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John Keats


Born: 31 October 1795
Died: 23 February 1821 (tuberculosis)
Birthplace: Near London, England
Best known as:

The Romantic poet who wrote "Ode to a Nightingale"

John Keats is considered one of the greatest English poets of the 19th century. He is the author of Romantic classics such as "Endymion" and "Ode to a Nightingale." Keats began his career as a surgeon's apprentice, but gave up medicine for literary pursuits in 1814. With the help of Percy Shelley, Keats published his first collection in 1817. His productive years between 1818 and 1820 yielded some of his best-known poems, including "Lamia," "The Eve of St. Agnes" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn." In 1821 he left England and went to Italy for health reasons, but died a few months later, leaving his epic poem "Hyperion" unfinished. In his short life he influenced many English poets, and his vivid imagery and sensual style later had an impact on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of painters that included Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Extra credit:

John Keats had a famously intense love affair with a woman named Fanny Brawne, to whom he was engaged but never married.

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  • Amy Lowell: To John Keats - Great master! Boyish, sympathetic man! Whose orbed and ripened genius lightly hung From life's slim, twisted tendril and there swung In crimson-sphere

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