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Over the course of his short life, John Keats (1795-1821) honed a raw talent into a brilliant poetic maturity. This selection of Keats' poetry contains youthful verse, such as his earliest known poem Imitation of Spenser ; and poems from his celebrated collection of 1820 - including Lamia , Isabella , Hyperion and La Belle Dame sans Merci .
John Keats was born in October 1795. In October 1816 he met Leigh Hunt, whose Examiner had already published Keats's first poem. Only seven months later Poems (1817) appeared. The extraordinary speed with which Keats matured is evident from his letters. In 1818 he had worked on the powerful epic fragment Hyperion, and in 1819 he wrote `The Eve of St Agnes', `La Belle Dame sans Merci', the major odes, Lamia, and the deeply exploratory Fall of Hyperion. Keats was already unwell when preparing the 1820 volume for the press; by the time it appeared in July he was desperately ill. He died in Rome in 1821.Edited with an introduction and notes by John Barnard.