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KEATS ON POETRY
Class handout

"The cliff of poesy towers above me."

"I read and write about 8 hours a day."

"The faint conceptions I have of poems to come brings the blood frequently into my forehead."

"I find that I cannot exist without poetry—half the day will not do—I had become all in a tremble from not having written anything of late."

"I live under an everlasting restraint—never relieved except when composing."

"I have been very idle lately, very averse to writing: both from the overpowering idea of our dead poets and from abatement of my love of fame—I hope I am a little more of a Philosopher than I was, consequently a little less of a versifying pet lamb."

"I never wrote one single line of poetry with the least shadow of public thought."

"That which is creative must create itself."

"The poet by one cup should know the scope of any particular wine without getting intoxicated."

"If a sparrow come before my window I take part in its existence and pick about the gravel."

"I lay awake last night—listening to the rain with a sense of being drown’d and rotted like a grain of wheat."

"Let us open our leaves like a flower and be passive and receptive."

Dilke is "a man who cannot feel he has a personal identity unless he has made up his mind about everything. The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing—to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. Dilke will never come at a truth as long as he lives because he is always trying at it."



Published @ RC

December 2006