Odes by John Keats

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John Keats is perhaps most famous for his Odes, poems written in 1819 at a particularly harsh time of his life, when he had already been stricken with the tuberculosis that would eventually kill him at a very early age. There is a great emphasis on suffering and longing in these poems, which shows the great depths of melancholy to which Keats had fallen, as he suffered not only from illness but also unrequited love. In these poems, Keats seems to be telling us that melancholy is an integral part of experience which must be accepted willingly as an inevitable element in life. The poet himself seems to dominate the poems with his longing to escape from the world of human suffering to an infinitely superior domain in his own imagination.

- Catherine Poole

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