To Byron

John Keats was one of the leading figures of the Romantic era. He wrote a poem like it was a letter. Since this was Keats, it wasn’t a letter. It was more than a poem too…

The Romantic era / Romanticism

Let’s start with the Romantic era. Also known as Romanticism. People felt the need to get back to times before there was an Industrial Revolution.

Well, that’s one way to put it…

This period between 1800 and 1890. Well, in England it was. In other countries, this period started before 1800. This period in time made it possible for art, literature, music to expand to a new level. Well, not really. This had to do with the fact that people were longing for times long before the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

The peak of the Romantic era was between 1800 and 1850.


Image source: Unsplash

A flame from days gone by …

Did you ever hear of the term flame? This is an email written from anger. You can compare this poem,  To Byron, like a flame from days gone by.

John Keats wasn’t a fan of Lord Byron. That’s why he wrote this flame. Since Keats was one of the leading figures when it comes to poetry, his opinion mattered. But, did it help? Well, it left us with this interesting poem.

John Keats

A portrait of John Keats (1819) by Charles Brown
Image source: Wikipedia

About John Keats

John Keats was one of the leading figures of Romanticism in England. He was born on 31 October 1795 in Moorgate (London). Unlike other poets, his work was not well received at the time he published his work. In the last years of his life, he was apricated more. Today he is considered one of the greatest poets ever lived. What didn’t help was the fact that his work was published during the last four years of his life.

After he died in 1821 (he was only 25), his work became more popular and would be a source of inspiration for many other poets. Natural metaphors that would cause intense poems, that is what Keats was all about.

Long after his death, his work is still analyzed by many. His series of odes are truly masterpieces. The poem To Byron is one of the many feuds between the two poets. In a letter to his brother George, Keats wrote about Byron:

You speak of Lord Byron and me – There is this great difference between us.
He describes what he sees – I describe what I imagine – Mine is the hardest task.

It is probably unthinkable these days, that a poet accuses another poet in this manner.

To Byron

Byron! how sweetly sad thy melody!
Attuning still the soul to tenderness,
As if soft Pity, with unusual stress,
Had touch’d her plaintive lute, and thou, being by,
Hadst caught the tones, nor suffer’d them to die.
O’ershadowing sorrow doth not make thee less
Delightful: thou thy griefs dost dress
With a bright halo, shining beamily,
As when a cloud the golden moon doth veil,
Its sides are ting’d with a resplendent glow,
Through the dark robe oft amber rays prevail,
And like fair veins in sable marble flow;
Still warble, dying swan! still tell the tale,
The enchanting tale, the tale of pleasing woe.

— John Keats

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