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When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be Analysis



Author: Poetry of John Keats Type: Poetry Views: 4294

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When I have fears that I may cease to beBefore my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,

Before high-piled books, in charactery,Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;

When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to traceTheir shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the faery powerOf unreflecting love;--then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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| Posted on 2011-12-13 | by a guest


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As Keats was a victim of Tuborclosis he knew that he wil die soon and that is why he was worried about his uncompleted works. He had much and best in his mind when he was still very young he was well aware that as he wil be aged his works will be even greater. He wanted to write so much poetry that people can remember him along time after his death. Just like when people cut crops and they store it as much tha it can lost till new crop is ripened. Same is the case with Keats he wanted to write so much that it can lost longer and peopld don\'t think for a new poet and his work but Keats was short of time and he died in early age of 26.
Asjad x

| Posted on 2011-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

Poetry is dumb. When am I going to use it in life?

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest


.: :.

kates fears not to die but that no one is gona remember him when he dies.
Mercy Chimbambo

| Posted on 2011-02-28 | by a guest


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Keats feared that he might die before fulfilling his potential as a poet. This potential is expressed as him being able to trace, by \"the magic hand of chance\", the cloudy symbols of high romance on a starry night, and store the results as poems in books, expressed as fully ripened grain stored after a particularly bountiful harvest. When he realizes that he may \"never look upon thee more, never have relish in the faery power\", he means he may never experience the magic of writing a poem again. This realization is summed up as a feeling of being completely alone in the world, no one else can understand how he feels. He stands at a threshold \"on the shore\". To join the rest of us he\'d have to leave behind his desire to create poetry \"till love and fame to nothingness sink\". For his desire to sink into nothingness, he will either have to die or leave it behind. Hardly likely that a poet like Keats could let \"love and fame\" sink into nothingness. And so he realizes that when he dies the magic power of writing poetry may die with him.

| Posted on 2011-01-13 | by a guest


.: :.

I struggled greatly with this poem, my initial perception was that he wanted, and had the potential, to become famous and loved. And I still believe that to be the interpretation of the first three stanzas. I initially thought that he had come to terms with death and dying alone and that he had resolved his fears and had accepted dying. I now have a different perception of the conclusion, and perhaps it has been acknowledged before, but I think what he is saying is that without fame and love, my memory is mortal, just as my body is. And his biggest fear is not dying, it is being forgotten and not being able to fulfill his potential. When I have fears that I won\'t be able to get my poetic talent mapped out on paper, for the world to remember me by (to garner my memory), and when i fear that i won\'t be able to leave my mark on a loved one, then where do i stand? On the wide world, alone, and without fame or love, i will sink to nothing. I might have well have left my mark on history by signing my name in water. \"Here lies one whose name was writ in water\"

| Posted on 2010-10-13 | by a guest


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Keats is saying that all of his fortunes & everything he cared about will not matter to him in the end( near his death). He also explains how much it\'s important to him. However, he doesn\'t want to leave the world when he hasn\'t completely loved and experienced his life.

| Posted on 2010-09-26 | by a guest


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generally the peom about fear of death
he thinks, he will die beofore write what he wants to his love

| Posted on 2010-06-20 | by a guest


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he fears that knowing what becomes to him. He fears that because he will lose his fame, love and writing. He stands alone. All of us are going to die and all of us are going to die alone. Although both fame and love are wonderful and important when the death comes close, they both will fade away

| Posted on 2010-04-05 | by a guest


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This sonnet was written while keats was in a state close to nirvana when he had almost a complete understanding of death. His feelings about death were not biased during this time and he wanted to capture that moment so he emptied hisself into this poem. It is a time when he feels nothing and is just letting it out.

| Posted on 2010-03-12 | by a guest


.: :.

