John Keats letter to John Taylor, p. 1

John Keats, letter to John Taylor, 27 February 1818, p. 1. MA 828. Purchased by Belle da Costa Greene on behalf of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1912.


p. 1

Hampstead 27 Feb[ruar]y
London L       1818

My dear Taylor,
Your alteration strikes me as being a great
improvement. the page looks much better. And now I will
attend to the Punctuations you speak of — the comma
should be at soberly, and in the other passage the comma
should follow quiet,. I am extremely indebted to you
for this attention and also for your after admonitions.
It is a sorry thing for me that any one should have
to overcome Prejudices in reading my Verses. that affects
me more than any hypercriticism on any particular
Passage. In Endymion I have most likely but
moved into the Go-cart from the leading strings.
In Poetry I have a few Axioms, and you will see
how far I am from their Centre. 1st I think Poetry should
surprise by a fine excess and not by Singularity —
it should strike the Reader as a wording of his own highest
thoughts, and appear almost a Remembrance —
2nd Its touches of Beauty should never be half way
thereby making the reader breathless instead of content:
the use, the progress, the setting of imagery should like
the sun come natural[,] natural too [sic] him—shine over