CHAPTER XIII
Endymion (1818)

KEATS himself wrote with regard to Paradise Lost, 'There is always a great charm in the openings of great poems.' Endymion opens with a line that is a household word and continues in a vein of rich, quiet beauty which sets the tone of the whole poem. In this first section there is the germ of all the beauty that is Endymion; 'sweet dreams,' and 'quiet breathing,' 'the sun, the moon, Trees old and young,' 'daffodils with the green world they live in,' 'clear rills,' 'the mid forest brake,' 'fair musk-rose blooms,' and 'the mighty dead, All lovely tales that we have heard and read.'

The story of Endymion has a dew upon it. It has not the actuality of the later work: the beings in it are not strongly-coloured, bold and definite but shadowed forth in 'dim dreams' and only occasionally emerge clear and bright from the shifting many-hued cloud of youthful imaginings. In 'The Eve of St. Agnes' though a stanza can be admired for its own beauty, it is a stanza of the complete poem and must be related to what went before and what follows, but here the accomplished passages can be picked out from the body of the work. And yet, fluid, unequal as Endymion is, it is an entity, a whole informed with an individual and rich poetic imagination; 'a little Region to wander in,' a world as complete and touched with new life as any Spenser made. Perhaps to realize the full enchantment of this dream-world we must read Endymion in youth when we can take in our stride the immature and 'mawkish' passages and travel with the shepherd-prince on earth, in air and water, with that ease of imagination we brought earlier to The Arabian Nights or to our own loved fairy-tales. The maturer mind will pick and choose, finding in its wanderings 'food for a Week's stroll in Summer'; a delight in mirrored nature and in passages of wrought poetry and pregnant thought.

Keats himself intended the poem to be an allegory. Endeavours have been made to work the fable out, but never with complete success. It is generally accepted, however, that the main thread is the quest of the poet after spiritual beauty.1 To each of us the poem will yield something different: to me it appears that there is in it too the eternal quest for the love of woman. This was a strong element in the romantics and many, like poor Shelley, did not get beyond 'the desire

____________________
1
For a new and interesting analysis of this and its kinship with the theme of Oberon, see Mr. Beyer's Keats and the Daemon King.

-164-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Life of John Keats
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 412

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.