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Words In Praise of Beauty

Today is the 211th anniversary of the birth of one of English’s finest writers, and certainly its best romantic poet, John Keats. In his pittance of twenty-six years, Keats discovered senses and touched new-deep nerves, igniting English the way Shakespeare had two hundred years earlier.

Writing to Keats’ neice Emma, Oscar Wilde in 1882 made the same comparison, and said, “who but the supreme and perfect artist could have got from a mere colour a motive so full of marvel: and now I am half enamoured of the paper that touched his hand, and the ink that did his bidding, grown fond of the sweet comeliness of his charactery, for since my childhood I have loved none better than your marvellous kinsman, that godlike boy, the real Adonis of our age…”

I thought that I would offer his penultimate writing, his last sonnet, in appreciation of a man so underappreciated that his name, per the infant tombstone that crumbles above him today in Rome, was indeed and is still writ in water.

keats_last_sonnet.gif

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