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Visiting Keats's grave

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:43 pm
by Cath
The BBC's Rome correspondent has written an account of Rome's international community of the dead and visiting Keats's grave. You can read it here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27065278

Johnson beautifully evokes the experience: "As soon as you step through its gates, the clamour of the city traffic starts to fade. And as you walk further in, the air fills with sound of birds, and the scent of flowers. The sun slants through the tall trees and falls on the ranks of headstones."

He mentions Shelley as Keats's friend - Keats was more ambivalent about Shelley than that epithet allows, though, I think. The two tend to be lumped together because they're both poets and are buried in the same graveyard. But they were only acquaintances, wouldn't you say?

Re: Visiting Keats's grave

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:37 am
by Saturn
Yeah, definitely. Anyone who's read Shelley's rather condescending letter to Keats from Pisa and Keats' reply would never say they were really friends! more literary rivals/acquaintances/near contemporaries who happened to have some friends in common. Keats had no time for Shelley's ultra radical politics and thought his poetry marred by being too diffuse and unfocused. Shelley wanted to be almost the tutor of Keats to nurture him, to create an acolyte in his own image, or at least to make Keats into something he was not.