The Leaves on a Tree, the Leaves of Poetry

Poet, John Keats sat at his window in Hampstead overlooking this Mulberry tree, a supreme specimen, in 1818 making this comment on inspiration and creativity,”If Poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all.”  Let this be a good argument for sitting and staring out of a window!

The ‘Cockney’ poet’s greatest literary influences were Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, and he admired his contemporaries, particularly Wordsworth.  Keats was a fierce critic of his own work, and faced harsh criticism from outside his circle.  Despite disappointing sales of his first collection, he was intensely ambitious,

“I was never afraid of failure,” he insisted,”for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.” Keats, in his short lifetime, was not recognised as a great poet, but some time later and well after his death he sits firmly among the celebrated, the finest, ‘the greatest’ poets. The tragic triumph that was his life story.


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