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"the advantages i have gained by knowing john keats would to gain any other way have doubled and trebled the time"

11.16.2011
















during my summer in oxford i took a few breaks from my 
studies to explore all of the cultural delights that were at my fingertips.
on the top of my list was visiting the home that john keats lived in
for two short, but prolific years.
this is the home where he met and fell in love with fanny brawne.
this is the home where he wrote his best poetry--where he sat beneath a tree

after my first summer of grad school in asheville, north carolina
where i was able to study his letters and poetry in depth
i became entranced by his words in both prose and verse.
this was a human being full of a deep understanding of the heart, the soul, and this life.

when i took an afternoon to go to london to the hampstead heath neighborhood
i was immediately smitten with this charming area filled with homes that
will most likely never be within my means.
it was raining which just added to the melancholy and simultaneous joy that i was feeling.

this home is one of the most peaceful places i have ever walked in.
you could feel john keats pacing through the hallways,
and walking out the door to meditate on words and the heart. 

keats died of consumption in italy, far from his love.
it is incredibly heart-breaking, yet beautiful, to read joseph severn's letters
documenting keats' harrowing death. 
i was lucky enough to visit the house on the final day that they had the
actual last letter that keats wrote to fanny brawne.
it was quite incredible to see his handwriting for myself with my own eyes.

last night i spent some time in the library revisiting my writings from oxford this summer.
i was reminded of how powerful poetry really, truly is--how it has changed me forever.
my thoughts were on john donne and john keats
which reminded me of my visit to this place. 

if you ever visit london, it is worth the trip to see this holy house.

4 comments:

The Egg said...

these photos are so calming!

xoxo the egg out west.

Anita said...

Such beautiful words and images. Thank-you for sharing!

tinyparticlesoflight said...

Keats' home!...how wonderful and romantic!

xo
cortnie

Brown Paper Packages said...

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful images and your honest and vulnerable response to this master. I never made it to his house when we last visited but it's just shot to the top of the "to do" list! :-)