Keats poetry relating to his childhood.

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Keats poetry relating to his childhood.

Postby Jd0055 » Fri Feb 17, 2006 7:52 pm

Can someone direct me to references in which relate the misfortunes of his childhood to his later writings?
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Postby Credo Buffa » Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:59 pm

Finding a basic biography on Keats should make this pretty clear. Pay attention in particular to how he writes about death in his later works. . . I think that's probably the biggest link between his early life and later poetry.
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Postby Despondence » Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:31 pm

You can also find several instances in poems where his choice of words betrays his background as a surgeon apprentice, though I don't know if that counts as a "misfortune of his childhood". Don't have a reference off the top of my head...you'd have to google around a bit.
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Postby Jd0055 » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:36 pm

Credo Buffa wrote:Finding a basic biography on Keats should make this pretty clear. Pay attention in particular to how he writes about death in his later works. . . I think that's probably the biggest link between his early life and later poetry.

Which pieces of his literature would you recommend to mainly focus on?
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Postby Malia » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:56 pm

Keats was very quiet about his childhood--probably in part because he experienced some serious tragedies that were difficult for him to talk about. His father's death from a fall off a horse, his infant brother Edward's death, his mother's re-marriage to a gold-digger only a few months after Keats's father was burried. Then his mother left her second husband (who was said to be abusive and only married her for her inheritance) and rumors flew that she was living with a man in London or that she was a whore. Then she comes back and dies of TB. There were quite a few things that Keats probably didn't want to have to think about from his childhood. His childhood was something out of Dickens!

I've read in the Aileen Ward biography (I highly recommend reading that one--the book is out of print, but you can find used copies on-line through Amazon.com) that Keats might have been thinking of his mother when he described Moneta in the Fall of Hyperion. She gives an interesting and moving philosophy behind that thought (I wish I had the book in front of me--I'd go into it in more detail).

Though it doesn't have to do exactly with his childhood, Keats's Sonnet "To My Brothers" shows how close he was to his brothers and it implies some anxiety he feels that they might not be able to spend much more time in eachother's company.

Also, in most any biography, you'll find an account of an article Keats helped Leigh Hunt write for Hunt's newspaper the summer of 1820 when he was living with Hunt. They wrote stories that revolved around the heat of summer and Keats's contributions reflect his childhood--such as a reference to the apothocary's apprentice who reflects on the fact that he can't go swimming with a feeling of "bitterness beyond aloes".

There are other references in poems--one he wrote to his sister Fanny (I think he wrote the poem on his Scottish tour) where he talks about "granny good"--which is a reference, biographers believe, to his Grandmother whom he dearly loved.

Hope that helps at least a little bit. I agree with Credo Buffa, though, that a good Keats bio (the Ward and Gittings bios are both good) will help you find references to Keats's childhood within his poems.
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Postby Jd0055 » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:03 pm

Alright, thanks.

Our school library just happened to have Aileen Ward's biography, so I should be set.
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Postby Saturn » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:44 pm

Good luck in your essay :D
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Postby Jd0055 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:41 am

Can someone direct me to the Fall of Hyperion text?

I can't seem to find it online.
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Postby Jd0055 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:44 am

Hah.

Sorry, I found it.

On this very site.
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:30 am

Jd0055 wrote:Hah.

Sorry, I found it.

On this very site.


:lol:
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