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When I Have Fears Analysis



Author: Poetry of John Keats Type: Poetry Views: 3449







When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before 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 trace

Their 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 power

Of 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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Overall Explanation of the Poem Bye Keats \"Whenever I have fears\" is really a good work, but Keats’ the most prior Wish has not been elaborated in the material. Actually John Keats wanted to be having as much fame as Shakespeare had. He wanted to be one like Shakespeare. So in his First Quatrain he says that he wants to put all the Poetic Material he has in his mind on the paper but is afraid of the of that he don\'t have enough time to do so. He thinks that he would be dead Of Tuberculosis Soon and is not able to give written form to whatever is packed in his mind with abundance. Here John Keats talk about teeming brain which means the brain full of poetic substance which he is not able to convert into bulk of books and the substance in his mind will be left like ripened Grains having no reapers to take care of.
In his Second Quatrain John Keats Says that he also don\'t have enough time to watch the beauty of the sky filled with stars and also unable to keep his breathe alive to make a romance in cloudy weather. He says that after he has died of Tuberculosis, there is no chance he is going to have Beautiful scenery of the sky and romance enjoyed himself and follow these beautiful happenings again
In 3rd Quatrain he expresses the feelings of love by pointing out the beauty of his lover who neglected him and never loved. He says that he would not be able to look at her beauty for a long time to satisfy his soul. By the next time he won’t be able to enjoy her beauty anymore. By Relish he means the severe wish for someone in the world of magic and by the mean of unreflecting love is that he is having the love for her but she does not take serious consideration to him.
In the last two lines and a half of previous one John Keats expresses that he is standing at the bank of wide ranged world in his solitude and thinking Love and Fame he has a severe wish for will sink after his Death
Muhammad Arif

| Posted on 2011-09-23 | by a guest


.: :.

In his brilliant poem, When I Have Fears, John Keats uses several metaphors to explain the three principal things that he will miss when he cease(s) to be . The third quatrain deals with his lover, whom he fears he will not live long enough to love completely, which ironically was the case in his real life. In the last two lines of the poem, Keats reveals another love of his, which is fame, but he also resolves his fears of losing the things that are dear to him. In the first two quatrains he reveals that writing poetry is also one of his principle loves, and that he fears that his death will come before he can manifest all of his ideas or write and publish all of the poems that he could. Strangely, Keats uses two metaphors to express his love of poetry; a metaphor of gleaning a teeming brain, and one of tracing cloudy shadows with the magic hand of chance. Keats metaphors represent two methods of approaching creative writing, which he feels are necessary for creative balance.
His first use of metaphor is in the first quatrain where he fears that he may die
Before (his) pen has gleaned (his) teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain;
Clearly Keats is stating that he is afraid to die before he can write and publish all of the poetic ideas in his head. Grain goes to waste if a farmer can not harvest it before the winter comes, much like Keats ideas will go to waste if he can not manifest them before his death. The metaphor is also significant, however, because it represents one school of thought about writing poetry. The grain metaphor assumes that all of the ideas for Keats poems are inside his head, and that writing poetry is just the art of getting that grain out of your brain and onto paper. This suggests that writing poetry be based not on inspiration, but on perspiration.
The second metaphor is of Keats tracing shadows, with the magic hand of chance. He still is expressing his passion for poetry, but now he introduces an entirely different method to creative writing. In this quatrain he refers to poetic ideas as, huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, and fears that he will not live long enough to trace their shadows. This metaphor suggests that ideas are not gleaned out of teeming brains, but instead are pulled out of the nights stared face , and at the will of random inspiration. Keats uses night as a metaphor for potentiality to construct a poem, but the night does not belong to the poet. This theory negates the notion that the ideas for poems reside in the poet s mind, and promotes the belief that the author has no control over his inspired creations.
The two methods that Keats describes through metaphor contradict each other, yet Keats talks about them together as one of the few things he feels are worth living for. One of the techniques suggests tireless work, while the other suggests merely the tracing of ideas beyond the author. Clearly gleaning is more laborious than tracing. In addition, one method implies that ideas come from the author s brain, while the other insists that he/she stumble across them by chance. Keats cites these two radically different ideas as one to show that a poet needs to actively use both methods for creative and artistic balance. If a poet only wrote when he was inspired to do so, then he would not get a lot of work done. Creative writing that seems to magically come from nowhere is usually pretty good; however, instances of this are few and far between. On the other hand, of a poet made writing poetry into a laborious task, such as gleaning a granary, then his work would most likely lack the love and passion that comes with enjoying what you are doing. Therefor, Keats intends to suggest that a poet be able to reap the rewards of both techniques to acquire creative balance. He/she must be able to set time aside to work on improving poems, as well as take advantage the instances in which inspired creativity takes over.
Keats knew that both methods were efficient, and he feared losing both of them when it would be his time to die. He also knew that he was in love, with fame and a woman, and feared losing them as well. In the last two lines of the poem, Keats comes to accept that his fears are selfish and worthless. The speaker is forced to accept that it is useless to worry, and decides to stand alone, and think/ Till love and fame to nothingness to sink.

