Advertisement

Keats, Shoots and Leaves

  • Fiona StaffordEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Fiona Stafford explores the dynamic interchange of real and imagined terrain in Keats’s work, focusing on how the poet’s reading both transforms and is transformed by his experience of the physical world, notably Hampstead. Stafford shows that Keats’s botanical imagery grows from the real world—from first-hand observations of the distinctive flora and vegetation that flourishes on the sandy soils of Hampstead Heath. Keats’s ‘full imaginative take-off’, she argues, ‘depends on the stability of its launch-pad’. Stafford’s rich chapter also considers how fresh meanings grow from words, from puns, allusions and recurrent usage, as the distinction between internal and external worlds becomes blurred—with uncanny effects—in Keats’s poetry. Words, she shows, sprout double or multiple meanings that take root in his mind, on the page, on the Heath, in the garden.

Works Cited

  1. Carson, Ciaran, Fishing for Amber (London: Granta, 1999).Google Scholar
  2. Culpeper, Nicholas, The Complete Herbal, enlarged edn (London: Evans, 1814).Google Scholar
  3. De Almeida, Hermione, Romantic Medicine and John Keats (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  4. Goellnicht, Donald C., The Poet-Physician: Keats and Medical Science (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1984).Google Scholar
  5. Hunt, James Leigh, Lord Byron and Some of his Contemporaries, 2nd edn, 2 vols (London: Colburn, 1828).Google Scholar
  6. ———, Sonnets in The Examiner, 30 June 1816, pp. 409–10; 7 July 1816, p. 424; 14 July 1816, p. 440.Google Scholar
  7. Jack, Ian, Keats and the Mirror of Art (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967).Google Scholar
  8. Keats, John, John Keats’s Anatomical and Physiological Note Book, Printed from the Holograph in the Keats Museum, Hampstead, ed. M. Buxton Forman (London: Oxford University Press, 1934), p. 27.Google Scholar
  9. ———, The Letters of John Keats, ed. Hyder Edward Rollins, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958).Google Scholar
  10. ———, The Poems of John Keats, ed. Jack Stillinger (London: Heineman, 1978).Google Scholar
  11. ———, The Complete Poems, ed. John Barnard, 3rd edn (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988).Google Scholar
  12. Linné, Carl von, Elements of Botany … Being a Translation of Philosophia Botanica (London: T. Cadell, 1775).Google Scholar
  13. Mabey, Richard, The Cabaret of Plants (London: Profile, 2015).Google Scholar
  14. Marvell, Andrew, The Poems of Andrew Marvell, ed. Nigel Smith (London: Longman, 2003).Google Scholar
  15. Park, John James, The Topography and Natural History of Hampstead (London: Cochrane, 1814).Google Scholar
  16. Reynolds, John Hamilton, The Eden of Imagination (London: Cawthorn, 1814).Google Scholar
  17. ———, The Garden of Florence (London: Warren, 1821).Google Scholar
  18. Roe, Nicholas, Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt (London: Pimlico, 2005).Google Scholar
  19. ———, John Keats: A New Life (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012).Google Scholar
  20. Salisbury, William, ‘Mr Salisbury’s Botanical Excursions and Calendar of Flora’, London Medical and Physical Journal, 34 (1815): 258; 35 (1816): 516–17.Google Scholar
  21. ———, The Botanist’s Companion, 2 vols (London: Longman, 1816).Google Scholar
  22. Shelley, Percy Bysshe, The Defence of Poetry, in Shelley’s Poetry and Prose, ed. Donald H. Reiman and Sharon B. Powers (New York and London: Norton, 1977), p. 500.Google Scholar
  23. Thornton, Robert John, A New Family Herbal (London: B. and R. Crosby, 1810).Google Scholar
  24. ———, The Temple of Flora, ed. Werner Dressendörfer (Köln: Taschen, 2008), pp. 11–12.Google Scholar
  25. Truss, Lynn, Eats, Shoots and Leaves (London: Profile, 2003).Google Scholar
  26. Wordsworth, William, The Excursion (1814), ed. Sally Bushell, James A. Butler and Michael C. Jaye (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2007).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Somerville CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations