Complete poems

Front Cover
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1982 - Literary Criticism - 493 pages
3 Reviews

Here is the first reliable edition of Keats's complete poems designed expressly for general readers and students.

Upon its publication in 1978, Stillinger's The Poems of John Keats won exceptionally high praise: "The definitive Keats," proclaimed The New Republic--"An authoritative edition embodying the readings the poet himself most probably intended, prepared by the leading scholar in Keats textual studies."

Now this scholarship is at last available in a graceful, clear format designed to introduce students and general readers to the "real" Keats. In place of the textual apparatus that was essential to scholars, Stillinger here provides helpful explanatory notes. These notes give dates of composition, identify quotations and allusions, gloss names and words not included in the ordinary desk dictionary, and refer the reader to the best critical interpretations of the poems. The new introduction provides central facts about Keats's life and career, describes the themes of his best work, and speculates on the causes of his greatness.

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Review: The Complete Poems

User Review  - Andrea - Goodreads

Who'd be without a copy of Keat's work? Revel in the lush synaesthetic imagery. Agonise over which is your favourite poem ( impossible task ). Enjoy. Read full review

Review: The Complete Poems

User Review  - Mariana Ferreira - Goodreads

I guess Romantic poetry isn't really my thing, but I still loved some of these and bits of others. The tiniest, most simple poems were somehow my favorite ones... Read full review

Contents

Stay ruby breasted warbler stay
3
Had I a mans fair form then might my sighs
16
e To one who has been long in city pent
24
Copyright

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About the author (1982)

Keats was born in London, the oldest of four children. His father, who was a livery-stable keeper, died when Keats was 8 years old, and his mother died six years later. At age 15, he was apprenticed to an apothecary-surgeon. In 1815 he began studying medicine but soon gave up that career in favor of writing poetry. The critic Douglas Bush has said that, if one poet could be recalled to life to complete his career, the almost universal choice would be Keats, who now is regarded as one of the three or four supreme masters of the English language. His early work is badly flawed in both technique and critical judgment, but, from his casually written but brilliant letters, one can trace the development of a genius who, through fierce determination in the face of great odds, fashioned himself into an incomparable artist. In his tragically brief career, cut short at age 25 by tuberculosis, Keats constantly experimented, often with dazzling success, and always with steady progress over previous efforts. The unfinished Hyperion is the only English poem after Paradise Lost that is worthy to be called an epic, and it is breathtakingly superior to his early Endymion (1818), written just a few years before. Isabella is a fine narrative poem, but The Eve of St. Agnes (1819), written soon after, is peerless. In Lamia (1819) Keats revived the couplet form, long thought to be dead, in a gorgeous, romantic story. Above all it was in his development of the ode that Keats's supreme achievement lies. In just a few months, he wrote the odes "On a Grecian Urn" (1819), "To a Nightingale" (1819), "To Melancholy" (1819), and the marvelously serene "To Autumn" (1819). Keats is the only romantic poet whose reputation has steadily grown through all changes in critical fashion. Once patronized as a poet of beautiful images but no intellectual content, Keats is now appreciated for his powerful mind, profound grasp of poetic principles, and ceaseless quest for new forms and techniques. For many readers, old and young, Keats is a heroic figure.

Jack Stillinger is Professor of English and a permanent member of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois.

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