Keat's is afraid that he may die before he gains fame. The comparison of "rich garners" and "full-ripened grain" is how fertile his imagination is. Apprentally when I looked this up, it was a paradox, he is both the grain and the harvestor. He sees the potential nature has in his poetry. "Huge cloudy symbols" and Magic hands" indicate how he wishes he could have used nature in his writing. Then he turns to love, the "fair creature of an hour." Love is more emtion than thought because he says "I feel" also it has the power to transform the world. In the end he declares that love and fame will mean nothing to him since he'll vanish from this world with no trace.

| Posted on 2010-03-09 | by a guest


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i think this poem is about love and fame.
the poet think that after death love and fame fades away so he wanna write his teeming brain and wanna enjoy love b4 death.

| Posted on 2010-03-02 | by a guest


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this poem is actually not an Elizabethian Sonnet. it may be from that time or what not but its actually a Shakespearean sonnet you can tell from the ryhme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

| Posted on 2010-01-22 | by a guest


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This poem is bittersweet Keats is simply expressing his fear of dying before he gets to live his life. He wants to pass on his knowledge and experiance true love, but in the end when death comes all will be lost and neither the love or fame will matter.

| Posted on 2009-12-09 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is about the narrator's potential and how he draws it from his mind as well as his surroundings.
He wishes to be be famous through this and immortal through his fame.
HOWEVER, when he considers his love, "fair creature of the hour", he realises that after death that "Love" will not matter so why should "Fame"? The sinking to "Nothingness" (as this whole poem is essentially an abstraction)actually although describing the eventual decay of love and fame also refers back to his desire for fame leaving him, showing some irony through Keats actually writing this poem...

| Posted on 2009-11-30 | by a guest


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I find that the very structure of this "sonnet" is very interesting. Though most Elizabethian Sonnets follow a general rule of the first 8 lines of the sonnet describing his problems and the last 6 resolving them, Keats instead doesn't resolve it untill closer towards the end, and even then he ends it rather vaguely. So, in a sense, his structure follows the subject of love and death, he squeezed in as much of what he loved before the uncertain end.

| Posted on 2009-11-29 | by a guest


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The poem expresses a concern that each human being experience and is haunted by, it is the fear of immortality and of the image of ceasing before having acomplished what you desire in life. Naturaly, for a poet, the beggist desire would be the wrting of poetry and the tranaslation on a poet's teeming thoughts into beutiful poetry.
Keats here firslty expresses his fear of dying before making a huge harvest of poems and books. To stress his fear, he draws an analogy between the wrting of poetry and the act of harvesting in which he posess two occupations, keats fristly repreasents the field packed with ripened grains and secondly the harvestor or collector of those grains. his dual character is emphasized here.
The idea of not experiencing love is also evident here and presents a second preoccupation. Yet, one should note that it is the idea of love, rather than the lover, that keats is worried about.
After this movemnt of deas keats concludes with a rhyming couplet in which he distants himself from his fear and is drawn away from his previous obliviosn (he wakes up before sining completley in the oblivion created by his fears) via the idea that one will finally die alone. the speaker concludes that fame and love are merely abstract ideas that will cease to be after death. they are momentary and temporary like life.

| Posted on 2009-11-21 | by a guest


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he says the truth of true love, and he is scared about his love, that he would die before enjoying all the love

| Posted on 2009-11-15 | by a guest


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You all need to understand that when Keats says "fair creature of the hour" he is referring to his imagination and how ideas that run through your head can quickly fade. Also, when he states that he "shall never look upon thee more" he is referring to his poetry, and finally "faery power" is translated to poetic imagination. So Keats never wanted to talk about his "LOVE", as another guest puts it. He isn't in love with anybody, he is in love with his poetry.

| Posted on 2009-11-06 | by a guest


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When you divide the poem into a rhyme scheme (A B A B) something i notice is that the second set oh Rhmes CDCD, talks about how he feels small and insignifigant comapred to the stars and night sky, perhaps this is not jsut about fears, but also about his worth in the world?

| Posted on 2009-10-27 | by a guest


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i THINK THIS POEM IS ABOUT THE FEAR TO DIE BEFORE EXPERIENCEING TRUE LOVE

| Posted on 2009-10-16 | by a guest


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I believe that this poem talks about how the persona fears that he is going to die so soon.
He has so may things to do, things to write and things to discover but he fears that he has no enough time.
:(
I love this writer..--this John Keats writer.

| Posted on 2009-10-01 | by a guest


.: :.

