AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN KEATS
John Keats, portrait by William Hilton, National Portrait Gallery, London
John Keats (London, October 31, 1795 – Rome, February 23, 1821) was an English poet from the era of Romanticism. He led a short but intense life and is counted among the most important poets of his generation. During his life the importance of his work was not always recognized and his poetry was judged very critically, also by contemporaries such as Byron. After his death his reputation grew to such an extent that he was one of the most popular English poets at the end of the 19th century. He had a great influence on very different later poets and writers: Jorge Luis Borges, for example, testified that his first encounter with Keats’ poetry had been the most important literary experience of his life.
The poetry of Keats is characterized by sensual images, especially in the series of odes. Today Keats’ poems and letters are among the most popular and analyzed texts from English literature.
2 Famous fragments
3 Further work
4 External link
Keats had a busy life. His father died as a result of an accident when John was 8 years old. His mother soon remarried, but left her husband again after a short time. Then the family went to live with John’s grandmother. In that period, Keats received an interest in literature at school. In 1810 his mother died of tuberculosis. Keats was 14 years old at the time.
His grandmother appointed two guardians for the children. John left his school and went to a practical medical training course. In 1814 he stopped after a quarrel with his teacher and continued his studies in a local hospital. His interest in poetry, however, took him more and more. His early work was influenced by John Milton and Edmund Spenser and certainly by his contemporary William Wordsworth. One of his first poems was inspired by Spenser and was called Imitation of Spenser (1816). In 1817 his first collection followed with the title Poems and he went to the Isle of Wight.
Portrait of John Keats, Charles Brown, 1819
There, in addition to his poetry, he received care for his brother Thomas (Tom), who, like his mother, suffered from tuberculosis. He completed his poem Endymion and then went on a trek through the Lake District, Scotland and Ireland with his friend Charles Brown. He enjoyed the trip, but the lung disease also revealed itself to Keats. The condition of his brother worsened in the autumn. John nursed his brother until his death in 1818. He fell in love with Fanny Brawne, but Keats’ health problems (he contracted tuberculosis when taking care of his brother Tom) prevented a marriage. 
Despite all the setbacks and bad reviews, the years 1818 and 1819 became a very fertile period in which he wrote one work after the other in the form of odes, sonnets and fragments, including Ode to Psyche, Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale.
On the left the tomb of Keats, on the right of that of his friend Joseph Severn
In 1820 his health deteriorated further. On the advice of his doctors he left England and with his friend Joseph Severn he went to Italy at the invitation of the poet Shelley. This seemed to bring relief, but it was short-lived. Keats died on February 23, 1821 and was buried at the Cimitero Acattolico in Rome.
Keats wrote many letters during his short life in which he explained his vision on poetry. These letters are counted among the finest in English literature. Keats’ correspondence was published in 1878, including his love letters to Fanny Brawne. The auction of these letters in 1885, which was accompanied by some public protest, led to a dedicated poem by Oscar Wilde.
The text on his tombstone was: “Here lies someone whose name was written in water”.
In 2009, a film about the last three years of Keats, Bright Star appeared.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.
from: Endymion: A Poetic Romance
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
from: Ode on a Grecian Urn
Bright Star, I would be steadfast as thou art,
not in lone splendor hung aloft the night
From: Bright Star
On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer (sonnet, 1816)
Sleep and Poetry (1816)
Endymion: A Poetic Romance (1818)
Isabella, or The Pot of Basil (1818)
The Eve of St. Agnes (1819)
Bright star, I would be stedfast as thou art (sonnet, 1819)
La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad (1819)
Ode to Psyche (1819)
Ode to a Nightingale (1819)
Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819)
Ode on Melancholy (1819)
Ode on Indolence (1819)
To Autumn (1819)
The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream (1819)