In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to the most important poets in our literature. A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep. "Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing". (Endymion).
John Keats (1795-1821) abandoned a career in medicine to write poetry, until his life was cut tragically short from tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five. By that time, he had published three volumes of verse to an unreceptive critical response. But as the nineteenth century wore on Keats' reputation would build, and today he is recognised as one of the greatest of the Romantic poets.
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