Poetry Reading – To Solitude, by John Keats

This day (May 5th, 1816) marks the anniversary of the John Keats’s first published poem, To Solitude.

A note from the British Library’s website informs us that

Keats’ first published poem appeared in The Examiner, a lively radical weekly newspaper, on 5 May 1816. The sonnet ‘To solitude’, with its controlled rhythm and youthful echoes of Wordsworth, was a clear indication of his rapidly maturing talent. Signed simply ‘J.K.’, it attracted little public attention, but Keats was sufficiently encouraged to persevere with his writing; by the end of the year he had decided to give up the practice of medicine.

Imagine his delight opening the paper this morning!

So yep. Here’s the poem. My voice, his words, united in heaven forever by SoundCloud. What an age we live in.

Here’s the poem itself –

O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,-
Nature’s observatory – whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s