Keats was certain of his heart’s affection
What imagination seizes as beauty must be truth
And so he writes in concluding lines to Ode on Grecian Urn
Beauty is Truth, truth beauty- that is all
You know on earth, and all ye need to know
The quarterly review called him a disciple of “Cockney Poetry”
Meaning the most incongruous ideas in uncouth language.
And a severe comments on his Endymion
“Go back to the apothecary shop Mr. John Keats
Back to plasters, pills, and ointment boxes
A wiser thing to be a starved apothecary than a poet”.
As he began his career as apothecary, not a poet.
His love for two women Brawne and Isabella
Remained unconsummated in his short life
As darkness, disease and depression surrounded him
And reflected in The Eve of St. Agnes and La Belle...
In this state Tuberculosis took hold of him
So he left for a warmer country Greece.
Dr. Clark declared, the source of illness was “mental exertion”
And the source was largely situated in his stomach.
When the death came he asked his friend Severn
“Lift me, I am dying, shall die easy”
Keats was born in 1795 and died in 1821
In between the creativities of 25 years
And poetic career for just six years, too soon to go.
His grave in Rome contains” all that was mortal
Of a young English poet who on his death bed,
In the bitterness of his heart
At the malicious power of his enemies
Desired these words to be engraven on his tomb”
“Here lies one whose name was writ in water”
24 February, 1821.
Dr. Ram Mehta