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Keats: Truth & Imagination (Illustrated Poetry Series)

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'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen 'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. This Modern Library edition contains all of Keats's magnificent verse: 'Lamia,' 'Isabella,' and 'The Eve of St. Agnes'; his sonnets and odes; the allegorical romance Endymion; and the five-act poetic tragedy Otho the Great. Presented as well are the famous posthumous and fugitive poems, including the fragmentary 'The Eve of Saint Mark' and the great 'La Belle Dame sans Merci,' perhaps the most distinguished literary ballad in the language. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'


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'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen 'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen greatest English writers,' and T. S. Eliot has paid tribute to the Shakespearean quality of Keats's greatness. Indeed, his work has survived better than that of any of his contemporaries the devaluation of Romantic poetry that began early in this century. This Modern Library edition contains all of Keats's magnificent verse: 'Lamia,' 'Isabella,' and 'The Eve of St. Agnes'; his sonnets and odes; the allegorical romance Endymion; and the five-act poetic tragedy Otho the Great. Presented as well are the famous posthumous and fugitive poems, including the fragmentary 'The Eve of Saint Mark' and the great 'La Belle Dame sans Merci,' perhaps the most distinguished literary ballad in the language. 'No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness,' said Matthew Arnold. 'In the faculty of naturalistic interpretation, in what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare.'

30 review for Keats: Truth & Imagination (Illustrated Poetry Series)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Augusta Leigh

    This book, just shy of 100 pages, leaves much to be desired in format, ease of use and accuracy. This is the only book I've read in K.E. Sullivan's "full-color series commemorating the best-loved works of our finest writers," as the dust jacket explains the series. The format for the Keats book is an introduction, which is a short bio of Keats, then a nice selection of Keats' poetry alternating with paintings inspired by his poems. While not bad in general format, it would have been nice to have b This book, just shy of 100 pages, leaves much to be desired in format, ease of use and accuracy. This is the only book I've read in K.E. Sullivan's "full-color series commemorating the best-loved works of our finest writers," as the dust jacket explains the series. The format for the Keats book is an introduction, which is a short bio of Keats, then a nice selection of Keats' poetry alternating with paintings inspired by his poems. While not bad in general format, it would have been nice to have better designations to the end of a poem especially if it continues to additional pages and its not clear if some poems have been abridged. Also, I found it extremely frustrating to read a poem, look at the painting on the facing page and then flip to the back of the book to find the notes on the illustrations section and look up that particular painting's information. I would have liked to see this information below the painting or in the white space available on most facing pages. As far as inaccuracy goes, two quotes from K.E. Sullivan regarding Fanny Brawne appear to me to be completely wrong. Or could it be that Ms. Sullivan is privileged to information or sources that none of Keats' 3 major American biographers were aware of nor Robert Gittings who not only had access to Keats document collections in the United States but also to local information he gathered in England for his biography on Keats? Ms. Sullivan says on page 9 of her introduction, "The culmination of his intense feelings was his relationship with Fanny Brawne, a married girl of eighteen who moved in next door." and on page 10, "He fought against illness, became engaged to Fanny, who left her husband, and then threatened to break off their liaison as his condition worsened." Never have I read that Fanny Brawne was married before meeting Keats and I haven't been able to find any mention of a previous marriage. If this information could be proven, how un-romantic this would make Keats' love letters to Fanny Brawne!

  2. 5 out of 5

    J. Wootton

    English textbook anthologists have probably done more to dissuade students from reading literature than anyone or anything else. I doubt I will ever really enjoy Ode to a Grecian Urn on more than technical merit, but I savored at least half of the other pieces in this collection and for me that's pretty high. Keats wrote some really beautiful passages and I read most of this collection five or six times before I allowed a new book to take its place on the bedside table. In fact, I think I'll read English textbook anthologists have probably done more to dissuade students from reading literature than anyone or anything else. I doubt I will ever really enjoy Ode to a Grecian Urn on more than technical merit, but I savored at least half of the other pieces in this collection and for me that's pretty high. Keats wrote some really beautiful passages and I read most of this collection five or six times before I allowed a new book to take its place on the bedside table. In fact, I think I'll read through them again right now.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Keats' best poems and ballads accompanied by fitting Pre-Raphaelite artwork. such a pleasure to peruse Keats' best poems and ballads accompanied by fitting Pre-Raphaelite artwork. such a pleasure to peruse

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ben Labe

    It is hard to imagine that the man who wrote such profound, mature poems as are contained in this beautiful collection could have died at the age of twenty-five.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    A nice enough little collection of poems from John Keats, and I loved the inclusion of 26 illustrations, almost all of which are 19th century paintings that fit the lyrical mood of the poetry. The summary of Keats’ tragic life and epitaph (“Here lies one whose name was writ on water”) in the introduction is poignant. He was a romantic at heart, and his great sensitivity to art and timelessness come out in his poems. “Ode to a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale”, and “Ode” are all here, and fant A nice enough little collection of poems from John Keats, and I loved the inclusion of 26 illustrations, almost all of which are 19th century paintings that fit the lyrical mood of the poetry. The summary of Keats’ tragic life and epitaph (“Here lies one whose name was writ on water”) in the introduction is poignant. He was a romantic at heart, and his great sensitivity to art and timelessness come out in his poems. “Ode to a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to a Nightingale”, and “Ode” are all here, and fantastic. It was a bit odd for the entirety of “Isabella, or, The Pot of Basil” to be as well, since it took a big fraction of the book. On the other hand, extracting portions of “The Eve of St. Agnes” was unwise, and it suffered in the dissection. It’s not a bad introduction to Keats, but it seems a slightly larger volume would have done him more justice. I loved this one, which captures solitude, nature, and connection with a kindred spirit: O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell, Let it not be among the jumbled heap Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,— Nature’s observatory—whence the dell, Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell, May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep ’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell. But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee, Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind, Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d, Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be Almost the highest bliss of human-kind, When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lizy

    I don't think I've read Keats before? I'm not sure. This is a great introduction and I really enjoyed it. Didn't take long to read, but it's a great sampler. Really love the illustrations, too. I don't think I've read Keats before? I'm not sure. This is a great introduction and I really enjoyed it. Didn't take long to read, but it's a great sampler. Really love the illustrations, too.

  7. 5 out of 5

    theo a laurence

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Max

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shari

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ruhegeist

  15. 5 out of 5

    John Ervin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nart

  17. 5 out of 5

    max

  18. 5 out of 5

    daisy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emilie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Terra Obscura

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen Miller

  23. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Lawson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shadowcthuhlu

  25. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

  27. 5 out of 5

    Claire M

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine Wang

  29. 5 out of 5

    Federico Pereyra

  30. 4 out of 5

    garrett

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