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John Keats pp 39-74 | Cite as

History and Vocation in Poems (1817)

  • William A. Ulmer
Chapter
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Abstract

Chapter 2 explores the ways in which Keats’s Cockney affiliations helped him establish a professional identity and begin his career. The chapter focuses on Poems (1817), first, for Keats’s gestures of poetic self-validation, especially his presentation of himself as the heir to a vocationally legitimating tradition; and secondly, for the volume’s coterie aspect, as extended by Keats’s historicism beyond Hampstead to a broader community of supportive “presiders.” There are readings of the poems in which Keats envisions a Spenserian genealogy for his own poetic identity; of “I stood tip-toe” and “Sleep and Poetry” for their historicizing of myth; and of the “Chapman’s Homer” sonnet, in which Cortez’s speechlessness, figuring the inaccessibility of the historical subject, concedes the limits of the historical imagination.

Keywords

Literary History Round Table Title Page French School Personal Favorite 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Ulmer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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