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John Keats

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Amy W

on 16 November 2013

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Transcript of John Keats

John Keats
Life/Education
Son of Thomas Keats, a livery-stable keeper, and Frances Keats
Born in London
Read a lot when he was younger, especially attracted to Greek and Roman myths
Attended a boy's academy in Enfield, England where he made good friends with Edward Holmes (who later wrote Life of Mozart) and the headmaster's son, Charles Cowden Clarke
Had no formal literary education
Later went on to become a surgeon, but his heart was still with poetry
Continued with surgery until 1817, but eventually gave up to work on poetry in quiet and seclusion
Work
Keats is an English Romantic poet
Most famous for a series of 5 great odes in 1819
Used many forms, including the
sonnet
,
Spenserian romance
, and
Miltonic epic
Poems are very much like Classic Greek poems
Published 54 poems in his life in 3 volumes and a few magazines
Sample Poems
To Autumn
October 31, 1795 - February 23, 1821
Career
• Started writing “Imitation of Spencer” at the age of 17
• At 20, he published some of the best sonnets: “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”
• Had a negative reception to his early poems
• First appeared in print in The Examiner in 1816 with the sonnet “O Solitude! If I must with thee dwell”
-This poem has a Romantic school feel, but also tinges of 18th Century diction
• Ollier brothers published his first volume of poems in 1817, including “Chapman’s Homer”
• “Endymion” was one of his longest poems. It is about the goddess Selene and the shepherd-lad. It was published in four books and in the heroic couplet. It contains lots of beautiful lyric passages.

Idea of Negative Capability
• Keats defined Negative Capability quite simply as “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”
• Poetic knowledge comes from accepting the mysteries of the world
• The poet should not force the world to make sense
People of Influence
Fanny Brawne
Endymion
Events of Influence
Lost both parents and many relatives between the ages of 8 and 14
Father died when John was 8 by falling off of a horse, making Keats a more mature artist and very protective of his siblings
His mother quickly remarried, which had an effect on his life
Moved to go live with his grandmother after his mother quickly decided to remarry
Mother died of tuberculosis
Younger brother, Tom, died of tuberculosis
Death
Because of his tuberculosis, doctors told him to travel to warmer areas. Keats traveled to Rome in 1821.
Died at age 25
Finally succumbed to tuberculosis after a series of hemorrhages and fevers
Contrary to popular belief, Keats was not killed. Percy Shelley's "Adonais" and Lord Byron's "Don Juan" may lead people to believe he was killed.
By: Amy Wu
Style/Themes
Keats had a deep appreciation of nature and the countryside
Poems are characterized by sensual imagery and emotion
Poems value imagination over rational thought, as seen by his idea of Negative Capability
Uses alliteration, assonance, and consonance to create rhyme and rhythm
Poems are described to be colloquial (for the time), yet filled with description
Themes of his work include: nature, love, death's inevitability, and beauty with heavy influences from ancient Greek and Roman culture
Childhood friend Cowden Clarke introduced him to Chapman’s translation of Homer, as well as many Renaissance writers like Spenser and Tasso.
His grandmother's neighbor, Thomas Hammond, was a surgeon who Keats apprenticed with
Leigh Hunt, a poet who was influential in the Liberal movement, became a good friend of Keats
-Gave Keats a source of inspiration and introduced him to a society of established writers
Was friends with Charles Lamb, William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron
• Had a relationship with Isabella Jones, a friend
-Openly wrote about their relationship in the poems “The Eve of St. Agnes”
• Later, had a relationship with Fanny Brawne
-May have written “La Belle Dame sans merci” for her
-Was frustrated that they did not consummate their relationship
Cowden Clarke
Wentworth Place
Moved to Wentworth Place in 1818, the home of his friend Charles Armitage Brown
Produced some of his most mature work here
Met William Wordsworth
Produced his great odes here: Ode to Psyche, Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode on Melancholy, and Ode on Indolence
The beautiful gardens inspired some of his work
Also wrote The Eve of St. Agnes, La Belle Dame sans Merci, Hyperion, and many other poems here
Bright Star! would I were steadfast as thou art
Bright star, would I were
steadfast
as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung
aloft
the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless
Eremite
,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of
pure ablution
round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen
mask

