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John Keats: The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics) Paperback – August 25, 1977


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John Keats: The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics) + Shelley's Poetry and Prose (Norton Critical Edition) + Lord Byron: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 3rd edition (August 25, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140422102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140422108
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Stillinger's edition of Keats is the first completely authoritative text, superseding the texts of all previous editions.
--W. J. Bate --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Keats was born in October 1795, son of the manager of a livery stable in Moorfields. His father died in 1804 and his mother, of tuberculosis, in 1810. By then he had received a good education at John Clarke’s Enfield private school. In 1811 he was apprenticed to a surgeon, completing his professional training at Guy’s Hospital in 1816. His decision to commit himself to poetry rather than a medical career was a courageous one, based more on a challenge to himself than any actual achievement.

His genius was recognized and encouraged by early Mends like Charles Cowden Clarke and J. H. Reynolds, and in October 1816 he met Leigh Hunt, whose Examiner had already published Keats’s first poem. Only seven months later Poems (1817) appeared. Despite the high hopes of the Hunt circle, it was a failure. By the time Endymion was published in 1818 Keats’s name had been identified with Hunt’s ‘Cockney School’, and the Tory Blackwood’s Magazine delivered a violent attack on Keats as a lower-class vulgarian, with no right to aspire to ‘poetry’.

But for Keats fame lay not in contemporary literary politics but with posterity. Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth were his inspiration and challenge. The extraordinary speed with which Keats matured is evident from his letters. In 1818 he had worked on the powerful epic fragment Hyperion, and in 1819 he wrote ‘The Eve of St Agnes’, ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’, the major odes, Lamia, and the deeply exploratory Fall of Hyperion. Keats was already unwell when preparing the 1820 volume for the press; by the time it appeared in July he was desperately ill. He died in Rome in 1821. Keats’s final volume did receive some contemporary critical recognition, but it was not until the latter part of the nineteenth century that his place in English Romanticism began to be recognized, and not until this century that it became fully recognized.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By GeoX on April 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're sitting on a ledge overlooking a lush green valley on a gorgeous spring day, and you're reading Endymion, or Ode to a Nightingale, or The Eve of St Agnes, you could very well be so overwhelmed by the magnificence of creation that, without giving it a moment's thought, you would consign yourself to the breathtaking blue, to try to be one with it all, and because you've reached the absolute pinnacle of existence. How could you possibly top that?
*ahem*
This edition isn't annotated as well as it might be, but who cares? The poems are all there, and they're as heartbreakingly beautiful as ever. How can you--in all honesty--claim to have lived without having read Keats?
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Glenn McDorman on July 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
No personal library can be complete without at least a sampling of Keats, and this is the book that everyone should get. All the poems -- even the fragments -- are here, with line numbers included. The several appendices and letter excerpts make the collection even more valuable. If you are trying to decide which Keats collection to get, you have found the best.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ross on September 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was surprised to read the highly favourable reviews by other customers, until I realised that they were all commenting on the paperback text.

Beware the temptation to assume that "Kindleization" will not significantly affect your pleasure in reading poetry. Unless the font is punishingly small, Kindle does not adjust the margin to reflect the lineation. Keats's metrics are complex, subtle, and he worked hard at developing stanzas designed to enrich his communication. Kindle's sabotaging of this achievement is a disgrace.

One gets a slightly better picture by rotating the screen; but the pages were then unwilling to turn: and trying to keep track by looking for notes and bookmarks generated a farce of frustration. This edition stands out among Kindle's generally shoddy presentation of classical poetry by not even having a "Go to" table of contents.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gordon R Cameron on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
...and he rivals Shakespeare as the most perfect lyrical poet, the most exquisite shaper of words. Passages in the Odes (Melancholy is my favorite) are about as good as this language can expect to get, at least from a descriptive and sensual standpoint. Keats doesn't achieve the meditative transcendence of Wordsworth, but he has his own meditations -- usually more modest in scope, but made noble by the perfection of their expression.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harry on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Keats not only rivals Shakespeare in the beauty of his verse and the enchanting pictures he conjures but he is a cut above Shakespeare in the value of his art. The two odes 'on a nightingale' and 'on a Grecian urn' surpasses any piece of English literature I have come across so far. In its conception and philosophy ,in its expression of the ephemeral and impermanent nature of human life,its exposition of the permanance of ideal art and in its realization of the principle of the identity of truth and beauty it takes poetic thought to a plane that has never been approached, before or hence in English literature.
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