“When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be” — John Keats

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head, then turned on the radio to find that song playing? If so, have you ever wondered if you’d somehow made that happen?

Poor John Keats.

Afraid that he would die before achieving fame and experiencing truly passionate love, here expressing those fears, in the end perishes only for those fears to be realized. Achieving fame postmortem and having expired before he could wed his betrothed, I wonder: was this bad luck, a premonition, or a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Perhaps then it is the likelihood of my fears coming to fruition through fate or inadvertent will that this poem resonates with me, and not of the shared fear that I will die too early to experience my life’s desires, though I fear it for others. As do I feel the misery of having seen the potential of some, who live a number of years to constitute a “full” lifetime, squandered.



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