The Life Of A Poet Essay

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The Life Of A Poet ! Essay, Research Paper John Keats The life of a poet! Katrina Bartlett English per.2 May, 31 2000 pg. 1 He started at the pacific. All his men/looked at each other with a wild surmise–/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 these and many other lines fixed permanently in the shared consciousness of those who speak English, John Keats was an extremely unlikely candidate for poetic immortality. Born into a working-class family two centuries ago. Orphaned in childhood, his work was subjected to vicious attacks by established literary critics, 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, in the 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 his wife Frances (Jennings) Keats was a housewife. Three more sons were born one of whom died in infancy. A daughter was born to the couple before Thomas?s death in 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 not successful and when the couple separated in the following year she and her four children went to live with her mother. John Keats received his earliest education at a private school in Enfield run buy the Reverend John Clarke. Among his classmates was the headmaster?s son, Charles

Cowden clarke. Who would be his lifelong friend. Keats?s mother died of tuberculosis in February 1810, and in 1811 he was taken out of school and apprenticed to Thomas Hammond, a surgeon at Edmonton hospital. It was during this time that he began to read poetry seriously and to write it himself. His apprenticeship ended by mutual consent in 1815, 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 an apothecary, and worked until April of the next year as a medical practitioner. Keats?s first volume entitled simply Poems was published in March 1817 and failed to attract much notice beyond a favorable review from Leigh Hunt. During that time Keats met Fanny Brawne, a young woman who

throughout what appears to have been for him at least. Rather tormented relationship was to be the great love of his brief life and to whom he became engaged some time around the end of the year. By December 1818 when his brother Tom died of tuberculosis. On February 3, 1820 Keats had a coughing fit that led him to hemorrhage some dark arterial blood. With his medical training he recognized the gravity of the situation and he told his friend Charles Armitage Brown, ?That drop of blood is my death-warrant; I must die.? After another relapse in June 1820 Keats determined to go to Italy, from whose warmer and drier climate he hoped to find some relief of his suffering. On September 18, he sailed for Naples with a close friend the artist Joseph Severn. Keats never saw England or

fanny again. The two men took lodgings in Rome, where severn loyally cared for Keats, who retained his gentle and uncomplaining nature until his death on February 23, 1821. He was not quite four months past his twenty-fifth birthday. In addition to his poetry Keats is the author of some of the most interesting letters by any literary figure. In their aesthetic theorizing, their insights into nature of the creative process and their constant display of a lovable and admirable personality, his letters not only complement his poetry but shows an intellectual grasp and penetration that is not always evident in the poems themselves. The life of Keats to some degree mythology by biographers and other enthusiasts has done as much as anything to fashion the popular image of the poet as a