| Posted on 2011-04-26 | by a guest


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you all are stupid just like this poem i do not know why we even have to do this at school??? fts

| Posted on 2011-03-23 | by a guest


.: :.

john keats fears that he may die before he has gathered all the ideas and thoughts that fill his mind. he will not live to put them down in a pile of books.the books would have held his matured ideas like grannaries filled with ripen grain. thus his thoughts would remain unxpressed as he might die soon

| Posted on 2011-03-21 | by a guest


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Keats’ emotions are of a more hopeless and vulnerable nature and at the same time his methods of consolation are more pessimistic. Keats’ solutions are basically finding faults in his own desires.

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


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What a most unhelpful load of waffle you have all written.

| Posted on 2011-03-04 | by a guest


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my apologies, the last sentence should be \"how quickly seems to approach\"

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


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I haven\'t seen anyone interpret line 9 the way I have... So I may be wrong, but this is what I think.
\"And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,..\"
If this line refers to a woman, the effect, in my mind, is turning the attention of the reader away from the essential idea in the rest of the poem- his fear of dying before he has fulfilled himself.
Is it possible that the subject in line nine is not a woman, but the Hour itself, personified as something beautiful that he fears he \"shall never look upon,\" emphasizing how quickly seems to approach?

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


.: :.

I haven\'t seen anyone interpret line 9 the way I have... So I may be wrong, but this is what I think.
\"And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,..\"
If this line refers to a woman, the effect, in my mind, is turning the attention of the reader away from the essential idea in the rest of the poem- his fear of dying before he has fulfilled himself.
Is is possible that the subject in line nine is not a woman, but the hour itself, personified as something beautiful that he fears he \"shall never look upon,\" emphasizing how quickly seems to approach?

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


.: :.

the girl he begins talking about in line 10 or so is Fanny Brawn which is who he falls in love with but never marrys

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


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This is one of Keats's most famous sonnets. It is typically formed by three quatrains and a final couplet (Elizabethan sonnet).
He wrote this poem when he was 21 and only three years later he had essentially stopped writing, due to his health problems.
As Keats's life was full of misfortunes and setbacks, his poems constantly reflect a deep sense of melancholy, although mixed up with his unlimited love for Beauty.
Here again, the general setting is on the sad side: the reflection on death and his preoccupation of not being able to fully show his poetical gifts, seem to be a sort of prediction of how short his life will be.
The poet’s concern with the passing of time is indicated by the repetition of “when” at the beginning of each quatrain and it is also reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Sonnet XII (“When I do count the clock...”).
The conclusion has a sombre tone and it is imbued with a sense of resignation and solitude (“I stand alone”). The sensuous, rich imagery of the second quatrain with its starry night has now turned into a vast shore on a world that’s much too wide for him. And for us too…
Giovanni di Fazio - Italy

| Posted on 2010-03-07 | by a guest


.: :.

