Hello I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about the poet John Keats. One of the foremost Romantic era poets, a period starting in the late 1700s and stretching into the next century, John Keats is also a romantic figure, dying young in Italy at the age of 25.   Born near London in 1795, he was orphaned in his early teens. That is not to say he was destitute, in fact his guardians, appointed by his grandmother, arranged for him to study medicine. Becoming a student in London, he ended up forsaking medicine for the world of literature. He quickly fell in with some of the big names of the time such as Percy B. Shelley and William Wordsworth.Jumping feet first into the world of writing he published a collection of poetry, Poems by John Keats, in 1817. It wasn't well received, with some critics asking him to give up poetry. But his themes, shared by others in the Romantic period were already present, such as allusions to classical stories and myths. When Keats brother Tom fell ill with tuberculosis, Keats nursed him himself. It was during this time in 1818 that he met Fanny Brawne, a woman he fell in love with.  Many say that it was this inspiration that drove him to produce some of his best work.  He published two more volumes, the last of which was highly acclaimed. The Romantic tropes of ancient stories and themes revisited, the glorification of nature, and rich sometimes erotic imagery abound in his work. Unfortunately John Keats also contracted tuberculosis in 1820. The slow advance of the symptoms causing him to think of his own mortality, he called his present life at the time his “posthumous existence.” His passion for Fanny Brawne un-abated he was encouraged by his doctors to leave the English winter weather and go to Italy.  Advice he took.  He died in Rome on February 23, 1821. Keats wrote some of the most celebrated poems of the period if not the English language, such as Ode on a Grecian Urn.  However it is his unfinished fragment of the Greek creation story, Hyperion, that many considered a masterpiece. For more interesting information on poetry and literature, check us out at About.com.


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