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23 February, 2020 05:10:19 PM

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John Keats: Remembering the romantic poet

His verses such as Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn are considered to be eternal
Independent Online/Hindustan Times
John Keats: Remembering the romantic poet
John Keats, one of the greatest romantic poets, died at 25 from tuberculosis. His verses such as Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, La Belle Dame sans Merci and On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer are considered to be eternal. Photo: WIKIPEDIA

John Keats, one of the greatest romantic poets, died at 25 from tuberculosis. And yet, death at a tender age could not rob John Keats of his immortality.

His verses such as Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, La Belle Dame sans Merci and On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer are considered to be eternal. Born on October 31, 1795, to Thomas Keats and Frances Jennings, he lost his parents early and was left in the custody of his grandmother, along with his siblings.

While originally a volatile character, by the age of 13, John Keats began focusing his energy on reading and studying, winning his first academic prize in 1809. While Keats registered as a medical student at Guy’s Hospital in 1815, his calling lay in poetry and despite getting an apothecary’s licence, he went on to publish the sonnet O Solitude in The Examiner in May 1816.

In a short career, spanning six years, Keats published 54 poems using a wide range of poetic forms that included odes and sonnets.

Keats wrote poignantly on love and loss, as evident from quotes attributed to the poet.

-- Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard, are sweeter

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever

-- The poetry of the earth is never dead

-- Touch has a memory

-- I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination

-- I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top

-- You are always new. The last of your kisses was even the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest

-- My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you

-- My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk

-- We read fine things but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the author

The life of Keats was fraught with tragedy. He was engaged to the love of his life, Fanny Brawne. However, their love never ended in marriage.

This was both because of his weak financial stature and that Keats wanted to strongly build his role as a poet and earn money before him and also because he became extremely unwell from tuberculosis.

Keats died in Rome, Italy on February 23, 1821.

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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