Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats

ISBN-10: 0375756698

ISBN-13: 9780375756696

Edition: 2001

Authors: John Keats, Edward Hirsch

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'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. This Modern Library edition contains all of Keats's magnificent verse: 'Lamia,' 'Isabella,' and 'The Eve of St. Agnes'; his sonnets and odes; the allegorical romance Endymion; and the five-act poetic tragedy Otho the Great. Presented as well are the famous posthumous and fugitive poems, including the fragmentary 'The Eve of Saint Mark' and the great 'La Belle Dame sans Merci,' perhaps the most distinguished literary ballad in the language. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'
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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 2/13/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 640
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.298

John Keats was born in London, the oldest of four children, on October 31, 1795. His father, who was a livery-stable keeper, died when Keats was eight years old, and his mother died six years later. At age 15, he was apprenticed to an apothecary-surgeon. In 1815 he began studying medicine but soon gave up that career in favor of writing poetry. The critic Douglas Bush has said that, if one poet could be recalled to life to complete his career, the almost universal choice would be Keats, who now is regarded as one of the three or four supreme masters of the English language. His early work is badly flawed in both technique and critical judgment, but, from his casually written but brilliant letters, one can trace the development of a genius who, through fierce determination in the face of great odds, fashioned himself into an incomparable artist. In his tragically brief career, cut short at age 25 by tuberculosis, Keats constantly experimented, often with dazzling success, and always with steady progress over previous efforts. The unfinished Hyperion is the only English poem after Paradise Lost that is worthy to be called an epic, and it is breathtakingly superior to his early Endymion (1818), written just a few years before. Isabella is a fine narrative poem, but The Eve of St. Agnes (1819), written soon after, is peerless. In Lamia (1819) Keats revived the couplet form, long thought to be dead, in a gorgeous, romantic story. Above all it was in his development of the ode that Keats's supreme achievement lies. In just a few months, he wrote the odes "On a Grecian Urn" (1819), "To a Nightingale" (1819), "To Melancholy" (1819), and the marvelously serene "To Autumn" (1819). Keats is the only romantic poet whose reputation has steadily grown through all changes in critical fashion. Once patronized as a poet of beautiful images but no intellectual content, Keats is now appreciated for his powerful mind, profound grasp of poetic principles, and ceaseless quest for new forms and techniques. For many readers, old and young, Keats is a heroic figure. John Keats died in Rome on February 23, 1821 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, "Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water."

Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. A MacArthur fellow, he has published eight books of poems and four books of prose. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Rome Prize, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in Brooklyn.

