‘‘When i have fears that i may cease to be’’john keats

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‘‘When I have Fears That I may Cease to be’’
John Keats

John Keats wrote the poem ‘‘When I have Fears That I may Cease to be’’ in 1817. It is an Elizabethan sonnet written in iambic pentameter.In this poem, Keats expresses his feelings faced to death. First of all, we shall examine what his fears concerning poetry and love are. Then, we shall see the way he tries and forgets these fears.To begin with, we can notice that the poet expresses his fears concerning poetry. On the one hand, Keats fears that death prevents him from being an accomplished poet. The comparison between the poetand the harvester in the first quatrain emphasizes this idea. Indeed, we can see the lexical field of the harvest : “glean’d” (l.2), “garners” (l.4), “the full ripen’d grain” (l.4). The repetition ofthe plosive /g/ underlines this metaphora : the sounds are coming out as small explosions like the imagination of the poet is. Moreover, there is a comparison between “Books” (l.3) and “garners” (l.4).Actually, the harvest metaphora puts into relief the great productivity of the poet’s imagination and the way he needs to express it. The poet is like the harvester who harvests his grain with histool since he is the harvester who harvests his imagination with his pen. Besides, this metaphora shows that there is a great fusion between the poet and the world. He has the feeling to belong tonature and there is a reciprocity between him and nature. Thus, he fears that death prevents its imagination from reaching its maturity and so that death prevents him from reaching fame. On the otherhand, Keats fears that death prevents him from showing everything that is not conscious. Indeed, the poet has to fulfill a quest to show the “shadows” (l. 8) and the “symbols” (l.6) of things, that isto say the true meaning of things like the “nigh’s starr’d face” (l.5). He is not an ordinary man. Actually, he is “the magic hand of Chance” (l.8). Thus, Keats hopes he will have enough time to...