The beginnings of his "postumous existence"

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

Moderators: Saturn, Malia

The beginnings of his "postumous existence"

Postby Ennis » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:16 am


"A few days after George's departure a long of cold snowy weather broke and a thaw set in. On February 3 Keats went into town for the day without his greatcoat, the weather so warm. When he came to take the evening coach back to Hampstead, it was frosty again. As usual, he could afford an outside seat, and riding back full against the wind, he was chilled to the bone. All day long he had felt fevered; now as he walked down Pond Street, his head whirled. When Brown saw him come staggering into Wentworth Place he thought at first that Keats was drunk. At second glance he saw he was seriously ill, flushed and trembling, hardly able to speak. Immediately Brown told him to go to bed. As Keats groped his way up the cold staircase and climbed into bed, a fit of coughing seized him. Brown, who followed him with a glass of spitits, heard him gasp, 'That is blood from my mouth.'

"As Brown hurried to his side, Keats hitched himself up on the pillows and told him to bring the candle close. In the wan circle of light Browne saw a spot of blood on the sheet, bright against the white. Keats muttered, 'This is unfortunate.' Then, according to Browne's account, he looked vey steady up into his friend's face and said, 'I know the colour of that blood. It's arterial blood. There's no mistaking that colour.' As calmly as he could, he added, 'That bood is my death-warrent. I must die.'"

--from John Keats; The Making of a Poet by Ailean Ward
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
User avatar
Posts: 387
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Not where (or when) I want to be.

Re: The beginnings of his "postumous existence"

Postby Raphael » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:17 am


Winter is so cruel.

Freezing weather then as now. Longing for Spring so I am. did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
User avatar
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:10 pm
Location: wandering Keats' poetry

Return to Life and Letters

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests