Over the course of his short life, John Keats (1795-1821) honed a raw talent into a brilliant poetic maturity. By the end of his brief career, he had written poems of such beauty, imagination and generosity of spirit, that he had – unwittingly – fulfilled his wish that he should ‘be among the English poets after my death’. This wide-ranging selection of Keats’s poetry contains youthful verse, such as his earliest known poem ‘Imitation of Spenser’; poems from his celebrated collection of 1820 – including ‘Lamia’, ‘Isabella’, ‘The Eve of St Agnes’, ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and ‘Hyperion’ – and later celebrated works such as ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’. Also included are many poems considered by Keats to be lesser work, but which illustrate his more earthy, playful side and superb ear for everyday language.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
John Keats was born in October 1795, son of the manager of a livery stable in Moorfields. His father died in 1804 and his mother, of tuberculosis, in 1810. By then he had received a good education at John Clarke’s… More about John Keats