Monday, February 23, 2015

JOHN KEATS ~ October 31, 1795 ~ February 23, 1821

John Keats 31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) was the latest born of the great Romantic poets. Along with Byron and Shelley, he was one of the key figures in the second generation of the movement, despite publishing his work over only a four-year period. During his short life, his work was not well received by critics, but his posthumous influence on poets such as Alfred Tennyson and Wilfred Owen was significant. The poetry of Keats was characterised by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes which remain among the most popular poems in English literature. The letters of Keats are among the most celebrated by any English poet.

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Six years ago October I was in Rome with my sister Julie, brother-in-law Tom Martin, and my good friend Deb Cornue. Debbie and I visited John Keats' final home at the foot of the Spanish Steps. It was extremely moving to be in the room where he died.

I gave an antique leather bound edition of the complete Poems of John Keats to my very good friend Jeffrey Hardy on his 21st birthday back in 1976. John Keats is still one of my favorite poets.

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)