Excerpts from Famous Love Letters: John Keats

John Keats, by William Hilton (died 1839). See...

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John Keats was born on Halloween, the 31st of  October in 1795 and died on the 23rd of February in 1821. He was an English Romantic poet. He joins Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron as important and influential contributors to the second generation of the Romantic movement.  Even though his work had only been in publication for  four years before his death.

From letters and poem drafts, it appears that Keats first met Frances (Fanny) Brawne between September and November in 1818. Keats writes to Brawne in one of his many hundreds of notes and letters: “My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you — I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again — my Life seems to stop there — I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving — I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. […] I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder’d at it — I shudder no more — I could be martyr’d for my Religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that — I could die for you.” (Letter, 13 October 1819).

Keats’ poetry is defined by its sensual imagery, especially in the series of odes. Nowadays his letters and poems are some of the most analyzed and popular to be found in English literature. And no wonder, his writing is truly delightful and passionate!

Famous Love Letters: John Keats:

Sweetest Fanny,

You fear, sometimes, I do not love you so much as you wish?

My dear Girl I love you ever and ever and without reserve.

The more I have known you the more have I lov’d. In every way – even my jealousies have been agonies of Love, in the hottest fit I ever had I would have died for you.

You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest.

When you pass’d my window home yesterday, I was fill’d with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time. Even if you did not love me I could not help an entire devotion to you: how much more deeply then must I feel for you knowing you love me.

My Mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it.

I never felt my Mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment – upon no person but you.

When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses.

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