Okay, Im an amature so don't judge too harshly, but do judge.
-When I have fears of death before I have collected evey piece of overflowing knowledge, Before I dwell In poetry, an actof capturing meaning, to protect the efforts of a fresh thought.
-When I look upon the night's sky, the clouds show extol for romane,and tease that I may not ever get to experience the effect or thr risk of love and loving someone.
-And when I feel, for my beloved as of now, whom Is dear to my heart, that I should never look upon thee anymore, never have enjoyment in the power of the different ways of love she shows- on the shore.
-In this large world, I am alone in death, thinking upon love and fame, then the thought of death brings emptiness which over fills me- submerged.
Did I do okay? No misspelled words??
By: YoungPoetLover

| Posted on 2010-03-04 | by a guest


.: :.

this sonnet of Keats,has an autobiographical touch.The poet shows us that how the deep-seated fear of pre-mature death unnerves him.he desires to leave an everlasting image in the world of poetry by his extraordinary poetic thoughts.his another fear is that he would not enjoy the beauty of stars nhis beloved.keats has used beautiful metaphors in this sonnet.at the end he changes his personal grief to universal tragedy.we find him standing alone on the shore.he says man must go towards the mortal life and the world of eternity.the love and fame lose all their charm and attraction to him....

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


.: :.

These posts aren't that thought out. The first line is saying that he is afraid of dying,by the way he says "cease to be".The 2nd and 3rd lines are personification, where he is talking about his brain being filled with ideas. The 4th lines contains a similie. Then the description of grain shows it is fall symbolizing death coming before he is ready. One fear the speaker expresses is that he will never be able to write books he wishes to write. "magic hand of chance"= fate. The turn occurs before line 10. Then, he starts talking about a girl.

| Posted on 2010-01-27 | by a guest


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hey is it at all possible that this speaker is sacrificing his chance for true love to try and accomplish something great before he dies? I'm not an expert or anything but I'm writing a paper on this.

| Posted on 2009-12-07 | by a guest


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Apple computers DO have spellcheckers on their web browsers, just to let you know.
I think Keats did us all a favor with this poem, it has a simple and understandable meaning unlike many of his other more complicated poems.

| Posted on 2009-12-01 | by a guest


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hahaha, i love all of the spelling errors in the above post. For the most part i was able to make out the words but it was pretty entertaining. Thanks

| Posted on 2009-11-25 | by a guest


.: :.

When I have fears that I will die before I get the chance to write down all the things that are in my brain, before I am able to write piles of books filled with my writing; when I look at the starry night and the clouds and see the different symbols of romance and think that I might die before I get the chance to write poetry about them; and when I feel that that I will never be able to look upon the magic face of love, and I will never have the chance to enjoy the supernatural power of unquestionable love—then I stand alone on the shore of the wide world, and think until love and fame mean nothing to me. .

| Posted on 2009-11-05 | by a guest


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Thanks for nothing all of you do not know how to write about a professional poem. Such ignorance here.

| Posted on 2009-11-04 | by a guest


.: :.

_When I have fears that I may cease to be_
When I have fears of dying
Before I've written my poems,
Before I write books of worth;
When I behold symbols of beauty and think that I may never live up to them, never trace their shadows
And when I feel that I will never see my love again, never relish in the 'faery power' of unreflecting, solid, love -- then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Until love and fame mean nothing no longer

| Posted on 2009-06-30 | by a guest


.: :.

Can someone please summarize the whole poem please and thank you.

| Posted on 2009-05-06 | by a guest


.: :.

Ok, main points of this poem.
-Shakespearean Sonnet
-End-stopping lines
-Ideas developed over three quatrains
-Link words
-Couplet run on from final quatrain
-Effect not trivial
-Natural images
-Concrete images
-Ideas of self doubt
-Contrast

| Posted on 2009-05-01 | by a guest


.: :.

