Thanks to Tim Powers’ The Stress of Her Regard (aka the best vampire novel ever written), I’ve gotten sucked (no pun intended) into the writings of Keats, Shelley, Byron, and their ilk, as well as their interconnected biographies. I used to abhor poetry, feeling like I was on the outside of something pompous and overblown that I clearly didn’t understand or appreciate, and I didn’t necessarily want to do so either. As I’ve grown and explored more, I’ve discovered that it’s far more accessible than I originally knew. I think the biggest barrier I had to learning to appreciate it was the analytical nonsense poured into my head by the English teachers I had back in school. I contend it’s impossible to appreciate the beauty of something if you autopsy it first.
And so it is that I’ve rediscovered the greats, and this collection of Keats’ work is nothing less than a treasure trove in my eyes. There is a both a simple beauty and a complex horror to be found in these pages, both of which help me to better see my own world with a new perspective.