On Keats’s Practice and Poetics of Responsibility: Beauty by G. Douglas Atkins

By G. Douglas Atkins

This available, knowledgeable, and fascinating e-book bargains clean, new avenues into Keats’s poems and letters, together with a helpful creation to “the dependable poet.” concentrating on Keats’s feel of accountability to fact, poetry, and the reader, G. Douglas Atkins, a famous T.S. Eliot critic, writes as an ama-teur. He reads the letters as literary texts, essayistic and dramatic; the Odes compared to Eliot’s remedy of comparable topics; “The Eve of St. Agnes” via including to his revered prior article at the poem an addendum outlining a daring new analyzing; “Lamia” by means of targeting its advanced and puzzling therapy of philosophy and mind's eye and revealing how Keats actually represents philosophy as functioning inside of poetry. evaluating Keats with Eliot, poet-philosopher, this e-book generates precious perception into Keats’s winning and infrequently refined poetic therapy of principles, accentuating clone of him as “the dependable poet.”

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She was originally a maiden named Philomela. Tereus raped her and removed her tongue so she could make no accusations. 8 Kenner helps us recall Eliot’s treatment of Philomela in The Waste Land. In any case, as helpful as the critic is here, he goes awry, I believe, in assuming an identity between the speaker in Keats’s poem and Keats himself, outside the poem. ” Keats relies on adjectives, for he describes, rather than observes, and he is intent on painting pictures. The poet inside the poem is not a character, but a pole of thematic action.

18. Keats, Selected Poems and Letters, 274. 19. Ibid. 20. , 275. 21. , 284. 22. , 287. 23. , 287–88. 24. , 288. 25. Ibid. 26. Ibid. 27. Ibid. 28. , 288–89. 29. , 289. 30. Ibid. 31. Ibid. 32. Ibid. 33. S. Eliot, Animula (London: Faber and Faber, 1929). On Keats’s letters, see Grant Scott, “Keats in His Letters,” in the Norton Critical Edition of Keats’s Poetry and Prose, ed. Jeffrey N. Cox (New York: Norton, 2008), 555–63; and Susan J. Wolfson, Reading John Keats (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015), passim.

That is, Keats begins, as he goes on in the letter to acknowledge, by seeing “how man was formed by circumstances,” such experiences, in other words, that he knew all too well. He will then turn them, make positive, responsive use of them. ” Unlike in Eliot’s Animula, the focus is squarely on the 22 ON KEATS’S PRACTICE AND POETICS OF RESPONSIBILITY nature of reality (whereas Eliot’s is on the soul). The possibilities Keats opens up in treating soul-making are, then, consolations, proposals, questions with possible answers—trials, essays.

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