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Keats, poetry

Unlike some of the Romantic poet, Keats didn't give so much importance to the poetic form. His poetry was very original: the self of the poet disappeared and the poetical personal pronoun “I” was linked to an universal human being. He used a personal figurative language, that was characterized by the large use of synesthesia’s (a common speech that is a mixture of different sensations, for example smelling and touching).
So Keats’s poetry was full of sensations, of perceptions. The central theme of his poetry was the searching for beauty.


The contemplation of beauty was the main theme in Keats’s poetry and it was inspired by the classical Greek world. According to Keats beauty was the ideal of all type of art, and he identified beauty and truth. For this reasons Keats is considered a precursor of the Aestheticism and Victorian writers, according to the principle “Art for art sake”.

Physical beauty and spiritual beauty

According to Keats, beauty can be physical or spiritual. While physical beauty is temporary and derives from the sensitive world (for example the beauty of a women, or of a painting), spiritual beauty is eternal, derives from spirit and it is linked to the idea of love, of friendship, of art, of poetry.
They are not in opposition but they are interconnected: physical beauty is the phenomenal expression of spiritual beauty.

Role of imagination

According to the majority of romantic poets, Keats believes in the supreme value of imagination. In Keats’s works imagination takes two main forms: in the first form the world became artificial and in the second form the world he images became an ideal world, it is a vision of what human life should be, motivated by personal experience of poverty and pain of the poet.

Negative capability

The so-called “negative capability” is the acceptation we can’t explain everything with reason or with poetry. Art mustn’t solve problems, but explore them.

Egotistical sublime

The “egotistical sublime”, term fist used by Keats, is the tendency of the poet to talk excessively about his self, so it is the focus on the individual personality and the special qualities of each one.
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