When I Have Fears.
. . . ?When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be?There are many aspects of the world today that give usreason to overthink and be fearful. John Keats’, ?When I HaveFears that I May Cease to Be,? discusses this and warns thereaders of what may happen if this is taken to an extreme.
Thenarrator goes through life until finally he understands theinevitability of time and realizes the things most precious tohim. In the first quatrain of the poem, Keats uses a substantialmetaphor comparing the gathering of grain with the gathering ofhis thoughts. The speaker is concerned that he wont complete hispoetry. To die young is to die before one has the opportunity toharvest the fruits of the mind that have been ?ripened? from oldage.
Keats then goes on showing how the speaker doesn’t want todie ignorant. The night’s starr’d face? (line 5) is symbolic ofthe ultimate questions in a person’s life and the speaker isfearful that he may die before he discovers them. The thirdquatrain helps to discuss the transience of things. The ?faircreature of an hour? (line 9) is probably a lover. The speaker isaddressing the lover but it is evident that she is not the mainconcern. This unreflecting love the only love he may get.
?Then on the shore/ Of the wide world I stand alone, andthink/ Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink? (lines 12-14). In Keats’ rhyming couplet he is saying that if the speaker hasfears, then he is alone. He is standing on the ?shore,? on theedge, separated, and far apart from the rest of the world. Thethings the speaker finds precious, ?Love? and ?Fame,? in the endare insubstantial and dissolve to ?nothingness? because he neverdid anything about them. Thinking will lead to a person’s destruction.
Being tooself-conscious takes away from living one’s life. Keats’ speakerwarns us that if we live in fear then this will lead to deathboth physically and mentally.Bibliographykeats when i have fears that i may cease to bePoetry Essays