When I have fears that I may cease to be (John Keats)

When I have fears…

by John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred 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.


Dear George,

I am so afraid, George. I think I can be one of the greatest poets in English literature. Can you see it in front of you? Rows and rows of books, only from me, the fulfilment of my potential that I think I have, and people are buying them! But what if I die before I can show the world how much potential I have!? What if I don’t have enough time!?

When I look around me, I see so much that I can transform into sonnets, ballads or epics. I see romances and nature that I can write about. But I am so afraid I won’t have enough time to write about everything I now see around me. I am so afraid I will not have enough days left.

And then of course before I forget, the love of my life: what if I lose her, what if I can never look upon her anymore? I do not know what I would do then!

I think about all these things, and see myself on this big earth alone, seemingly the only one thinking about this. But while I was thinking about this, I found out that love and fame are not important in life; only to live is. When I die, love and fame have no function anymore.

Best wishes and hoping to see you soon.

Your brother,

John Keats

by Anonymous

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When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be (John Keats)

When I have Fears That I May

Cease to Be

by John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred 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.

_________________________

Dear beloved,

I write to you this letter, because I fear we will not see each other again. I fear that my time will come soon and therefore I want you to know my final thoughts.

I am afraid I will die before I have harvested my full ripened grain. I feel that I  am not fully developed as a poet yet. I reckon that in ten years’ time I will be much more mature and that only then I will be able to write to the best of my ability. In other words: I am afraid to die before I have written to the best of my ability.

When it is late and I can’t sleep, I look at the radiant stars and my eyes are then filled with tears, such beauty will never disappear, but I, I am transient and will one day disappear forever. Nature is full of surprises, full of miracles, things I want to transform into poetry, when I still have the chance.

There is of course the fear of losing you, my dearest Girl. We fell in love and got engaged, although we both know we will not see each other again. Love is just like you and me mortal and will not last.

And finally I am alone trying to understand these fears and to cope with them. But let me be honest, my dear Fanny, I am not managing so well. It may take a while before I die, but I will always be anxious and worried till the day I leave this earth forever.

Yours forever
John Keats

by Anonymous

When I have fears that I may cease to be (John Keats)

When I have fears that I may cease to be

by John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred 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.

_____________________________________________________

Dear George,

How are you, my brother? I’m writing you because something crossed my mind. Things haven’t been going great for me. This afternoon, I was casually sitting on my couch in front of the fireplace. A glass of fine wine on the side: a lovely, cosy evening. Well… It seemed a lovely evening. I started thinking… Thinking about death. What if I die tomorrow? Mother died, father died… Even Thomas has died. I have fears… Fears that my end is near. I have still so much to write, and so little time left. My head is full of unwritten stories, poems, letters… There are so many books to be written; holding my words like a grain silo holds grain. I want the fame. I want the recognition. I deserve it. What if I die tomorrow? I went out to get some fresh air, and look up the sky. Just to clear my head. The clouds I saw, depressed me even more. I saw clouds that floated so peacefully. It made me thinking even more. I would never get the chance to try the sweet taste of love. Not any kind of love, no, not any kind. The real kind of love, the best feeling love can give. If I die tomorrow… I can’t even get close to sparkles of that feeling when I die tomorrow. There’s too little time to find love. Never will I experience the magical feeling of blinding adoration for someone. But then I went back inside. I sat down, and my eye fell on the globe next to my sofa. And all my fear rushed out my body. Because I realised, what does it even matter? In the end, we’re all the same, little creatures subservient to the great, cruel, wide world. What’s love and fame in a world as big as ours?

It doesn’t matter, it does not.

Life was never what it seemed, not what I’ve thought.

Yours sincerely,

John

 

by Anonymous