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Ode to Psyche and Other Poems (Salt Pocket Classics) [Hardcover]

John Keats , Chris Emery
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Book Description

1 Feb 2009 184471568X 978-1844715688
John Keats has come to be regarded as one of the most significant poets of the Romantic movement. His work has had a lasting impact on all those who came after him, especially the Victorians. Yet during his lifetime his work was derided and his books sold poorly. Mocked by Byron, yet supported by Shelley, his importance only became clear as the Victorians began to read him, and as they came to characterise him as a sensual, dreamy poet of the imagination, capable of vivid depictions of passionate, physical engagement with the world.

It took the critics ot the twentieth century to extend our understanding of Keats’s critical abilities and his complex grasp of human conflict and aesthetic issues, and to see a politically engaged and sexually charged writer.

This selection of Keats’s poetry presents all his major lyrics, espcially the great odes, along with poems selected from all parts of the writer’s brief traumatic life.

Selected by Chris Emery and published to coincide with National Poetry Month, April 2009.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing (1 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184471568X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844715688
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 11.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 938,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

John Keats was born in London in 1795. He trained as a surgeon and apothecary but quickly abandoned this profession for poetry.

His first volume of poetry was published in 1817, soon after he had begun an influential friendship with the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. His first collection and the subsequent long poem Endymion recieved mixed reviews, and sales were poor.

In late 1818 he moved to Hampstead where he met and fell deeply in love with his neighbour Fanny Brawne. During the following year Keats wrote some of his most famous works, including 'The Eve of St. Agnes', 'Ode to a Nightingale' and 'La Belle Dame sans Merci'.

He was however increasingly plagued by ill-health and financial troubles, which led him to break off his engagement to Fanny. Soon after the publication of Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems in 1820, Keats left England for Italy in the hope that the climate would improve his health. But Keats was by this time suffering from advanced tuberculosis, and he died on February 23rd 1821.

On his request, Keats' tombstone reads only 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water'.

Portrait (c) National Portrait Gallery, London: NPG 194
John Keats, by William Hilton (died 1839)

Product Description

About the Author

John Keats was born in Moorgate, London in 1795. In 1810 Keats's mother died of tuberculosis. In 1810 Keats's mother died of tuberculosis. The following year Keats was apprenticed to the surgeon Thomas Hammond. Keats's brother, Tom, soon developed tuberculosis, dying in 1818. Keats moved again to live with his friend, Charles Armitage Brown, in Hampstead. Over the next three years Keats wrote all his major poems in an extraordinary burst of creative activity. In 1820 he developed tuberculosis and soon left London for Italy. He took lodgings on the Piazza di Spagna, in Rome, but his health rapidly deteriorated and he died in February 1821. He is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.

Chris Emery was born in Manchester in 1963 and studied painting and printmaking in Leeds. He is Publishing Director of Salt in Cambridge, England. His work has appeared in numerous journals including The Age, Jacket, Magma, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, PN Review and The Rialto. A first full-length collection, Dr. Mephisto (Arc Publications, 2002), his latest collection is Radio Nostalgia (Arc Publications, 2006). He is also the author or a bestselling writer's guide, 101 Ways to Make Poems Sell (Salt Publishing, 2006). He lives in Great Wilbraham with his wife, three children and various other animals.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

‘Bright star! Would I were steadfast as thou art’

Bright star! Would I were steadfast as thou art —
     Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
     Like nature’s patient sleepless eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
     Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
     Of snow upon the mountains and the moors;
No — yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
     Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
     Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pocket Keats 26 Aug 2011
This is an attractively-presented, pocket-size edition of 27 Keats poems, including the Odes to Melancholy, Indolence, a Grecian Urn and Autumn as well as some shorter, less well-known works.

I liked the fact that this was such a well-honed edition, compared to massive tomes which cover the complete poems (or include his letters as well), so feels a little less over-whelming. However, you are paying a premium - budget paperbacks come in at much less than half the cover price of this mini-giftbook.
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