Great spirits now on earth are sojourning…

Keats3An excerpt from AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Benjamin Robert Hayden

KEATS

About this time (October 1816) I met John Keats at Leigh Hunt’s, and was amazingly interested by him prematurity of intellectual and poetical power.

I read one or two of his sonnets and formed a very high idea of his genius. After a short time I liked him so much that a general invitation on my part followed, and we became extremely intimate. He visited my painting-room at all times, and at all times was welcome.

He was below the middle size, with a low forehead and an eye that had an inward look, perfectly divine, like a Delphian priestess who saw visions. The greatest calamity for Keats was his being brought before the world by a set who had so much the habit of puffing each other that every one connected with it suffered in public estimation. Hence every one was inclined to disbelieve his genius. …

One evening (November 19, 1816) after a most eager interchange of thoughts I received from Keats his sonnet, beginning “Great spirits now on earth are sojourning.” I thanked him, and he wrote, “Your letter has filled me with a proud pleasure, and shall be kept by me as a stimulus to exertion. I begin to fix my eye on one horizon. The idea of your sending it to Wordsworth puts me out of breath. You know with what reverence I would send my well wishes to him.”

As I was walking one day with him in the Kilburn meadows, he said: “Haydon, what a pity it is there is not a human dusthole.”

Bright-Star-movies-9133146-1600-1000KeatsTLS: When did Keats become a great writer? Ask Gigante

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