John Keats was a pure poet. He has done poetry for the sake of poetry. He was not a reformer; therefore, the influence of his poetry on the minds of readers is not social or moral. He did not touch social elements of the society even though the writers and poets of that era were writing about the revolutions. Some of them trying to reform the society by satire and some were giving examples of French Revolution but John Keats kept himself away from them. Any prudent and sensitive mind can enjoy the poetry of John Keats as it keeps the mental thoughts on a place where it must be. Keats may not have enough mature mind to write an epic like “Paradise Lost” but in a very young age he has written poetry, which is incredible. There is no rival of John Keats in his style, thoughts, sensuousness, sensitiveness, escapism, classicism and romanticism. It is because of the balance of these elements he is regarded as one of the best romantic poets.
Keats is a romantic poet. Although, every romantic has a social significance yet Keats is different from them in this regard. If he is romantic then definitely he is escapist. In fact, Keats is the most romantic poet because he is the most escapist of them all. He wants to flee from this cruel world. Romantic poetry is the poetry of imaginations and dreams. Keats finds pleasure in escaping from the harsh realities of life. He finds peace in escapism. Sometimes, he enjoys the beautiful voice of nightingale and thinks that it is immortal unlike humans. He is afraid that “youth grows pale and specter thin, and dies”, therefore, there is a strange pleasure in escapism. Keats did not expect a better world and the only solution, according to him is to go away from it. Literature has universality in it and everyone expects escapism from this hard life, which can only be found in Keats’s poetry. Hence, defensibly, Keats poetry puts man’s mind exactly where it should be.
Old memories are gold for most of the people. John Keats is a lover of past and as an escapist, when he escapes, he goes in the past. Present is not suitable for him, therefore, he writes on Greek sculptures and medieval concepts. He does not write about present problems of the world. As discussed above, he is a pure poet and writes poetry for the purpose of poetry; some of the poems of John Keats have classical themes like Endymion, Hyperion and Lamia and some poems like Eve of St Agnes, Isabella and La Belle Dame Sans Merci are based on medieval themes. His poetry is full of Greek as well as medieval splendor and glory. Thus, he is lover of post and finds consolation in it.
Nature is an important element in everyone’s life. No one can find peace elsewhere than nature. Nature has direct connection with the mode and attitude of humans. Keats’s poetry praises nature and its existence. The fundamental part of every poem of John Keats’ is to admire nature. He imitates nature in a sense that it becomes charming. In addition, he has love for beauty and it is the most striking element of Keats’s poetry. According to him, truth is beauty and beauty is truth. When he pursues beauty, he forgets everything even the world around him. When he praises the beauty of earth, he finds something new with every new day. When he comes to clouds, he commends his vastness. Similarly, when he mimics nature, he symbolizes it for romance. Thus, it is also a factor of Keats’s poetry, which balances the mind of a man and enchants it.
Keats is a clean versifier. No social problem can be found in his poetry nor is any satire available in it. He is not among those writers/poets who try to balance between art and social life. He is not a moralist. He is not a reformer. He is an artist and then a pure poet. He finds delight in writing poetry and he is successful in achieving his objective though his age was short. He is not a moralist, reformer and teacher but it does not make him inferior to other poets. The command on poetic verses, its richness, its classicism and colored romanticism prefers John Keats on other poets of his era. There is always a separate place for Keats’s poetry in every era. It is because of his poetic perfection; he is being discussed and debated in this era. No one can surpass Keats when it comes to poetic excellence.
The purpose of above debate is to prove that Keats was not a teacher, who teached or gave lessen to the people. His poetry has pleasure for them, who are sensitive like John Keats. A mind, who prefers art, always finds his place in Keats poetry. No doubt, social problems are discussed by many writers and it is also duty of the writer to satirize the stupidest but not necessarily it is important for every writer or poet. Keats’s poetry calms mind and gives peace to the soul. Keats himself says
“Poetry should be great and unobtrusive—a thing which enters into one’s soul and does not startle it.”
Keats often says that the poet must not live for himself, but must feel for others, and must do good but he must do so by being a poet—not by being a teacher or a moralist. He further states:-
“If a sparrow comes before my window, I take part in its existence and pick about the gravel—a poet has no identity. He is continually in, for and filling some other body.”
Johns Keats lived and did poetry for everyone. He did it for soul, for mind, for peace, for pleasure, for purification, for sensitive spirits and for the people, who pursue beauty. There is no flaw in saying that he puts a mind on its right place; exactly on a delicate balance.