Johnny Keats 1795-1821

Here lies one whose name was writ in water.

Keats' epitaph for himself (1821)


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Melancholy's lack of zest

Was written all over his palimpsest:

To die at twenty-five, to some,

Will hardly seem to have been alive.

But Johnny Keats lived and loved

Poetry, music, kisses, tears

Eschewing self-pitying-fears-of-suicide

He tried his best to stay alive

With medicine, and Fanny's tears.


No crossing of the river Lethe, as yet,

Undefeated by TB, at least temporarily,

No seeking out of empty-headed

Oblivion either. He preferred to breathe,

To feel, to see, to hear, to think, to write

Apothecary-surgeon Keats wanted Fanny as his wife..



He did not measure out his life in years

But rose to the attainment of that rarest

Of rare orchids, love. For what will survive of us

is love.


Towards the end, in Rome, he devotes his  time to love,  friends

To all the passingness of life. Johnny

Keats, the poet-physician, balanced

His surface understanding of anatomy

With the hidden mysteries of poetry 

His alchemical intuitions since ,

Borne out by quantum physics.


Time is such a  slippery beast,

For footloose Cavaliers,

And life is so much more

Than just the passing of the years.



◄ Solace

Inside Out ►


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Mon 30th Mar 2020 02:47

Love this one John, especially the last stanza. I agree with Po. Your poetry deserves a place among the greats and would be excellent teaching material for aspiring poets. Write on my friend! ❤️🔥🌟

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John Marks

Sun 29th Mar 2020 23:57

Thank you Po though I do not think that I deserve such an elegy just yet. Please stay safe and sound. I wish you all that you wish yourself. Take care Norfolk lad. John

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Sun 29th Mar 2020 23:52

Poets of the past
live on forever
their words will last

Your poems will be holographically written/projected on classroom walls and bedroom ceilings long after you have left this world behind for future generations to appreciate and enjoy Johnny E Marks.

... As life is so much more
Than just the passing of the years


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