The thirty-three poems he wrote while training to be a surgeon were published in 1817, and Keats then gave up medicine for writing.
John KeatsKeats was born in London, the eldest son of a stablekeeper who died in an accident in 1804. His mother died of tuberculosis shortly after remarrying, and the grandmother who raised Keats and his siblings died in 1814.
At eighteen, Keats wrote his first poem, "Imitation of Spenser," inspired by Edmund Spenser's long narrative poem The Faerie Queene. The thirty-three poems he wrote while training to be a surgeon were published in 1817, and Keats then gave up medicine for writing.
After more traumatic losses in 1818, including the departure of one brother for America and the death of his other brother of tuberculosis, Keats wrote his second collection, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820). Ill with tuberculosis himself, Keats was sent to Rome to recover. He died at twenty-six, but despite his short career, he is a major figure of the romantic period.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Asleep! O sleep a little while, white pearl
Ode on Melancholy
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Last Updated: December 11, 1998