• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Commentary on John Keats' "When I Have Fears".

Extracts from this document...


Donald Zhang English Ms. Hart 12/5/03 Commentary on John Keats' "When I Have Fears" The first line of the poem is the same as the title: "When I have fears that I may cease to be." Not only does it enforce the importance of the first line, but also it tells what the poem is about: "When ?he? ?has? fears that ?he? will cease to be." This English sonnet's rhyme scheme is abab/cdcd/efef/gg. The poem also has the traditional meter of iambic pentameter. Keats uses the title as his introduction to the poem, clearly stating that the poem is about the narrator's fears of dying young. This poem deals with Keats' concern of his own mortality as well as his concerns for the longevity and appreciation of his works. Obviously, Keats is speaking of his concern of death before he has had a chance to write all those poems and works, which he has within him. ...read more.


This would go along with his worry of his potential as a writer. Keats then makes a comparison between the narrator's books of charactery and the collection of "full ripened grain." The narrator's ideas are bound together in books just as the "full ripened grain" is bound together after it is collected. The metaphor of grain expands on the large number of undeveloped ideas the narrator has. When the reader imagines "full ripened grain," he will often picture a large amount produced on a farm or plantation. The commonness of grain is why this metaphor can be so effective. The metaphor is also effective because it returns to the idea of harvesting used early with "glean'd." The quatrain ends with a semicolon that shows a definite break in ideas. He finally reveals his greatest fear: "That shall never look upon thee more." He will miss his beloved and the "unreflecting love" they share together. ...read more.


He feels that if his work does not carry on his legacy after his death his love (his works) and "fame" will disappear all together. In the final two lines, Keats uses alliteration to emphasize the vastness of the empty place the narrator will be by using the 'w' sound in "wide and world." Syntactically the last line holds the only period in the poem, which ends the sentence and the poem. The poem has many significant themes and important ideas; however, it seems that Keats is trying to convey the shortness of life. There are things that we will miss when we die, especially if we die young. The fate of a man is already set, and his destiny is inevitable. Keats is right in this point. No one can live forever, and a person's death is ineludible. If people understand this point, maybe they would live their life to its fullest. For example, if I spend my whole life concentrating on my fears of an early death, then I am never going to enjoy things such as the "faerie power / Of unreflecting love." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level John Keats section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level John Keats essays

  1. The interplay of dreams and reality is frequently found within John Keats' poems.

    Keats uses word choice which personifies death and seems to almost make death appear as an anaesthetic: "rich to die," and "easeful death." However, he soon realises the abhorrent reality of death and sees it as an unsuitable means of escape: "To thy high requiem become a sod."

  2. A2 English Literature

    What is distinguishable in much of Keats's poetry is the paradoxical recognition that what is of true and lasting value can only be found in a world of change. When Keats's speaker searches for some kind of unchanging truth and beauty in 'Ode on a Grecian Urn', he ultimately realises

  1. Ode To A Nightingale/ Ode On A Grecian Urn - comparison

    is made valid because of the examples of the oxymora of life that Keats depicts. The descriptions of the dark, and heady scents of the woodland and Keats's ecstasy in the song of the nightingale and his subsequent realisation of the paradox of his death most clearly supports this viewpoint

  2. "A Vale of Soul-Making" A Biography of John Keats

    (Trilling, The Selected Letters of John Keats) 1818, the year that Keats wrote and published the works that, today, display his mastery over beauty and the senses, was a turning point in his life. At the naively blissful and idealistic age of 23, a series of events in Keats professional

  1. John Keats was born on October 31st, 1795 in Finsbury Pavement near London.

    Lines 73 - 74 This is in contrast to "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" because in that poem images of nature are closely related to ideas of pain and destruction when in "Isabella" nature is very much part of the beautiful love theme throughout "Isabella."

  2. Write a detailed critical analysis of “When I have fears that I may cease ...

    In these four lines, he tells us that he believes his interpretation of what he sees will not be a perfect, precise, exact replica. He doesn't pretend he can, he admits that his interpretations are limited in their accuracy - his life will not last long enough even to correctly convey the shadows, or mere outlines of what he sees.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work