The present research explores the development of John Keats’s poetics, with emphasis on the essential philosophy underlying it, according to which truth is beauty and beauty is truth, poetry is light, and poetic composition is a dynamic quest for love – equivalent with a voyage towards the unknown depths of life –, with poetic words themselves being drops of light that poets, in their felicitous moments, find in the great darkness surrounding them and the many chambers of the imagination, whose doors, in those happy moments, open, in a mysterious process by which the poet’s soul is alchemized, thereby the world being itself alchemized. In the end, Keats came to regard beauty – and so the esthetic dimension of reality – as by far higher than reason, or the rational dimension of reality. Beauty was conducive to the Negative Capability, whose essential dimension was uncertainty, as opposed to reason, which was conducive to certainties. In this equation set out by Keats, the imagination resembles a temple, and the poet – a specialist of the sacred. 

Keywords: thought king; myth; Apollo; Nature’s light; poetry as light/voyage; ethereal poetics; happiness gradations; intensity; truth; beauty

How to cite: Preda IA (2019) The creative faculty in romantic poetics and poetry: John Keats. Stroe MA, ed. Creativity 2(2): 3–25. doi:10.22381/C2220191

Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures,
English Department,
The University of Bucharest, Romania

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