Poems of John Keats (Everyman's Library)

Poems of John Keats (Everyman's Library)

by John Keats
     
 

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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Introduction by David Bromwich

John Keats is regarded as the quintessential English Romantic poet: lyrical, passionate, tender, dreamy, sensuous. The only thing more miraculous than his brief career—in which, from the age of eighteen until his death a mere seven years later, he produced a substantial number of the

Overview

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Introduction by David Bromwich

John Keats is regarded as the quintessential English Romantic poet: lyrical, passionate, tender, dreamy, sensuous. The only thing more miraculous than his brief career—in which, from the age of eighteen until his death a mere seven years later, he produced a substantial number of the greatest poems in English—are those poems themselves.  Nowhere has the pressure of human imagination been brought more powerfully to bear on our mortal condition than in his great narratives and narrative fragments, his sonnets of discovery, and his magnificent odes. 
   The Everyman edition of the poems presents a reordered and reedited version of the complete text with detailed notes to every poem, as well as a chronology and bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Since we will never hear tapes of Keats or Shakespeare reading, and several recordings by actors exist (e.g., John Keats: Selected Poems, Blackstone Audio, 1993; Sonnets by William Shakespeare, Recorded Bks., 1990), we must judge these tapes by the actors' performances. In John Keats: Poems, Douglas Dodge modulates his voice beautifully to capture the slightly varied emotions of many poems. This well-edited recording contains Keats's most famous works: "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," "The Eve of St. Agnes," "Ode to a Nightingale," "On a Grecian Urn," along with many lesser-known short poems such as "To Mrs. Reynolds' Cat" that exhibit the poet's more fanciful side. Reading all of Shakespeare's sonnets written between 1593 and 1601, actor Simon Callow conveys the dramatic potential not often recognizable in other recordings. With the exception of a few sonnets addressing the muse, anyone unfamiliar with Shakespeare's works could easily believe these were selected monologs from various plays. Pausing briefly between poems, Callow's tone shifts enough to create new characterizations for every sonnet. Both tapes are recommended for smaller collections and essential for larger ones.Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679405535
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1992
Series:
Everyman's Library
Pages:
640
Sales rank:
1,144,230
Product dimensions:
5.29(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.37(d)

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Meet the Author

John Keats was born in October 1795, son of the manager of a livery stable in Moorfields. His father died in 1804 and his mother, of tuberculosis, in 1810. By then he had received a good education at John Clarke’s Enfield private school. In 1811 he was apprenticed to a surgeon, completing his professional training at Guy’s Hospital in 1816. His decision to commit himself to poetry rather than a medical career was a courageous one, based more on a challenge to himself than any actual achievement.His genius was recognized and encouraged by early Mends like Charles Cowden Clarke and J. H. Reynolds, and in October 1816 he met Leigh Hunt, whose Examiner had already published Keats’s first poem. Only seven months later Poems (1817) appeared. Despite the high hopes of the Hunt circle, it was a failure. By the time Endymion was published in 1818 Keats’s name had been identified with Hunt’s "Cockney School," and the Tory Blackwood’s Magazine delivered a violent attack on Keats as a lower-class vulgarian, with no right to aspire to ‘poetry’.

But for Keats fame lay not in contemporary literary politics but with posterity. Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth were his inspiration and challenge. The extraordinary speed with which Keats matured is evident from his letters. In 1818 he had worked on the powerful epic fragment Hyperion, and in 1819 he wrote The Eve of St AgnesLa Belle Dame sans MerciThe Major OdesLamia, and the deeply exploratory Fall of Hyperion. Keats was already unwell when preparing the 1820 volume for the press; by the time it appeared in July he was desperately ill. He died in Rome in 1821. Keats’s final volume did receive some contemporary critical recognition, but it was not until the latter part of the nineteenth century that his place in English Romanticism began to be recognized, and not until this century that it became fully recognized.

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