17 June 2023
John Keats was an English poet of the second generation of Romantic poets, with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. His poems had been in publication for less than four years when he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25. They were indifferently received in his lifetime, but his fame grew rapidly after his death. By the end of the century, he was placed in the canon of English literature, strongly influencing many writers of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1888 called one ode "one of the final masterpieces". Jorge Luis Borges named his first encounter with Keats an experience he felt all his life. Keats had a style "heavily loaded with sensualities", notably in the series of odes. Typically of the Romantics, he accentuated extreme emotion through natural imagery. Today his poems and letters remain among the most popular and analysed in English literature – in particular "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Sleep and Poetry" and the sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer".