"Posthumous Keats" is the result of twenty years of reflection on the enduring afterlife of one of England's greatest Romantic poets. John Keats' famous epitaph - 'Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water' - helped cement his reputation as the archetype of the genius cut off before his time. Keats, who died of tuberculosis at twenty-five, saw his mortality as fatal to his poetry and therein, Stanley Plumly argues, lies his tragedy: Keats thought he had failed in his mission 'to be among the English poets'.In this close narrative study, Plumly meditates on the chances for poetic immortality - an idea that finds its purest expression in Keats. Incisive in its observations and beautifully written, "Posthumous Keats" is an ode to an unsuspecting young poet - a man who, against the odds of his culture and critics, managed to achieve the unthinkable: the elevation of the lyric poem to sublime and tragic status.
* STANLEY PLUMLY has written nine books of poetry. His many honours include the William Carlos Williams Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Plumly is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.