On the 23rd February 1821...

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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On the 23rd February 1821...

Postby Saturn » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:27 am

...the poet John Keats passed away in Rome. He was 25 years old.

Share your thoughts about what Keats means to you in your life.
How has he touched you, inspired you or made you think differently about the world?
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Malia » Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:50 pm

Keats was the first poet to introduce me to the power of poetry. It happened one day when I was 15 and re-reading "To Autumn". The lines: "And touch the stubble-plains with a rosy hue" and "and gathering swallows twitter in the skies" hit me like a lightning bolt. I actually held my breath in wonder and for the first time in my life understood the physical power that words--especially perfectly chosen words--can have. In that respect, Keats was my first true experience with poetry and I've been intrigued with him ever since.

His life, to me, is a like a classic Greek or Shakespearian tragedy--there's something allegorical and also something archtypal about Keats. I'm forever intrigued by and impressed with his personal courage. His ability--mostly through sheer fortitude and stubborn determination--to continue to follow his dream and cultivate his craft despite the heavy burdens of his life. . .his dying brother, Tom; the immigration of his beloved brother George; his own financial worries; hateful, destructive reviews, his own illness and bouts with depression. . .the list goes on.

I like the fact that Keats didn't start out a great poet--he wasn't a poetical prodigy. He worked his BUTT off to attain his level of art. Granted, Keats was extremely intelligent--he would have succeeded at anything he put his mind to, I think. But he knew whatever he chose to excel at he had to work for it.

I suppose, above all, Keats teaches me daily how important it is to focus and work dilligently--to have faith in your abilities and never let anything stand in the way of your dream, whatever it may be.
Stay Awake!
--Anthony deMello
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Postby Saturn » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:55 pm

How do I top that?

All I'll say is whenever I was all alone in the world, when misery and depression crushed me inside and all the world seemed a dark and comfortless place I found in Keat's poetry and life a companion, a friend who seemed to have known the darkest side of life and to have revelled in the very smallest of its joys.

His work inspired me to write in a different way than any other poetry I had read before, more artfully than before, with more truth and real intellectal and emotional honesty, stripped of barren and pompous metaphors.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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