When I have fears that i may cease to be Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in When I have fears that i may cease to be Deck (15):


the s[peaker expresses his fear and anxiety of dying before being able to accomplish his full academic/ creative ability. he feels likes he has so much to write and so little time to write it. the speaker is very sensitive to extreme beauty. after the volta he expresses desolately that the only certitude is the annihilation of everything, deckaring that everything 'to nothingness do sink'


quatrain 1

-semantic field associated with fertily/ fecuydity conveyed through the extended metaphor of harvest
-phoneticlly very rich- lots of assonance of an 'ea' creates a extended sound
-use of spondee rythm to empahsis the excess and bouty of his brian 'rich garnbers' 'full ripe'


when was this poem written

jan 1818


contextual quote

Richard Woodhouse: the phrases 'and thank that i may never live to trace/ their shadows, with the magic hand of chance' give some insight into keats mode of writing poetry. he has repatedly said... that he never sits down to write, unless he is full of ideas- and then thiughts come about him in troops'


one of Keats' maxims

If poetry did not come naturally it had better not one at all


meaning of 'charactery' and 'feary'

charactery: letters of the alphabet (first used by shakespeare)
'faery': keats always used the archaic spelling of fariry- which conjures up magic and enchatment


who is the fair creature of an hour?

a beautiful women who keats had seen only fleetingly. Woodhouse stated that Keats was thinking of the same woman he had seen in the summer of 1814 at Vauxhall Gardens


quatrain 2 meaning

the speaker uses more abstract and metaphoric figurative language as he contemplates the beauty of the stars (surface),
- reflects upon the realms of the creative force/ the imagination (deeper+ link to wider romantic context) --celebrates the 'high romance' (literature/ poetry that he has a burning desire to write.
-Perhaps the speaker is contemplating the canon


quatrain 2: techniques/ effects

-semantic field associated with astronomy/ the subconscious
-molossus 'night starred face' and spondee 'huge cloud' -> conveys the overwhelming power and force of literature and the imagination
-juxtaposition between the heavy/ imposing 'night stared face' and the light 'trace [of] shadows', draws the relatiuon between writing and a finished work into the foreground.


Quatrain 3

-focalises on the natural beauty of a woman 'fair creature'
-idealisation of the female sex as mythical enchantresses 'fair creatire' 'feary power'
-focuses on feminine beauty and human love and sorrow of loss: foregrounded by his use of frictive consonnace
creating a soft, fleeting, transient image (like that of love and life)- strak contrast with teh iverted foot for 'never'


Final couplet

-sense of desoltation and isolation- Keats emphasises the insignificance of the individual against the immensity of the wide world
-juxtaposition of the assonace of long vowel sounds (wide world) vs the clipped ending of think and sink


structure and versification

-each quatrain is heralded by a when - anticipates the 'then ' (line 11)
-most lines are endstopped, the end of lines co-inciding with grammatical pauses however enjambemnt is sometimes used to indicate the urgency of the speakers feelings



Shakespeareian sonnet with 3 quatrains of alternative rhymes with a finalk rhyming couplet (abab, cdcd, efef, gg)



-iambic pentametre predominates
-spondees used to emphasise the fecudity of Keats brain/ the omnipotence of naturre
-fouces the readers thoughts by having two stresses on either side of a caesura 'feel, fair' and 'love!- then'
-no additional stress to 'nothingness' convey thge sinking away of significance


echos of other literary texts

Shakespeares sonnets- Keats concerns similar to those conveyed in soinnet 64 'when i have seen by Tim'es fell hand defac'd'.
fear of the ravages of time and inevitability of death, bvut also feels anxiety about his poetic achievement and reputation