Biographical Note
Poems (1817)
Dedication. To Leigh Hunt, Esq.
'I stood tip-toe upon a little hill'
Specimen of an Induction to a Poem
Calidore: A Fragment
To Some Ladies
On receiving a curious Shell and a Copy of Verses from the Same Ladies
To * * * *
To Hope
Imitation of Spenser
'Woman! when I behold thee flippant, vain'
To George Felton Mathew
To my Brother George
To Charles Cowden Clarke
To my Brother George
To * * * * *
Written on the Day that Mr. Leigh Hunt left Prison
'How many bards gild the lapses of time!'
To a Friend who sent me some Roses
To G. A. W.
'O solitude! if I must with thee dwell'
To my Brothers
'Keen fitful gusts are whispering here and there'
'To one who has been long in city pent'
On first looking into Chapman's Homer
On leaving some Friends at an early Hour
Addressed to Haydon
Addressed to the Same
On the Grasshopper and Cricket
To Kosciusko
'Happy is England'
Sleep and Poetry
Endymion: A Poetic Romance
Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems (1820)
Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil
The Eve of St. Agnes
Ode to a Nightingale
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Ode to Psyche
Lines on the Mermaid Tavern
Robin Hood
To Autumn
Ode on Melancholy
Posthumous and Fugitive Poems
On Peace
Lines written on 29 May, the Anniversary of Charles's Restoration, on hearing the Bells ringing
Ode to Apollo
'As from the darkening gloom a silver dove'
To Lord Byron
'Fill for me a brimming bowl'
To Chatterton
To Emma
'Give me Women, Wine, and Snuff'
On receiving a Laurel Crown from Leigh Hunt
'Come hither all sweet maidens soberly'
Written in Digust of Vulgar Superstition
'O! how I love, on a fair summer's eve'
To a Young Lady who sent me a Laurel Crown
'After dark vapours have oppressed our plains'
Lines in a Letter to J. H. Reynolds, from Oxford
On the Sea
To the Ladies who saw me Crowned
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
'Haydon! forgive me that I cannot speak'
Hymn to Apollo
On seeing the Elgin Marbles
On 'The Story of Rimini'
Written on a Blank Space at the End of Chaucer's 'The Floure and the Leafe'
'In drear nighted December'
'Unfelt, unheard, unseen'
'Hither, hither, love--'
'Think not of it, sweet one, so--'
On sitting down to read 'King Lear' once again
To a Cat
'Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port'
Lines on seeing a Lock of Milton's Hair
'When I have fears that I may cease to be'
To the Nile
To a Lady seen for a few Moments at Vauxhall
'Spenser! a jealous honourer of thine'
Answer to a Sonnet by J. H. Reynolds, ending--
Apollo to the Graces
'O blush not so!'
'O thou whose face hath felt the Winter's wind'
The Human Seasons
'Where be ye going, you Devon maid?'
'For there's Bishop's Teign'
To Homer
To J. H. Reynolds from Teignmouth 25 March 1818
'Over the hill and over the dale'
To J. R.
Fragment of an Ode to Maia
'Sweet, sweet is the greeting of eyes'
On visiting the Tomb of Burns
A Song about Myself
To Ailsa Rock
Meg Merrilies
'Ah! ken ye what I met the day'
'All gentle folks who owe a grudge'
'Of late two dainties were before me plac'd'
Sonnet written in the Cottage where Burns was born
Lines written in the Highlands after visiting the Burns Country
'Read me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud'
Ben Nevis: a Dialogue
To his Brother George in America
'Where's the Poet?'
Modern Love
The Castle Builder: Fragments of a Dialogue
'Welcome joy, and welcome sorrow'
'Hush, hush! Tread softly! hush, hush, my dear!'
The Dove
Extracts from an Opera
The Eve of Saint Mark
To Sleep
'Why did I laugh to-night?'
On a Dream after reading of Paolo and Francesca in Dante's 'Inferno'
'The House of Mourning written by Mr. Scott'
'Fame, like a wayward girl'
Song of Four Fairies
La Belle Dame sans Mercy [Indicator version]
La belle dame sans merci
'How fever'd is the man, who cannot look'
'If by dull rhymes our English must be chain'd'
Faery Songs
Spenserian Stanzas on Charles Armitage Brown
Ode on Indolence
A Party of Lovers
'The day is gone'
Lines to Fanny
To Fanny
To Fanny
'This living hand, now warm and capable'
'Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art'
Two or three Posies
'When they were come unto the Faery's Court'
'In after-time a sage of mickle lore'
Longer Posthumous Poems: Narrative and Dramatic
The Fall of Hyperion: a Vision
The Cap and Bells; or, The Jealousies
Otho the Great
King Stephen
Selected Letters
To Benjamin Bailey, 22 November 1817
To George and Tom Keats, 21, 27 (?) December 1817
To J. H. Reynolds, 3 February 1818
To John Taylor, 27 February 1818
To John Taylor, 24 April 1818
To J. H. Reynolds, 3 May 1818
To Richard Woodhouse, 27 October 1818
To George and Georgiana Keats, 14 February to 3 May 1819
To Fanny Brawne, 25 July 1819
To Percy Bysshe Shelley, 16 August 1820
To Charles Brown, 30 September 1820
To Charles Brown, 30 November 1820
Index of Titles
Index of First Lines
Study Guide
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