Overwhelming October

October was a stressful month. Not only did I lose two very special members of my family, I had to handle all of my emotions while in the middle of golf season and mid-terms. One of the only redeeming qualities of the month was my 21st birthday…and it came and went so fast it was like it never happened. Autumn has always been my favorite season, but in the midst of all the craziness, I’ve nearly missed it this year (not to mention that it’s November and the thermometer still reads 80 degrees).

A phenomenal biography on Keats by Nicholas Roe and the perfect anthology of Keats's work.

A biography on Keats by Nicholas Roe and a perfect anthology of Keats’s work.

But enough with all the complaining.

I realize it has been a while (I’m trying to get better-I promise), but I think some John Keats will make it easier for everyone to forgive me. I’m taking a three-hour night course on Keats this semester, and if I’m going to be honest, his poetry is probably what helped me get through my overwhelming October. As a man who suffered plenty of losses in his life, Keats has an astounding ability to articulate feelings of grief, loss, and anxiety in a perfect 14-line package. From his long epics to his short sonnets down to his most famous odes, Keats’s poetry really does capture all that it means to lose someone you love.

I really don’t know how he does it.

For a poet who only had a writing life of about 6 years and produced almost all of his most famous works in just one year, Keats’s work (most of it) is spectacular and he is considered by many to be one of the defining poets of his era. Rather than try to explain why Keats is so awesome, I’ll just share one of my favorite poems. If you find yourself loving Keats, I highly recommend the anthology pictured, or you can find almost his entire body of work online.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

‘When I have fears that I may cease to be’

When I have fears that I may cease to be
   Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
   Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
   Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
   Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
   That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
   Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
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