John Keats: poetica e caratteristiche

Vita, caratteristiche, critica e poetica di John Keats in lingua inglese. (2 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di pasquigi


John Ketas (1795-1821). Life:

  • Family - humble but well-off family.
    His father died when he was 8, at 14 he lost also his mother and his brother (tuberculosis).
    -Loss and insecurity due to pain and death.
  • Education -he attended a private school in Enfield and he studied at Guy’s hospital in London where he became a “dresser” assistant to one of the senior surgeons.
  • Occupation - In 1817 he gave up surgery for poetry, which he had been writing for some time.
  • Love - He fell in love with Fanny Brawne. They could not marry because of Keats financial and physical problems made this impossible.
  • Religion - he was not religious in any orthodox sense: he rejected orthodox Christianity and evolved in his own philosophy of the world as a “vale of soul making” in which suffering is necessary to “refine the soul to give it individuality and to enable it to appreciate beauty”.


Features and themes:

  • Keats’s life was troubled by family tragedies, financial problems and hopeless love affair, his poetry reflected a sense of melancholy, death and mortality.
  • Poetry - was for him the only reason of life, the only means to defeat and overcome death.
    Poetry should spring naturally from his soul. It didn’t have a didactive aim but it had to reproduce what imagination suggested to him and what struck him imagination most is beauty. For Keats the poetry is something Absolute.
  • Beauty - Physical (women, nature, paintings)
    - Spiritual (love, friendship, poetry).
    The 2 aspects are closed interwoven, since physical beauty was the expression of the spiritual.
  • Ancient Greece - he turned to a classical world for inspiration and he recreated it through the eyes of a Romantic.
  • Nature - he had a cult of nature, but he didn’t see any Mighty power in it (as Wordsworth). He didn’t need the work of memory to transform it: his imagination was enough to enrich poetry.
    - Wordsworth: “sweet are made sweeter by distance in time”

John Keats: riassunto


- Keats: “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter Beauty imagined is far superior to beauty perceived.

  • Middle Ages - Legends, magic, supernatural elements through the eyes of a romantic Love becomes more physical and sensual.
  • Negative Capability - the ability to experience “uncertainties, mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact of reason”. The poet should not theorise or rationalize but accept and “live in his” experience in order to transform it into poetry. The poet must have the ability to not include in his poems his own personality and his moral judgements. He appreciates in Shakespeare his impartial and impersonal way of writing. Keats’s poetical ideal is objectivity: the ability to represent object and characters, enriching them with imagination, but without interfering with his personal judgements.
  • Time and eternity  his 3 odes explored the contrast between the human world of mortality, suffering and decay, and the permanent unchanging world of imagination to be found in art.
  • Pleasure and pain like other romantic poet, K. felt that a capacity for great suffering is linked to a capacity for great pleasure.
  • Imagination  the sensuous imagination is for Keats the force of Beauty.

ApprofondimentoDici di amarmi: testo, analisi e parafrasi della poesia di Keats