My valentine to you, a celebration of my favorite poet, John Keats (1795-1821)...
Born in London, England, Keats was the son of a stable keeper. He studied to be a surgeon before devoting himself to writing at age 21. His first volume of poetry was published a year later in 1817.
"Poetry should surprise by a fine excess, and not by singularity; it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance," he said.
A leader in the Romantic movement, young Keats wrote about love, life, and death. He exulted in sensual joy with vivid imagery and lyrical richness. His language and imagination soared, touching the hearts of generations.
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," he wrote in his famous Ode on a Grecian Urn, which asked hauntingly, "Do I wake or sleep?" Published in 1819, the poem celebrated Keats' passionate reaction to the song of the night-singing bird.
"There is an awful warmth about my heart like a load of immortality," he believed.
Keats fell in love with neighbor Fanny Brawne, but was unable to commit to their love once he became ill with tuberculosis. The disease tragically killed his young mother and brother.
"There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music," said Keats who died in Rome at the age of 26.
"No one else in English poetry, save Shakespeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of Keats, his perception of loveliness," said writer Matthew Arnold. "In what we call natural magic, he ranks with Shakespeare."
More John KEATS Quotations
There is NO failure. Love what you do.