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Flashcards in Keats - Letters Deck (22):
1

What is the significance of Keats's letter to Fanny Brawne ("Fair Star")?

The letter is a striking example of his passion for Fanny, and reflects many of the sentiments which appear in his poem "Bright Star."

2

What is the last line of Keats's "Fair Star" letter to Fanny Brawne?

"I will imagine you Venus tonight and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Heathen."

3

What are two reasons Keats gives for his mind wandering in his letter to Fanny Brawne ("Fair Star")?

1. He is in the middle of writing an abstract poem (probably Hyperion)

2. He is in deep love with Brawne

4

During what period in his career does Keats send his "Fair Star" letter to Fanny Brawne?

July, 1819; It was a very productive period in his life, before he became very ill with tuberculosis. Norton describes this time as when he was writing "masterpiece after masterpiece."

5

What advice is Keats giving Shelley in his letter "Load Every Rift with Ore"?

(I think): That he must be less didactic and more "selfish" or artistic with his verse. By "loading every rift with ore," Keats suggests that Shelley beef up the meanings which must be excavated from the poem, perhaps by putting more thought into some of the lines. This requires "discipline" that may seem daunting, but it is necessary for a truly great poem.

6

What poem does Keats thank Shelley for sending critique of in "Load Every Rift with Ore"?

Endymion

7

What was Shelley's opinion of Endymion, as references in "Load Every Rift with Ore"?

That it "contained treasures...that were poured forth with indistinct confusion."

8

What poem is Keats offering Shelley advice on in "Load Every Rift with Ore"?

The Cenci

9

What famous 19th century treatise on poetry does Keats cite in "Load Every Rift with Ore"?

The Preface to Lyrical Ballads

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11

What tenet from "Preface to Lyrical Ballads" does Keats cite in "Load Every Rift with Ore"? Why does he cite it?

That "every work must have a purpose. If "having a purpose" is the God of art, Keats believes that poets must serve the "mammon," or devil.

12

What does Keats say about Shelley's poem "Prometheus Bound" in "Load Every Rift with Ore"?

That he expects a copy to arrive soon, but his advice would be not to publish it quite yet - advice Shelley once gave to Keats.

13

Who introduced Keats and Shelley?

Leigh Hunt

14

Who tended Keats in his final illness?

Joseph Severn

15

To whom is Keats's final letter written?

His friend Charles Brown

16

When was Keats's last letter written? When did he die?

November, 1820; February, 1821 (One - or at least I - might suspect that a few more letters snuck out...but they must be lost.)

17

What is the significance of Keats's last letter?

He describes the heartbreaking extent of his illness, including how difficult it has become to even write a letter. Writing letters is not only physically difficult, but emotionally grueling, as it forces Keats to ponder his impending death and leaving his beloved friends behind.

18

What is the last line of Keats's last letter?

"I always made an awkward bow."

19

Who "walks in [Keats's] imagination like a ghost in his last letter? Why?

His sister; because she so closely resembles their dead brother, Tom.

20

Negative Capability: How might this letter connect to "On Reading King Lear"?

King Lear is also mentioned in this letter, as an example of intensity in art which addresses the close relationship between beauty and art.

21

Negative Capability: What is "negative capability"?

The meaning of this phrase has been much studied over the years, but it seems to address the writer's receptivity to uncertainty. Beauty is the higher power considered by the poet, rather than trying to convey a specific message or doctrine.

Poets that are open to the uncertainty of beauty rather than exploring their already-held beliefs are the greatest.

22

What is Keats' opinion on Wordsworth?

Keats feels bullied into reading him because he hates poetry "which has a palpable design upon us". He felt that poetry should be unobstrusive in its greatness -- something that the Elizabethans did well but not the early Romantics.