Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Kirsch, Adam. "Cloudy Trophies." NEW YORKER July 7, 2008.

Of all the piteous elements in Keats’s story, none is more distressing than the idea that he went to his grave convinced of his failure. For Keats’s last book, in addition to the three masterpieces named in its title, included a series of odes—“Ode to a Nightingale,” “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode to Psyche,” “Ode on Melancholy,” and “To Autumn”—that are now universally regarded as among the greatest poems in the English language. If any single book ever earned its author immortality, it was this one. And, as Stanley Plumly points out in Posthumous Keats (Norton; $27.95), his moving new study of the poet’s work and legend, “one could form a considerable collection from what was left out of this last book.” Some of Keats’s best poems, including “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” were never collected in his lifetime. . . . Read the rest here: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2008/07/07/080707crbo_books_kirsch?currentPage=all.

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