National Poetry Month: John Keats

Keats’ work is impressive in its scope and in its ability to bravely confront Death.  This astonishing sonnet was written in 1818, Keats would be dead just 2 years later.  This tragic loss is still felt today, I think he could’ve come up with ever greater works, had God seen fit to delay his Deadline.


When I have fears that I may cease to be
by John Keats
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; 
And 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.
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