My opinion about this poem:
Almost everyone in the world worries over death - their own death or their loved one's death. No philosopher or scientist or religious head can confidently tell what happens after death or can answer the question is there any life after death? Keats is also afraid of his death. No one can clearly define what is death? The same question haunts keats' mind.

| Posted on 2009-07-23 | by a guest


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whoever wrote that he wishes not to have aids is an idiot... he died from tuberculosis

| Posted on 2009-03-24 | by a guest


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While examining this poem in my class today, I noticed that if you divide the poem into the three quatrains and the heroic couplet, you get four distinct sections. I see these four thematically dealing with the four elements in this order: Quatrain I: Earth (grain), Quatrain II: Air (clouds), Quatrain III: Fire (magic), Heroic Couplet: Water (shore/sink).

| Posted on 2009-02-14 | by a guest


.: :.

My interpretation of the poem was that while Keats was obviously afraid of dying too early (not having enough time to love another fully, or write till the point where his pen has glean'd his teeming brain, or reaching the level of fame he has always desired) the last lines of the poem, (some of the most beautiful lines ever written) "then on the shores of the wide world i stand alone, and think till love and fame to nothingness do sink" are a sort of content conclusion. While all of these things matter in life, they only matter in life. After you have passed away, they really don't have any affect on you. Fame and love, even though they are both glamorous and exciting, are fleeting, and at the end of the day don't really define who you are as a person.

| Posted on 2008-10-16 | by a guest


.: Poetry... Fame and Love :.

This poem reflects Keats worst fears; to die too soon" When I have fears that I may cease to be". The speaker in Keats poem actually reflects what is going on in Keats' mind... Keats knew that he will die too soon because of his disease, and what hurts him the most is not being able to write his poems which will lead him to fame, and the loss of his beloved one Keats recognizes the fact that death is inevitable but he doesnt want to die before he writes his poemsand before his "pen has glean'd my teeming brain"he is afraid that he will never be able to look at his "fair creature of an hour".
good luck all
ghaida

| Posted on 2008-06-03 | by a guest


.: Poetry... Fame and Love :.

This poem reflects Keats worst fears; to die too soon" When I have fears that I may cease to be". The speaker in Keats poem actually reflects what is going on in Keats' mind... Keats knew that he will die too soon because of his disease, and what hurts him the most is not being able to write his poems which will lead him to fame, and the loss of his beloved one Keats recognizes the fact that death is inevitable but he doesnt want to die before he writes his poemsand before his "pen has glean'd my teeming brain"he is afraid that he shall never be able to look at his "fair creature of an hour".
good luck all
ghaida

| Posted on 2008-06-03 | by a guest


.: Perhaps... :.

This poem perhaps embraces the immensity of death which leaves a person standing isolated and alone metaphorically on "the shore of the wide world." "Love and fame" are Keats' greatest pleasure in life and death would mean and end to them. both love and fame are given over to the physical presence of the sun and as the sun sets so to do they "fade". The poet is left contemplating death, with the insignificant concepts of wordly fame and transient love no longer concerning him.
Yet, without love and his works in his life the reader is left with the idea that Keat's light has gone out of his life. His works and his lovers were his sun - with the sun set there is little he can see. The prospect of death has cast a shadow over the poet's outlook on life and left him confused as to the real meaningful and purposeful things in life. Should he now pursue love and fame while he can, or is everthing futile as all will die evetually?

| Posted on 2008-05-14 | by a guest


.: he wants to die :.

Here the author speaks about the lonely he feels and that he wants to die in misery. and that he wants to write before he cant anymore, and he wishes not to have aids.

| Posted on 2008-05-12 | by a guest


.: Another Perspective :.

