to this thought , When i have fears that i may cease to be which describes Keats fears that after his death he will not leave "high pile&grav'd books" behind for his family and friends to remember him by. He also writes in his letter "- but i have lov'd the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had time I would made my self remembered# this describes that if he just had more time to write more poetry so he would be remembered by his 'immortal' works. John Keats knew that his fate was sealed when he found out he has tuberculosis but never gave up in writing poetry until his last breath. . In his poem When i have fears he mentions” And when i feel fair creature of the hour! That is hall never look upon thee more" This line can be interpreted as that 'fair creature' is Fanny Brawne and Keats is telling her how he will never be able to gaze upon her face after his death or simply "fair creature of the hour" is death it self, as most younger generations may picture it. The subject of love and death has often seen in many Keats's poems such as La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Bright Star where often love is clashed with death. Miss Brawne was a clear source of inspiration that led Keats to write poetry about her, and her actions.
Another poem by Keats that show his feelings towards Fanny is Bright Star. Keats opens up the poem with ‘Bright star‘ , the aim of his direct address symbolizes the everlasting nature of a heavenly body, which hangs in the sky through all eternity, and by its very nature burns forever just as his love for Fanny will. This poem relates to Keats' preparation to receive death too. Again contrast with death is seen. Keats was counting the last days of life as the then, fatal disease; tuberculosis, was getting hold over his body.
Poem was written after Fanny Browne had already given him a goodbye through the letter. The image of the pole-star evokes in him the desire of getting lost in the 'breast' of his lady. In "The Life of John Keats" by Sydney Colvin , it states that Keats was unable to contact Miss Brawne personally but they exchanged letters through glass window, Keats compares his love towards Fanny Browne as unable to touch it him self as he can only admire it from afar. #Again the idea of purification and getting purified find display in the emission of light of the bright star. The bright-star is also the symbol of beauty. Keats has commented in many letters, found in collection, about sole beauty of his fiancée. The sadness towards his death, but also way of finding his immortality in beauty of Miss Browne, Keats found the inspiration to write this poem. In the biography...
Bibliography: John Keats : Selected Poems
John Keats: His Life and poetry, His Friends, Critics and After Fame by Sidney Colvin, 1917
Jane Campion (2009) Apparition USA
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