Keats Quote

When you live in an age when diseases are hard to combat the biggest tragedy is when a great poetic talent succumbs to a disease which cannot be cured. The only difference between an ordinary person and a talent is that when the talent dies they leave behind a legacy of all of their creative works and will always be remembered. It was so for poet John Keats, who realized that in 1821 once he began coughing up blood he was due to succumb to tuberculosis just like his brother before. He died on February 3, 1821 at the young age of 24 but in his short life managed to gain a reputation as a leading poet.

John Keats was not a man of great height only just a bit over five feet tall but he made up for the missing inches in his talent. I was clear at school that he would shine above everyone else and his teachers introduced him to poetry and theater. Keats live was one of poverty and struggle which all began when his father died after a fall from a horse. He was the oldest of four siblings all of whom were supposed to come into a large inheritance. Once the children also lost their mother and later on their grandparents a greedy guardian decided to keep them from their money. Keats was apprentices to a surgeon in 1811. In 1814 he went on to work at a London hospital as a junior apothecary and surgeon in charge of dressing wounds.

While working at the hospital Keats became interested in literature. Once he befriended the editor of the Examiner, Leigh Hunt, who was a successful poet and writer, he was welcomed in a literary figure circle that included such talents as Percy Bysshe Shelley. However it was not until he was 18 years old that Keats wrote his first poem. The literary circle greatly encouraged him and his first creative attempt was published in the Examiner in 1816. The following year he came out with his first book of poems titled “Poems”. After 1817 Keats devoted his life to poetry and became the master of the Romantic sonnet and attempted to do honor to epic poems such as “Hyperion” which tells of the despair of the Titans after their fall to the Olympians.



It was in 1818 that Keats’ brother Tom came down with tuberculosis and another brother left him stranded and penniless in Kentucky after a poor investment. His economic struggles mounted and he finally fell to ill health after a strenuous walking tour of England’s Lake District. From January to September 1819 Keats was inspired to write many poems among them “Ode to a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” and “La Bell Dame Sans Merci”.

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