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John Keats, life and works

Keats is one of the greatest member of the second generation of Romantic poets. He was able to fuse romantic passion and cold Neoclassicism, just as Ugo Foscolo.
He was born il London in 1795 from an humble but comfortable family.
He immediately show his early passion for reading and poetry and in 1816 he announced his decision to devote his life to writing verse in a beautiful sonnet called “On first looking into Chapman’s Homer”.
The 1818 was a difficult year for Keats because of the health problems of his mother and brother.
He fall in love with Fanny Browne but he wasn’t able to marry her because of his poverty.
Notwithstanding these difficulties he wrote a series of poems:
- The eve of S.Agnes, characterized by romantic features that recreate an
atmosphere of superstition, art, ritual and luxury.
- The greatest odes: One of the Nightingale, ode on a greek urn, to autumn, on
melancholy, to psyche, where the poet explores relations between pleasure
and pain, happens anche melancholy, art and life, reality and imagination.
- The ballad “La belle dam sans merci”, which displays a taste for medieval
themes.
- Hyperion, which shows the influence of Milton.
When Keats died he was hardly known outside his literally circus and even there he was taken for granted because his works were full of neglect and obscurity.
Many years later there was a revolution. Matthew Arnold, an important victorian critic, said of Keats that he was as important as Shakespeare and so there was a total reverse of judgment.
Unlike some romantic poet the poems of Keats are not fragments of a continual autobiography because he only consider the story of his like like a sort of inspiration for his poetry, non the substance.
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