John Keats is expressing his feelings of inadequacy. He feels as though his poetic works are not comparable to those poets who came before him ("When I behold...huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that i may never live to trace Their shadows", symbols of a high romance being a metaphor for famous poets).

| Posted on 2009-04-13 | by a guest


.: :.

This is one of Keats's most famous sonnets. It is typically formed by three quatrains and a final couplet (Elizabethan sonnet).
He wrote this poem when he was 21 and only three years later he had essentially stopped writing, due to his health problems.
As Keats's life was full of misfortunes and setbacks, his poems constantly reflect a deep sense of melancholy, although mixed up with his unlimited love for Beauty.
Here again, the general setting is on the sad side: the reflection on death and his preoccupation of not being able to fully show his poetical gifts, seem to be a sort of prediction of how short his life will be.
The poet’s concern with the passing of time is indicated by the repetition of “when” at the beginning of each quatrain and it is also reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Sonnet XII (“When I do count the clock...”).
The conclusion has a sombre tone and it is imbued with a sense of resignation and solitude (“I stand alone”). The sensuous, rich imagery of the second quatrain with its starry night has now turned into a vast shore on a world that’s much too wide for him. And for us too…
Giovanni di Fazio - Italy

| Posted on 2009-03-08 | by a guest


.: :.

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,

| Posted on 2009-02-27 | by a guest


.: :.

Keats states that he fears death for a few reasons. The first quatrain expresses his fear that he will not be able to accomplish as much fame as he wishes to. "Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain." The poet possesses so many poetic thoughts that he fears he will not be able to express them all in time. The second quatrain expresses his fear that he will not be able to experience the love which the Heavens boast. He looks at the night sky, mesmorized by the "cloudy symbols of romance," and worries that he will never get a chance to experience such wonders. Finally he regrets that he may not have time to puruse a love affair with a newly met woman. A "creaute of an hour." The final quatrain establishes an image of Keats utterly alone with his thoughts, even his concerns regarding love and fame have been sunk to nothingness as death lumes over him.

| Posted on 2009-02-06 | by a guest


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I wish one of you guys would have just analyzed the poem. I'm doing a research project on Keats and this doesn't help me whatsoever.

| Posted on 2009-01-26 | by a guest


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This is pathetic. It's ironic that you both jeer at someone else's mistakes while making typical if not juvenile mistakes yourselves. It's laughable, and both of you should be ashamed.

| Posted on 2009-01-26 | by a guest


.: :.

If I am correct, summary isn't spelled "summry."
There is a possibility that certain types of computers do not have spell check available on it's web browsers. (Apples, Linux, etc.)
Not everyone uses Windows, you know.
Personally, I hate Windows.
Anyways, the poem does suggest that John Keats does have fears of dying before writing all of the poems he wants to. John Keats compares romance in the heavens, and basically tells us that Shakespeare influenced many people after his time.

| Posted on 2008-12-17 | by a guest


.: summry :.

you should run things through spell check before posting them on the internet.
or at least proof read your work before thousands of people read it.

Second line-This
Fourth line-Romance
Sixth line-In & Encounter
Eighth line- Experiencing
Ninth line- All
Proper names should be capitalized and spelled correctly!
Shakespeare

| Posted on 2007-10-11 | by a guest


.: analyse when i have fears :.

the first quatrain expresses the poet's fears that he may die before he has written all the poems that he wants to. Tihis is expanded in the second quatrain with a more specific reference to the possibility he may never trace all the "high rtomance" he sees symbolized in the heavens. In the third quatrain he adresses a woman whom he met inb a brief encountr to consider that he may also be prevented from ever experiencnmg love. finally, he presents an image of himself standing alone on the shore of the whole wide world with alll personal ambitions and concerns erased form his mind by the immensity of what he contemplates.
This poem shows shakespears's influence on keats...

| Posted on 2006-02-26 | by Approved Guest




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