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The Eulogy He Deserves

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:13 am
by jackdevon8
This is a fictitious eulogy I composed very recently in honor of Mr. Keats. I've been deeply moved by his life, poetry, and tragic death. Hopefully, it will post in the format in which I've typed it. Otherwise, it may come out as a scrambled mess. I've had bad luck with special formatting in the past, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. If it turns out to be unreadable, I apologize.
I hope all of you will find it as sincere as I intended, a eulogy worthy of the artist, as if it could be given today.

In Praise of John Keats (1795-1821)

Keats, although trained originally for the medical profession, abandoned this pursuit after discovering the wondrous possibilities
that poetry offered for creating powerful visual and emotional imagery in the mind and being of the reader. He became a man who lived for poetry, and only for that.
Keats loved the English language more than life itself, and, in fact, died for it. He found his voice only to lose it, having contracted the incurable curse of tuberculosis, departing this earth at the incomprehensibly young age of 25--his legacy a symphony of words so exquisite as to make the angels weep.
For it was Keats who wrote, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever". In the nearly 200 years since the poet's passing, admirers would agree that this famous phrase provides the aptest description of his own work.
And so today, devotees of the Englishman who wrote so movingly and memorably of nightingales, autumn leaves, Devon maids, Grecian urns, and, above all, love, make the pilgrimage to a cemetery outside Rome, to view the tombstone marking the great poet's passing--reverently reading the humble inscription that Keats personally instructed be placed upon it: "Here lies one whose name was writ in water".
For even on his sickbed, this master magician of the English language, gasping for one last breath, believed his life had been a failure, that he'd become nothing more than a forgotten footnote of history, and whose poetry had been reviled by critics in his own
time, today lives on, recognized the world over as the gentle troubadour who wrote such deathless verses as, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty", and whose lyrical lines and melodious odes are monuments to one man's imagination, yes, his fame is secure.
If one presumed, not to change but to add, to the epitaph chosen so modestly by Keats himself, it might, perhaps more justly, read as follows:

Here lies John Keats
whose poetry inspires humanity
as no man's ever has.

A life too brief,
concluding in grief;
now in a better place,
his passion a race,
not for immortality--
he attained that--
but for unfeigned morality,
fashioned with a sensitivity
as much for graceful rain
as to the languid cat.

May this poet,
a gift to humanity,
find eternal peace--
just as human hearts will find solace
in his words for all eternity to come.

"Come ye to the table, John,
a chair has been reserved.
Your soft-sweet words have ably won
their ethereal preserve".

Re: The Eulogy He Deserves

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:23 pm
by Saturn
Lovely tribute, and welcome to the forum jackdevon8, nice to finally see a new poster on the board.

Re: The Eulogy He Deserves

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:25 am
by BrokenLyre
I agree with Saturn. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful perspective. It's wonderful to read other people's thoughts about Keats and what he means to them. Thank you!