Friday, March 4, 2011

John Keats' Sonnet on KING LEAR


On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again

                                by John Keats

O golden-tongued Romance with serene lute!
   Fair plumed Syren! Queen of far away!
   Leave melodizing on this wintry day,
Shut up thine olden pages, and be mute:
Adieu! for once again the fierce dispute,
   Betwixt damnation and impassion'd clay
   Must I burn through; once more humbly assay
The bitter-sweet of this Shakespearian fruit.
Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion,
   Begetters of our deep eternal theme,
When through the old oak forest I am gone,
   Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But when I am consumed in the fire,
Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire.

Since the great romatic poet felt a necessity to read King Lear once again, I suggest that, you, as students, do the same this weekend.


  1. I read this like 4 times Balgley and I don't really understand it. The only thing I think I can understand is the fact that Mr. Keats is praising Shakespeare as a Poet, and writer.

  2. Impassion'd clay represents humans, in both the Hebraic and the Greek religions (remember Prometheus) humans were formed from the earth's clay. You know what damnation is. The fruit he is referring to is KING LEAR. Albion is England. Let's see if your classmates can offer some further help.

  3. I'll need some further help as well. I've reread this a couple of times and still am unable to understand this.

  4. I think that this poem first talks about one really important thing in Shakespeare which is death, this is because in most of his plays at the end this is what always takes over!!! however as far i can tell this also as Brittany said Mr.Keats is talking about King Lear!

  5. This sonnet is about Keat's relationship with the drama that became his idea of tragic perfection, and how it relates to his own struggle with the issues of short life and premature death. Keats uses the occasion of the rereading this play to explore his seduction by it and its influence on himself and his ways of looking at himself and his situation in spite of his negative capability.

  6. I've reread this a few times and I don't really understand it.