When I Have Fears, by John Keats and Holy Sonnet 1, by John Donnes
1660 WordsJul 13, 20187 Pages
Mortality is a moving and compelling subject. This end is a confirmation of one’s humanity and the end of one’s substance. Perhaps that is why so many writers and poets muse about their own death in their writings. Keats and John Donne are two such examples of musing poets who share the human condition experience in When I Have Fears and Holy Sonnet 1.
Keats begins each quatrain of the Shakespearean sonnet with a modifier, and each modifier indexes the subject of that quatrain. The modifier therefore gives his sonnet a three part structure. The first quatrain is what he fears; the second quatrain is what he beholds; the third quatrain is what he feels; and the ending couplet sums up all of the quatrains. However, the structure could…show more content…
He also calls the addressed “fair creature of the hour,” and recognizes the constraint of time on love, for an hour is fleeting. He also recognizes the fickleness of it – who is to say someone else will be his addressed the next hour? He continues to suggest that the addressed has some sort of deceptive and illusory “faery power” that creates an “unreflecting love.” Deception and illusion typically are detrimental for those who experience it. Keats does not reflect on losing the chance for love as something terribly unhappy, for he has a pre-existing negative perception of love. Love is also “unreflecting,” so love won’t be reciprocated. Keats then ends the segment about love half a line earlier in this quatrain than all other quatrains.
Keats introduces the summation of the poem early, in the second part of the last line in quatrain four. This choice reflects how great his impending death weighs on his mind. In the final couplet, Keats’s dark views of love leave him to “stand alone” and not experience the love mentioned in the previous quatrain. Of course, “alone” might not necessarily mean devoid of love; he could mean that he’s alone because of his hopeless thoughts on the subject. Or he could mean he is alone because he does not have the emblems “Love” and “Fame.” “Wide world” dwarfs him, making it even sadder that in spite of all the vast opportunities he has had with different cultures,