Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography

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W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
11 Reviews

An acclaimed American poet reflects on the life and legacy of John Keats.

Posthumous Keats is the result of Stanley Plumly's twenty years of reflection on the enduring afterlife of one of England's greatest Romanticists. John Keats's famous epitaph—"Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water"—helped cement his reputation as the archetype of the genius cut off before his time. Keats, dead of tuberculosis at twenty-five, saw his mortality as fatal to his poetry, and therein, Plumly argues, lies his tragedy: Keats thought he had failed in his mission "to be among the English poets."In this close narrative study, Plumly meditates on the chances for poetic immortality—an idea that finds its purest expression in Keats, whose poetic influence remains immense. Incisive in its observations and beautifully written, Posthumous Keats is an ode to an unsuspecting young poet—a man who, against the odds of his culture and critics, managed to achieve the unthinkable: the elevation of the lyric poem to sublime and tragic status.

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Review: Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography

User Review  - Daniel Klawitter - Goodreads

In the Romantic poetic trinity of Byron, Shelly and Keats, this particular reviewer is a Shelly man...but I found this book quite fascinating. The first 70 or so pages of this book are a rather slow ... Read full review

Review: Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography

User Review  - Vicky C - Goodreads

As a Keats novice, only familiar with a few odes, this required fair amount of concentration to get familiar with works and personalities but beautifully written. Inspired me to read more. Inevitably ... Read full review


On He Flared
Cold Pastoral
This Mortal Body
A Dreaming Thing
Physician Nature
Season of Mists
Material Sublime
selected bibliography
list of illustrations

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About the author (2008)

Stanley Plumly is the author of many volumes of poetry as well as a biography, Posthumous Keats. The winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other honors, he lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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