Of snow
upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.
Steadfast - constant
Aloft - high, in the sky
Eremite - hermit, has religious connotation
Pure ablution - religious cleansing
Mask of snow - snow that covers the earth
Analysis
Bright star
,
would I were stedfast as thou art

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with
eternal lids apart
,

Like nature's patient
, sleepless
Eremite
,
The
moving waters
at their
priestlike task
Of
pure ablution
round
earth's human shores
,
Or gazing on the
new soft-fallen mask
Of snow
upon the
mountains and the moors

No—yet
still stedfast, still
unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon
my fair love's ripening breast
,
To feel for ever its
soft fall and swell
,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still
to hear her
tender-taken
breath,
And
so live ever—or else swoon to death
.
Title: At first glace, I assume that the poem is about a star and the beauty and steadiness of nature
Paraphrase: Bright star, you are splendid and steady high up in the sky. In your isolation, you watch the world. Yet, I do not want to be like you because you are going to live your life in loneliness. I don't want to experience your isolation, but I do want your steadiness. I want to spend my life lying with my lover.
Connotative language:
simile
,
imagery
,
allusion,
alliteration,
hyperbolic language
,
and

enjambment

Structure: English sonnet, which is a type of lyric poem
Speaker: A lover who is speaking to his lover, using his conversation with a star as a method of communicating his love
Shifts
Theme: A star, once you get rid of the non-human-like traits of loneliness, is much like the steadiness of love. Love is eternal, and men will be happiest of they can spend the rest of their lives with their lovers.
Written in 1819
Revised in 1820, perhaps on his final voyage to Rome before his death
Critics theorize that the poem was addressed to his fiance, Fanny Brawne
Background
La Belle Dame sans Merci
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The
sedge
has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-
begone
?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast
withereth
too.

I met a lady in the
meads
,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.
Stanzas 1-6


grass plant



to happen






to shrivel

a meadow
Stanzas 7-12
She found me roots of
relish
sweet,
And
honey wild, and manna-dew
,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her
Elfin grot
,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe
betide
!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the
gloam
,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I
sojourn
here,
Alone and palely
loitering
,
Though the
sedge
is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.
enjoyment
Biblical food



An elf's grotto





to happen








twilight




stay temporary
idly
grass plant
Reading of "Bright Star"
Reading La Belle Dame sans Merci
Stanzas 1-3
O what can ail thee
, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And
no birds sing
.

O what can ail thee
, knight-at-arms,
So
haggard and so woe-begone
?
The
squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done
.

I see a
lily on thy brow
,
With anguish
moist and fever-dew
,
And on
thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.
Speaker talks to a dying knight who is laying on a field.
Repetition,
imagery,
metaphor,
enjambment

Speaker repeats his question.

Alludes to the fact that harvest is done, meaning this is set in late autumn.
Speaker compares the sickly knight to a pale lily. He also compares the knight's complexion to a fading rose.
Stanzas 4-6
I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a
faery’s child
,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a
garland for her head
,
And bracelets too, and
fragrant zone
;
She looked at me as she did love
,
And made sweet
moan

I set her on my pacing steed,

And nothing else saw all day long
,
For
sidelong would she bend
, and
sing
A faery’s song.
Shift in speaker to the sickly knight.
Perhaps an allusion to this woman's mystical nature

Repetition,
imagery,
simile
,
allusion
,
hyperbolic language
,
inversion
,
enjambment

The knight begins to make gifts.
Smell imagery.

Sound imagery
Knight starts to take this women everywhere.


Stanzas 7-9
Repetition,
imagery
,
allusion
,
foreshadowing
,
hyperbolic language
,
shift
,
enjambment

She found me roots of
relish sweet
,
And honey wild, and
manna
-dew,
And sure in
language strange
she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her
Elfin grot
,
And there
she wept and sighed full sore
,
And there
I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four
.