Keats fears that, like a bud spoilt by a spring frost before it blossoms, he will miss his opportunity to leave his own mark on the world through his written word, his musings on life, the testament of his love; only in this way can he achieve immortality and escape the all-consuming black hole of death. "Love and fame to nothingness do sink" because he spends his time thinking, a deed which produces no tangible result and will not transcribe his name and his work in the scrolls of history, as would his written pieces. Surely, he does treasure love, fame, and knowledge, but--in the first eight lines at least--he worries more about passing on his work moreso than treasuring it. He cherishes his love's visage, and his worries turn BaCk on his own immediate desires and present situation.bc

| Posted on 2008-05-08 | by a guest


.: My Understanding :.

The poets fear that without feeling love he cannot be fully human as love is a basic human experience

| Posted on 2008-04-03 | by a guest


.: My thoughts on this are.. :.

I think that this poem voices his deepest fears about his inadequacies, his regrets and his deepest longings to accomplish the elusive 'lofty' goals that we all set ourselves. This exposes him as deeply vulnerable and it is one of my favourite pieces of writing, along with The Silver Swan, which touches the same existential nihilistic lonliness and longing to be transcend our mortality.

| Posted on 2008-03-19 | by a guest


.: :.

in this sonet Keats is telling us about his fear of death. according to this peice of poetry he does not wish to die as he would not be able to enjoy those things that he sees around him and knows can enjoy. also he does not want to leave this world without abtaining three things.
1.he wants fame for the books and poems he might write.
2.because he has not loved properly. yet.
3.he wants to share all his knowledge with the world.

| Posted on 2008-03-13 | by a guest


.: Extra dimensionality :.

Poem is ironic because he already knows at this point that he is dying of tuberculosis, so he KNOWS that he will, in fact "cease to be" far too early, tragically cutting short his career

| Posted on 2008-02-12 | by a guest


.: Analysis :.

Keats describes fears of death through what the narrator wishes to accomplish through life. He fears death because he will miss the great things such as love, fame, and writing.
At the start of the poem, it seems as though the narrator is only afraid of death because he will not have the chance to read the great poetry that is to come. He talks about the works that have not yet gleaned [his] teeming brain. The narrator wishes to write all he can before death prevents him from doing so.
He also wishes to love before his death. He feels that he will never live to trace [the] shadows of love. He fears that after death, he will never be able to love. This shows that the narrator believes he will simply cease to be after death, which is contrary to many others beliefs.
It also seems that the narrator wishes to become well-known or famous through his writing. In the first stanza, he wishes for his writings to be in books. The line of the poem also hints that he longed for fame. It is apparent through these two examples that he wished to become well-known for his writings.
It is interesting how Keats uses a sonnet to discuss his fears of death. The narrator talks of his different fears throughout the poem, and the last two lines show he comes to an understanding with his death. He states that he will think of his death, but in the end, love and fame will eventually fade away. This is a rationalization that whatever he accomplishes in life will probably not reflect in other peoples lives forever. This understanding answers his fears of death.


| Posted on 2007-11-08 | by a guest


.: poem :.

Keats is trying to say that he does NOT have any desire to leave this world.In his poem he states three reasons:One he wanted to love his woman compleatly or more than he has been. Second, Keats wants to publish many more poems and ,thirdly, he is scared of losing what is dear to him.

| Posted on 2007-04-04 | by a guest


.: I Will Help You Guys Out :.

Basically, Keats is saying that he has these deep fears that one day his life will come to an end (he will die) and he has so many things he wishes to say to this woman but he does not have enough time to write them all down. His main fear however, may not be death, but the fact that one day his poetic thoughts and lovely poetry will cease to exist. With the reference of "huge cloudy"...we see an idea of something that is unreachable in a sense. To sum it up, the poem begins with Keats having fears about death, but as you read on towards the end we (the readers) understand, that it is not death but rather the fact that without the things he treasures (knowledge, love, poetry and fame) - he is inevitably alone. And that my friends is his worst fear of all. Good Luck!

| Posted on 2006-01-30 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

When I have fears that I may cease to beBefore my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to traceTheir shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery powerOf unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

| Posted on 2005-02-09 | by Approved Guest




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