written word

Beauty is perhaps transient – but some things are indeed permanent

John_keats_death_mask

I’ve loved John Keats ever since I’ve been aware of his existence.  When I was at school, to supplement the textbook we were given on Keats’ poetry, I bought myself a book full of his letters, many written to his true love & next door neighbour Fanny Brawne.

I enjoyed reading his poems, but it was the letters to Fanny and to his brother George in America that really caught my imagination.

Years later, I lingered in his house at the bottom of the Spanish Steps in Rome.  He lived there with his friend the artist Joseph Severn in the latter days of his life, only 25 years old & dying from consumption.  He could no longer go out, but observed life in Rome passing him by through the window by his bed that looks straight out onto the Steps.

How lucky we are to have language and writing to express ourselves to each other and how amazing is it that we have the legacy of those that have gone before us to read at our leisure.