And there
she lullèd me asleep,

And there
I dreamed
—Ah! woe betide!—
The
latest dream
I ever dreamt
On the
cold hill side
.
Mysterious woman brings the knight food.
Manna
is the food from heaven that the Jews ate after Moses freed them from slavery, gives the women a supernatural aura.
Woman takes the knight home. She cries, but the knight stops her with his 4 kisses.
Shift
from blissful love, to something more ominous
Stanzas 10-12
I saw

pale

kings and princes too,

Pale

warriors, death
-
pale

were they all
;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!’

I saw their
starved lips in the gloam
,
With
horrid warning gapèd wide
,
And
I awoke and found me here
,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though
the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing
.
Repetition,
imagery
,
allusion
,
shift
,
inversion
,
enjambment

The knight dreams of kings and princes who warn him of this woman's evil.
Allusion to the horsemen riding during the Apocalypse, especially the 4th horseman who is death and rides on a pale horse.
"La Belle Dame sans Merci" translates to "The Beautiful Woman without Mercy"
Tone becomes even more ominous and dangerous.
Shift, again, now that the knight is awake.
Shift in tone again, to one of resignation
Further analysis
Form: Ballad with a series of quatrains
Rhyme scheme: Follows ABCB pattern
Title: A woman who has no mercy and will not love the speaker
Paraphrase: A knight is injured on a hill. The speaker finds the man and asks what is wrong. The knight tells of his dream where he met a beautiful woman. In his dream, he has a dream that the woman kills all of the men that she is with. He wakes up from his dream to find himself alone on the hill.
Title: The woman is incredibly dangerous and is willing to kill.
Theme: Love is what people can turn to when they are alone and dying, yet, love can also have dangerous consequences.
Reading of "To Autumn"
To Autumn Stanza 1
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
;
Conspiring with him
how to load and bless
With
fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves
run;
To
bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees
,
And
fill all fruit
with ripeness to the core;
To
swell
the gourd, and plump the hazel
shells
With a
sweet kernel
; to set budding more,
And still more, later
flowers for the bees
,
Until they think

warm days will never cease
,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their
clammy cells
.
Personification,
imagery,
simile
,
alliteration
,
consonance
,
hyperbolic language
,
enjambment

Indicates that the growth was too much.
Speaker talks to Autumn as if it was a person.


Talks about the abundant life and harvest that is associated with autumn.



Bees realize that summer cannot last forever.
To Autumn Stanza 2
Who hath not seen
thee oft amid thy store
?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee
sitting careless
on a
granary floor
,
Thy
hair soft-lifted
by the
winnowing wind
;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow
sound asleep
,
Drows'd with
the fume of
poppies
, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And
sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady
thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Personification,
imagery,
allusion
,
alliteration
,
consonance
, metaphor,
enjambment

After the harvest is over, autumn likes to stay and watch
Allusion to where grain is kept; shows where you can find autumn
Soft hair indicates Autumn's feminine qualities

Suggests that Autumn is "intoxicated" now that the harvest is over.
Autumn lingers to pick the last of grain

Autumn no longer has anything to do, captures a sense of boredom and laziness
To Autumn Stanza 3
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too
,—
While
barred clouds bloom the
soft-dying day
,
And
touch
the
stubble-plains with rosy hue
;
Then in a
wailful choir
the
small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the
light
wind
lives
or dies;
And
full-grown lambs loud bleat
from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing
; and now with treble soft
The
red-breast whistles
from a garden-croft;
And
gathering swallows twitter in the skies
.
Personification,
imagery
,
alliteration
,
symbolism
,
enjambment

Spring's music is long gone, but Autumn has music too, almost like a challenge to spring

The day is dying, just like Autumn is ending, but it is dying beautifully with a rosy hue.


