Guest poem submitted by Janice :
(Poem #1824) When I have Fears that I may Cease to Be
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.
Keats has been my one true love. Apart from the other, perhaps more famous odes, this poem has been an eternal favourite. It is sad, it is beautiful. It starts on an almost cliched note, the theme of dying and living an unfulfilled life but Keats' lyricism, style and simplicity lifts it above the mundane... and when you reach "then on the shore of the wide world I stand alone, and think / Till love and fame to nothingness do sink" the imagery and power of those final lines take your breath away. I could go on... but the beauty of the poem I think lies in the fact that you are left with that image... and everytime you read it and re-read it it still strikes just as hard. He was, after all, 26 when he died. Janice.