John Keats (1795-1821)
Born in London in 1795 in a lower-middle-class family; father the manager of a livery stables. Father died when he was 9 and his mother died of TB 6 years later. At 16 he left school and apprenticed to a surgeon. After four years apprenticeship he registered as a student at Guy’s Hospital. He began writing poetry in 1814, his first publication , a sonnet “ O Solitude” appeared in 1816. With the encouragement of his friend, he decided to abandon medicine and pursue a literary career. His first collection Poems appeared in 1817, followed by Endymion in 1818. In the summer of 1818 a walking tour with Charles Brown. Tom dying , nursed him until he died at the end of that year. During this time he met Fanny Brawne, engaged, but his plan to marry Fanny was thwarted by financial problem and illness. In the autumn of 1819 his health worsened. The last of the three volumes published during his lifetime, Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems appeared in July of !820. In sep of the year went Italy. Died at 25, 23 Feb 1821 in Rome.
Very short, about 4 years, yet produced a variety of works, including epic, lyric, and narrative poems. His major achievement and also his most famous poems are a sequence of odes written around 1820.
Transience of beauty; the short-lived nature of beauty and happiness
Pleasure and pain: the relationship between them and the value of suffering
The value of enduring art and the role of poet
Myth and the supernatural
Love, his attitude to women
Keats learned the art of poetry mainly from the poets of the English Renaissance, such as Spenser and Shakespeare, from Milton and Dante. The artistic aim in his poetry is always to create a beautiful world of imagination as opposed to the sordid reality of his day. He sought to express beauty in all his poems. His leading principle is: “ Beauty is truth, truth beauty”. He expresses the delight which comes not only through the eye and earbut through the senses of touch, taste and smell. His poetry is distinguished by sensuousness and the perfection of form. Known as a sensuous poet.
On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer.
The first important poem of Keats, written in 1816 at 21. Written in the early morning following an evening spent with Clark; together they had read passages from the Iliad by Homer, translated by Chapman.
1. realms of gold: In the old days, America was known as the land of gold where many adventurers went to make their fortune. Here “ the realms of gold” is a metaphor , referring to the realms of great books, chiefly of poetry.
2. Western islands—imaginary islands in the western ocean, supposed by ancient Greeks to be very happy and pleasant places. Here refer to realms of great poetry.
3. Deep-browed—with heavy and thick eyebrows, suggesting thoughtful or meditative.
4. Pure serene—the clear, fresh, vigorous style of Homer.
5. watcher of sky: Keats touches our own experience when he describes the awe and excitement of a sky watcher at the sight of a new star;
6. Cortez—a Spanish conqueror of Mexico(1485-1554). He cofused Cortez with Vasco Balboa , the Spanish navigator who discovered the Pacific at Darien in 1513.Bolboa and his followers climbed to the top of a hill in Darien and were amazed by the scene before their eyes: a vast ocean lay before them.本文来源：http://www.jugong.cc/meiwendaquan/22026.html