Keats blends the pleasant livelihood of nature, with the sadness of death.
Analysis
Form
: A lyric poem in the form of an ode
Rhyme scheme:
- First stanza: ABABCDCDCCE
- Second stanza: ABABCDECDDE
- Third stanza: ABABCDECDDE
Title
: Poem dedicated to Autumn
Symbolism
: Autumn seems to be a very feminine and elusive figure. It is possible that Autumn is a woman who the speaker is addressing.
Paraphrase
: Speaker addresses Autumn and describes the bountiful harvest. However, after the harvest is over, Autumn no longer has much to do, so Autumn can take a nap. The end of autumn is filled with sounds of life, yet the season is coming to and end, just like the day.
Analysis cont.
Tone/shifts
: Poem starts out joyful and busy. The second stanza shows a sense of boredom and lethargy. The third stanza shows a hint of jealousy for spring, but more so, an acceptance that the season must end.
There is also a shift in imagery. The poem starts out with ripening fruit, moves to harvest and labor, and ends with music.
Theme
: Autumn is just one of the beautiful and shifting seasons of life. Autumn reveals a binary between life and death.
Ode on Melancholy
Stanza 1
No, no,
go not to
Lethe
, neither twist

Wolf's-bane
, tight-rooted, for its
poisonous wine
;
Nor
suffer
thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By
nightshade
, ruby grape of
Proserpine
;
Make not your rosary of
yew-berries
,

Nor
let the
beetle
, nor the
death-moth

be
Your mournful Psyche
,
nor
the downy
owl
A partner
in your sorrow's mysteries;
For
shade to shade
will come too drowsily,
And
drown the wakeful anguish of the soul
.
Allusion,
repetition
,
metaphor,
personification,
hyperbolic language,
enjambment
The first stanza of this poem tells someone what
not
to do if they are in a state of melancholy.
Lethe is an allusion the river of forgetfulness in Greek myths. (do not forget)
Wolf's-bane is a poisonous herb (do not kill yourself)
Proserpine is the queen of the underworld (again, do not kill yourself)

Yew-berries are very poisonous
The beetle, death-moth, and downy owl are all symbols of death



Do not drown in your misery
Stanza 2
But when
the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from
heaven

like a weeping cloud
,
That fosters the
droop-headed flowers
all,
And hides the
green hill
in an April shroud;
Then glut
thy sorrow on a
morning rose
,
Or on the
rainbow of the salt sand-wave
,
Or on the
wealth of globed peonies
;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,

Emprison her soft hand
, and let her rave,
And
feed

deep, deep
upon her
peerless
eyes.
Allusion,
repetition
,
metaphor,
personification,
hyperbolic language,
simile,
shift
,
assonance
,
enjambment

The second stanza of this poem tells someone what
to
do if they are in a state of melancholy.
Melancholy can fall from heaven without warning



Shift into action words; tells the sufferer to immerse himself in the beauty of a rose, the ocean, or flowers



When you reach this state, find comfort in your lover
Stanza 3
She dwells with
Beauty

Beauty
that must die;
And
Joy
, whose
hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching
Pleasure
nigh,

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay,
in the very temple of

Delight

Veil'd
Melancholy has her sovran shrine
,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst
Joy
's
grape against his palate
fine;
His soul

shalt taste the sadness
of
her might
,
And be among her
cloudy trophies hung
.
Allusion,
repetition
,
metaphor,
personification,
hyperbolic language,
simile,
shift
,
assonance
,
enjambment

The third stanza of this poem explains this state of melancholy.
Beauty is fleeting and even joy says goodbye
Personification of Beauty, Joy, Pleasure, and Delight

Pleasure is often turning into poison

Melancholy is inside the temple of delight, meaning you must experience both


Man must shower himself with joy to experience sadness
Reading of "Ode on Melancholy"
Analysis
Form
: lyric poem in the form of an ode
Rhyme scheme:
1st and 2nd: ABABCDECDE
3rd: ABABCDEDCE
Title
: a poem on the topic of sadness
Structure
: the poem uses a logical argument, much like a metaphysical conceit
Paraphrase/Shifts
: The speaker uses a logical argument, first explaining what the sufferer should not do if he/she is in a state of sadness. Then, in the second stanza, the speaker says what to do. In the third stanza, the speaker shows that sadness and joy are intertwined
Theme
: Happiness and pain are found together, you cannot have one without the other.
To Sleep
O

soft embalmer
of the still midnight,

Shutting, with careful fingers
and benign,
Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O
soothest Sleep!
if so it please thee, close
In midst of this thine
hymn my willing eyes
,
Or wait the "
Amen
," ere thy poppy throws

Around my bed its lulling charities
.
Then save me
, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow,
breeding many woes
,—
Save me from curious
Conscience
, that still lords
Its strength for darkness,
burrowing like a
mole
;
Turn the key deftly in
the oiled wards
,
And seal the hushed
Casket of my Soul
.
personification
,
repetition
,
shift
,
simile,
casket,
allusion,
imagery
Reference to sleep, who gently helps shut people down.



