John Keats was one of the most prominent figures of the second generation of English romantic poets during the late 1700s and early 1800s. Despite great criticism during his short life (he passed away at the age of twenty five), and brief writing career which lasted only six years, Keats’ work earned significant praise and acclaim in the years following his death. Most find the sensual imagery, powerful prose, and passion for Naturalism, freedom, healing, and justice. The poetry, letters, essays, and other works written by Keats are among the most studied and most frequently analyzed. Listed among the ranks with Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, and William Blake, John Keats’ contributions to literature are a lasting legacy to all who read his works.
Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream,
And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?
The transient pleasures as a vision seem,
And yet we think the greatest pain’s to die.
How strange it is that man on earth should roam,
And lead a life of woe, but not forsake
His rugged path; nor dare he view alone
His future doom which is but to awake.