When I Have Fear is one of the most important poems in BA English syllabus of paper A in poetry section. It is written by John Keats. H was born in 1795 and died in 1821. He is one of the greatest English Romantic poets. He was designed to be an apothecary, but was introduced to Leigh Hunt who inspired him to be a poet. His early poems included “Endymion” which met with severe criticism. His second volume appeared in 1820 contains his best work, including the great Odes. His best work is remarked by a poetical sense of beauty in words and sounds, a vivid imagination and a rich descriptive power. Keats suffered from tuberculosis and died at very young age of 26.
When I Have Fear is of particular significance when we bear in mind the fact that he died at very young age,. The theme of the sonnet is exactly that the fear of death he may die before seeing the fulfillment of the poetic potential. As a poet whose special province was to experience the sensuousness of objects of the poetry, high romance, beauty, love and fame. The general metaphor of the sonnet is drawn from harvesting.. harvest is the time of fruition, and ripeness. The harvest that he wishes to reap is that of giving shape to the ideas in his teeming brain. When I have fears that I may cease to be,” no doubt, appeals to the reader at once to the ear and is a compelling invitation to the reader to go on with the poem.
Keats’s fear is not just of his fate, but also the his failure to achieve love and fame within his short period of life. When we read this poem, it reveals that, though the root of this tension, grief and anxiety is death, as the Keats gets perspective on the shore of the world, death is also the problematic cure. While the speaker’s fears spawn from the limitations of life and mortality, it is the limitation that in fact grants him the freedom from ultimate despair. Two of the Keats favorite themes are touched upon here… of unrequited love and the transient nature if beauty.
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