John Keats

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The Romantic age in English literature was predominantly an age of poetry. The Romantics sought refuge in nature which foe them was no longer a mere, simple conventional setting or pretext for moral reflection, but a living of presence with which they hold close communion. Keats considered nature a sequence of sensations. Sensation for Keats was cognitive, it was a path to the knowledge of reality and considered the poet s duty to seek and render it in words. He was a lover and creator of sensous beauty; he was haunted by its palpable, concrete manifestations, by rare fragrances, rich tastes and colours and songs in nature. Keat s narrative poem, Endymion draws on the ancien story of the love between Diana and the shepherd Endymion. The poet associates the classical myth with poetry and nature; the legend is meant to be a revelation of truth and beauty in this world, as well as a poetic expression of human experience. On his progress towards his ideal, Endymion knows the beauty of nature, poetry, friendship and love. The introductory lines are an ardent expression of the poet s belief in the eternity of beauty, the cult wich defines Keats as a Romantic poet: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever/ Its loveliness increases, it will never/ Pass into nothingness. Be it the loveliness of nature: the moon, the sun, the trees old and young, daffodils, clear rills, the roses or the splendour of art, beauty is for him the principal motif of poetic imagination. His whole work is a parable of the strivings of the soul for full communion with the essence of beauty. Beauty must with us whether we are happy or sad, otherwise we die because it is the only support, essence, of our life. The grandeur of beauty of nature is almost equalled by the grandeur of the beauty of the human nature in quest of the ideal.

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