"On every morrow, are we wreathing A flowery band to bind us to the earth, Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all, Some shape of beauty moves away the pall From our dark spirits..” ~Excerpt from John Keat's poem "A Thing of Beauty"
John Keats lived only twenty five years and four months (1795-1821), yet his poetic achievement is extraordinary. His writing career lasted a little more than five years and three of his great odes were written in one month. Most of his major poems were written between his twenty third and twenty fourth years, and all his poems were written by his twenty fifth year. In this brief period, he produced poems that rank him as one of the great English poets.
“Poetry and Prose” by John Keats (London 1795 – Rome 1821). Keats was one of the mains figures of the second generation of romantic poets, his reputation grew after his death. Jorge Luis Borges stated that his first encounter with Keats was the most significant literary experience of his life. The poetry of Keats is characterized by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analyzed in English literature.
The Art of “Negative Capability”: Keats on Embracing Uncertainty and Celebrating…
Negative capability - the willingness to embrace uncertainty, live with mystery, and make peace with abiguity (attributed to John Keats). The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.
I always thought John Keats was rather tragic. He didn't even start writing his indescribably moving poetry until age 19, managed to perfect the modern ode (so some scholars say) in that short time, before dying of tuberculosis at age 25. Just think what else he could have achieved!