Sleep brings forgetfulness, which is the best form of comfort

Speaker begs sleep to help him soothe his mind



Personification of Conscience
Again, begging sleep to help the speaker avoid his conscience.
Speaker has done something terrible and cannot stop thinking about it.

Death imagery: Casket and Embalmer; used to show a means of escape
Analysis
Structure
: lyric poem in the form of a sonnet
Rhyme scheme
: Follows ABABCDCEDCFGFG
Speaker
: someone who cannot sleep because he has something on his mind
Paraphrase
: The speaker of his poem is begging sleep to help shut his mind down for the day. There is something on his conscience that he cannot stop thinking about. The speaker is looking for escape.
Tone/Shifts
: Speaker starts out politely asking for sleep, but later shifts to a more urgent and desperate tone.
Theme
: Only sleep or death can soothe a troubled mind.
Reading of "To Sleep"
On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer
Much have I travell'd in the realms of
gold
,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;

Round many western islands
have I been
Which bards in fealty to
Apollo
hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd
Homer
ruled as his
demesne
;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard
Chapman
speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout
Cortez
when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in
Darien
.
imagination

voyage of Odysseus
Greek god of poetry and music

Greek poet realm or kingdom

Poet during 1500s


Balboa, not Cortez, who found the Pacific


Mountain range through Panama
Word translations
Analysis
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;

Round many western islands
have I been
Which bards in fealty to
Apollo
hold.
Oft of one
wide expanse
had I been told
That deep-brow'd
Homer
ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I
never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard
Chapman
speak out loud and bold:
Then
felt
I like some watcher of the skies
When a
new planet swims
into his ken;
Or like stout
Cortez
when
with eagle eyes
He star'd at the
Pacific
—and all his men
Look'd at each other
with a wild surmise

Silent, upon a peak in
Darien
.
Speaker has traveled to far realms through the act of reading

Reference to both the journey of Odysseus and the New World

Reference to the length of Homer's epics
Before, the speaker had only read stuff about Homer, but never read his actual work

Nothing is as good or as beautiful as Chapman's poetry
Shift. These new works open the speaker's eyes for the first time
Metaphor for finding new things

Poem is about personal discovery, just like New World Explorers

Chapman's poetry has allowed speaker to finally see the ocean for the first time (like these explorers)
metaphor
,
allusion
,
imagery,
personification
,
hyperbolic language,
simile,
shift
Reading of "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer"
Analysis
Chapman
Odysseus
Balboa
Structure
: Petrarchan sonnet: octave followed by sestet
Symbolism
: The explorer Cortez mentioned in this poem is actually a reference to Balboa, who discovered the Pacific. The speaker compares his reading of Chapman's Homer to that of a conquistador.
Paraphrase
: I have traveled to many places that the Greek God Apollo reigns over. I was told that Homer ruled over the kingdom of long literature. It was not until I heard Chapman's Homer that my eyes were open. I felt like someone who watched the skies and saw the Pacific for the first time.
Tone/shifts
: Confidence to awe and wonder
Title
: An readers reaction to reading Chapman's Homer
Speaker
: a man who has read Chapman's Homer for the first time
Theme
: Poetry an literature are best experienced first hand and can open your eyes to new ideas.
Works Cited
"John Keats." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia
UP, 2013. 1. Literary Reference Center. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
"John Keats." The Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 2013. Web. 10 Nov.
2013.
Kunitz, Stanley, ed. British Authors of the 19th Century. Ipswich: H.W. Wilson
Company, 1936. Biography Reference Bank. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Magill’s Survey of World Literature. Rev. ed. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2009.
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