And now, I present to you, the Jesus Christ of Romantic Poetry. *Trumpets* *Doves and eagles* *Awesomeness overload*. John Keats was born on 31 October, 1795 and died just 25 years later of complications due to tuberculosis on 23 February, 1821. He is largely known for his influence in Romantic poetry and, in a word, Modern Poetry.
I don’t call him the JC of Romantic Poetry for nothing. (Lord, I pray you know I’m not trying to use your name in vain. Keats is actually worth it!) His work was unpopular and heavily criticized until the day of his death when it “resurrected” itself like Van Gogh’s art style.
Many of the characteristics commonly found in his work and still be seen today, such as:
Negative Capability: “Removal of Oneself”
Do you guys remember what I said about how every sonnet we had to read was a teen-aged sob story before it became cliché? Keats moves past that by removing his personality from his works, thus presenting an unbiased view of the subject matter.
Pursuit of Beauty
Keats was very Hellenistic in his view of poetry. He believed in art for art’s sake. He was the only Romantic at the time to write poetry that did not further a cause, such as the French Revolution, or a party, whether religious or otherwise. For Keats, anything and everything possessed a potential beauty. He saw his job as a lowly poet to identify, idolize, and incarcerate each work of art fully in his poems.
Focus on Familiar Things: Write What You Know
John Keats wrote about he’s seen and experienced from an autumn’s day to a urn probably meant for ashes. ‘Nuff said.
Now this is where most of current poetry tips its hat to Mr. Keats. In all of Keats’ poems, he uses analogy between something we can easily identify and the subject matter itself to draw emotion out of us. For example, he could simply say:
“To me, this experience was an exciting and awe inspiring discovery…” or write actually:
“Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken.”
There’s a sense of wonder, elation and excitement that’s just not present in simply telling us about your emotions.
Thanks for reading guys! It’s been a pleasure, although school has been eating me up. Leave your comments below!