John KeatsHe started at the pacific. All his men/looked at each other with a wildsurmise–/silent, upon a peak in Darien”; “Beauty is truth, truth Beauty,–that is all/ ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”; The author of theseand many other lines fixed permanently in the shared consciousness of those whospeak English, John Keats was an extremely unlikely candidate for poeticimmortality. Born into a working-class family two centuries ago. Orphaned inchildhood, his work was subjected to vicious attacks by established literarycritics, dead in his mid-twenties from tuberculosis, he overcame all obstacles,not only to write some of the finest poems in the language, but also to form, inthe minds of millions of people.
John Keats was born in London on October 31,1795. The first child of Thomas Keats he was a livery-stable keeper. And hiswife Frances (Jennings) Keats was a housewife. Three more sons were born one ofwhom died in infancy. A daughter was born to the couple before Thomas’s deathin April 1804 from a horse accident. With four very young children to care for.
Frances married a man named William Rawlings in 1805. The marriage was notsuccessful and when the couple separated in the following year she and her fourchildren went to live with her mother. John Keats received his earliesteducation at a private school in Enfield run buy the Reverend John Clarke. Amonghis classmates was the headmaster’s son, Charles Cowden clarke. Who would behis lifelong friend. Keats’s mother died of tuberculosis in February 1810, andin 1811 he was taken out of school and apprenticed to Thomas Hammond, a surgeonat Edmonton hospital.
It was during this time that he began to read poetryseriously and to write it himself. His apprenticeship ended by mutual consent in1815, and Keats went to London to study medicine at the joint school of St. Thomas’s and Guy’s Hospitals. In July 1816, he passed his examination as anapothecary, and worked until April of the next year as a medical practitioner. Keats’s first volume entitled simply Poems was published in March 1817 andfailed to attract much notice beyond a favorable review from Leigh Hunt.
Duringthat time Keats met Fanny Brawne, a young woman who throughout what appears tohave been for him at least. Rather tormented relationship was to be the greatlove of his brief life and to whom he became engaged some time around the end ofthe year. By December 1818 when his brother Tom died of tuberculosis. OnFebruary 3, 1820 Keats had a coughing fit that led him to hemorrhage some darkarterial blood.
With his medical training he recognized the gravity of thesituation and he told his friend Charles Armitage Brown, “That drop of bloodis my death-warrant; I must die. ” After another relapse in June 1820 Keatsdetermined to go to Italy, from whose warmer and drier climate he hoped to findsome relief of his suffering. On September 18, he sailed for Naples with a closefriend the artist Joseph Severn. Keats never saw England or fanny again. The twomen took lodgings in Rome, where severn loyally cared for Keats, who retainedhis gentle and uncomplaining nature until his death on February 23, 1821. He wasnot quite four months past his twenty-fifth birthday.
In addition to his poetryKeats is the author of some of the most interesting letters by any literaryfigure. In their aesthetic theorizing, their insights into nature of thecreative process and their constant display of a lovable and admirablepersonality, his letters not only complement his poetry but shows anintellectual grasp and penetration that is not always evident in the poemsthemselves. The life of Keats to some degree mythology by biographers and otherenthusiasts has done as much as anything to fashion the popular image of thepoet as a doomed and tortured soul. Scorned by an uncaring and pouring out hisheart in spasms of unrequited love. And his work has likewise done much to shapethe common view of poetry as sensuous images expressed in rhapsodic languagethat, to quote his own lines on the nightingale’s song,”oft-times hath/charmed magic casements, opening on the foam/ Of perilous seas, in faery landsforlorn.
” The best of his poems, of course, transcend such stereotypes. Gorgeous as their music may be, they do not traffic in pretty escapistfantasies, but instead confront some of life’s most complex problems andsituations, with a constant awareness of irreducible sadness that lies at theheart of human experience. My opinion I learned more of john Keats that I everknew about him. I learned what he went threw just to become a poet and whathardships he went threw just to get there. And all of the sacrifices he madejust to become known as one of the best British writers that anyone has everlived so I end by saying that john keats in my opinion is one of the bestpoet’s that I have read so far. And I give him credit for all of the hard workand inspiration that he has put into peoples lives all over the world and ifthey have not read a peace of work by john then you should go out and read some.