John Keats

John Keats - Kusy 1 Ryan Kusy Mrs Kelleher AP English IV 28...

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Kusy 1 Ryan Kusy Mrs. Kelleher AP English IV 28 January 2009 John Keats John Keats, a man who only lived for less than three decades, was one of the key figures in the Romantics movement during his time. He was born on October 31, 1795 in London, England, and was the first of four children to Frances Jennings and Thomas Keats. He had two brothers, George and Thomas, and a sister, Frances Mary. By 15, he had lost a brother, two uncles, a grandfather, and both parents and eventually another brother immigrated to America. Such tragic events had an immense effect of the style of writing he later used in his poems. Keats published three books of poetry in his lifetime but was dismissed by most critics because of his middle-class. After taking care of his ailing mother and brother, he developed an interest in medicine. He became a licensed apothecary (pharmacist) in 1816, but he never practiced, choosing instead to write poetry. A year later he began his career as a poet. Keats while in London met Leigh Hunt, the editor of the leading liberal magazine during that time, The Examiner . He introduced Keats to other young Romantics, including Shelley, and eventually published in the magazine Keats's sonnet, 'O Solitude'. The poetry of Keats is characterized by intricate word choice and sensual imagery and many of his poems talk about the conflicts between life and death, the mortal and immortal, and the dreams versus realtity. Keats, although
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Kusy 2 he only lived till he was 26 years of age, became a brillant poet over the years. As he grew older, and consquently nearer to his death, his poems became increasingly more renown and much of his success and fame came after he had already passed. “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “Ode to a Nightingale” are two of his most renown poems. Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is one of his most famous poems. This ode is written about a series of paradoxes and opposites and about life on this “Grecian Urn.” This poem has often been put together with another one of his works, “Ode to a Nightingale.” It compares the urn with frozen images and the active life depicted on the urn, the mortal and unpredictable opposed to the immortal and permanent, participation versus observation, and live versus art. As the poem opens, he compares the urn to a “still unravish'd bride” (“Ode on a Grecian Urn”). This has a purpose on a number of levels. The “still” represents two meanings, time and motion, which relate to the opposites that are talked about through out the poem (“Ode on a Grecian Urn”). The first example appears in the next line, when Keats writes, “Thou foster-child of silence and slow time” (“Ode on a Grecian Urn”). This line contrasts the urn to a foster child, which is subject to time and change, yet the life it lives is unchanging; thus, the bride is "unravish'd" and the urn is touched by "slow time," not the real world (“Ode on a Grecian Urn”). As the poem continues he describes the urn as a “historian,” and begins to question the markings on
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John Keats - Kusy 1 Ryan Kusy Mrs Kelleher AP English IV 28...

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