John Keats: The Cockney School Of Poetry

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John Keats is a mature poet of the 19th century who was considered to be part of something called the “Cockney School of Poetry” (Norton 902). This was a group of poets who were targeted in a non-hospitable manner by Blackwood’s Magazine in 1817. John Keats, despite the hateful reviews he had been receiving and despite the hard loss of close relatives he was dealt, entered into what I consider the peak of his “brief” poetic career- writing “masterpiece followed by masterpiece,” (Norton 902) and each poem contained “distinctive qualities of the work of Keats’ maturity” (Norton 902). In doing this, Keats completely loses the identity of his own self, and takes on the identification of the object he is writing about. His sonnet- “On Seeing the …show more content…
In this poem, Keats is inspired by marble statues- making this the object Keats takes on the identification of. In the first line, the poem presents “mortality” as a burden to the weak- “My spirit is too weak” (Norton 906). This is Keats reflecting inwardly toward his own attitude toward death and mortality. The urgency that Keats felt to write his poetry may come from him realizing that far after his life is over, Keats’ art will continue to live on. This is suggested when he writes, “And each imagined pinnacle and steep of godlike hardship tells me I must die” (Norton 906). This is when Keats takes on the identification, for Keats is making comparison to the statue; he sees that the statues tell a story of what used to be and that the statues over time could be gone. For Keats, this is true with his poetry. Keats will eventually die, but the poetry he leaves will last forever. He makes another attempt to reiterate death when he describes the “sick eagle looking at the sky” (Norton 906). “Yet ‘tis a gentle luxury to weep that I have not the cloudy winds to keep” (Norton 906) is Keats saying how unfortunate and sad it is that you cannot do what you love forever. This brings “a most dizzy pain” (Norton 906). At the end of the poem, Keats writes “that mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude wasting of old time,” (Norton 906) which is his way of, again, reiterating that the statues may not be there over time, just like he will not live forever, for time waits for no

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