Fanny brawne

The odd couple: John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald

On a shard of paper, some time in the bleak mid-1930s, F. Scott Fitzgerald incorporated a favourite line from one of his favourite poets, John Keats, in a short verse of his own: Don’t you worry I surrenderDays are long and life’s a benderStill I know thatTender is the Night Keats was a Romantic, perhaps the Romantic, with his lyric gift and tragically brief life. Fitzgerald loved the Romantic poets, and romance in the lower case, but was at the heart’s core a modernist, far more egoist than romantic, and quite hard-boiled. The little quatrain above is rather like T.S. Eliot’s ‘jug jug’ in The Waste Land — homage of

Imagining a future for John Keats — the novelist

Keats long ago became the meaningless emblem of poetic genius. When the poet Amanda Gorman appeared at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, both detractors and admirers wanted to set her against the highest possible comparison. They didn’t reach for the US’s new Nobel laureate, Louise Glück. They went for Keats: either ‘Amanda Gorman is Keats-level brilliant’ or ‘Well, it’s not exactly Keats’. But what is Keats, exactly? It seems to me that there is a difference between the 5ft English poet who worked for a very few years before dying at 25 in 1821, and the idea of ‘Keats’. The idea of ‘Keats’ encompasses a great love story with Fanny Brawne;