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Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – February 13, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Keats is not difficult, but footnotes help with archaic words and references to more obscure Greek mythology. I prefer to read Keats unaided, then read the footnotes (best if tucked away in an appendix), and then return and read the poem again. For longer poems I jump to footnotes more quickly.
Initially, the inexpensive Dover edition "Lyric Poems", was exactly what I needed. Later, as I tackled longer poetry like "Endymion", I migrated to more complete collections with commentary and footnotes.
Keats" works are widely available in hardcover and paperback. Which collection is best for college study or independent reading? I have two favorites, one by Penguin Classics and the other by Modern Library. Both are available in softcovers.
The first is "The Complete Poems" by Penguin Classics, edited by John Bernard and a standard choice for college classes. I have the second edition, 1977. Barnard's extensive footnotes and commentary are quite good and offset his somewhat brief introduction. Additionally, the appendix discusses textual variations in Keats' manuscripts and has a useful guide to Greek mythology names. The third edition, 1988, adds 20 pages of selected letters, Keats' notes on Milton's Paradise Lost, and his notes on a Shakespearean actor.Read more ›
Many of his poems are quite famous--if you have studied only a little poetry, you likely have passing familiarity with his great odes (especially the sublime "To Autumn," "To a Nightingale," and the wonderful, deep "On a Grecian Urn") or with his strangely dark "La Belle Dame sans Merci." If you have studied poetry and none of these poems even rings a bell, well... you have been missing out! Take this brief snippet of a stanza from his "Ode on a Grecian Urn":
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st
`Beauty is truth, truth beauty, --that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'"
The odes are not his only great poems, of course; I daresay almost every poem in this volume is invaluable. They are, however, his most famous lyrics, and for good reason!
Some, critic/poet T.S. Eliot, for example, detest the Romantics**. Eliotian criticism for the first half of last century dismissed them frequently, and tried to deny their lyrical power and the influence of Romanticism on all poetry thereafter. I will admit that among the Romantics, there are some who are often weak: Lord Byron, for example, ranges from marvelous to quite tawdry, and I can't say I'm an overly enthusiastic fan of Shelley.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Keats is my favorite poet and this is a great collection of his work. I am glad I purchased this.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
To me, he's mystical. Love the long form! Beautiful!Published 2 months ago by Marci Jeanne Batchelor
Front cover torn, 25+ pages dog eared and back cover folded on itself.Published 11 months ago by C. Goins
I found this book a source of moving inspiration, great poetry. I read it and read it again, I wish I did it beforePublished on April 5, 2014 by vela
One of the great ironies of world- literature is Keats' instructing the words ' My name is writ in water' on his grave. Read morePublished on March 24, 2014 by Shalom Freedman
A standard edition of Keats' poetry; a good thing to have for quick reference and to enjoy the poetry the book contains. Good service by the seller.Published on October 13, 2013 by Stanleigh H. Jones