Author(s): John Keats
John Keats (1795-1821) asked that his gravestone carry only the phrase 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water.' But although his life was short, he left work that sets his name among the greatest in English poetry, and the most admired by other poets. This pocket-sized selection for general readers includes the six great odes, 'The Eve of St Agnes', the most colourful passages from 'Lamia', fifteen of the sonnets and also the light-hearted and nonsense verses Keats loved to write for his younger sister and friends - for although his life ended untimely, he was a high-spirited young man who enjoyed jokes and relished the pleasures and beauties of the world. Claire Tomalin has also included extracts from Keats's letters, in which he shows how deeply he pondered the nature of the poetic mind and the processes of poetry, and how entertainingly he could express complex ideas. To this she adds a short biographical section. Keats wrote to his brother in 1818, 'I think I shall be among the English poets after my death'- his generosity of spirit and the beauty of his poems have ensured that he is.