In this installment, Carey Salerno reads "When I have fears that I may cease to be" by John Keats. Salerno is the Director of Alice James Books. Her first book, Shelter, won the 2007 Kinereth Gensler Award and was published in 2009. Carey has an MFA from New England College. Her work has appeared in such journals as Rattle and Natural Bridge. She lives in Farmington, Maine.
John Keats, "When I have fears that I may cease to be"
WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
When I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.