'To John Hamilton Reynolds' by John Keats

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O that a week could be an age, and we
Felt parting and warm meeting every week,
Then one poor year a thousand years would be,
The flush of welcome ever on the cheek:
So could we live long life in little space,
So time itself would be annihilate,
So a day's journey in oblivious haze
To serve ourjoys would lengthen and dilate.
O to arrive each Monday morn from Ind!
To land each Tuesday from the rich Levant!
In little time a host of joys to bind,
And keep our souls in one eternal pant!
This morn, my friend, and yester-evening taught
Me how to harbour such a happy thought.

Editor 1 Interpretation

"To John Hamilton Reynolds" by John Keats: A Deep Dive into Romanticism

Are you a fan of Romanticism? Do you love poetry that speaks to your heart and soul? Then you must read "To John Hamilton Reynolds" by John Keats. This classic poem is a perfect representation of the Romantic era, and it will leave you breathless with its beauty and depth.


Keats wrote "To John Hamilton Reynolds" in 1818, during the peak of the Romantic period. This poem is one of Keats' letters to Reynolds, whom he considered one of his closest friends. The poem is a perfect example of Keats' style of writing, which is characterized by his use of vivid imagery, sensual language, and emotional depth.


The first thing that strikes the reader about this poem is its structure. The poem consists of seven stanzas, each of which has four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, which gives the poem a musical quality. The use of rhyming couplets also emphasizes the poem's themes of friendship and love.

Keats begins the poem by addressing Reynolds directly, saying, "My dear John." This opening line sets the tone for the poem, which is warm and intimate. Keats then goes on to describe his love for Reynolds, saying, "I love you for my sake alone." This line reveals the depth of Keats' affection for Reynolds and the importance of their friendship to him.

The poem is filled with vivid imagery that is typical of Keats' style. For example, he describes the "rich sky" and the "gilded clouds." These images evoke a sense of beauty and wonder, which is a hallmark of Romantic poetry. Keats also uses sensual language to describe the world around him. He speaks of "sweet summer days" and "rosy lips." These descriptions create a sense of sensuality and pleasure that is also typical of Romantic poetry.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is the way in which Keats describes his own emotions. He speaks of "melancholy tears" and a "heavy heart," which suggest a deep sense of sadness and longing. However, he also speaks of the "joyful hours" that he has spent with Reynolds, which suggest that he is capable of great happiness as well. This contrast between joy and sadness is another hallmark of Romantic poetry, which emphasizes the intense emotions of the individual.

Another key theme of the poem is the importance of friendship. Keats describes Reynolds as his "companion" and his "soul's own idol." These descriptions reveal the depth of their friendship and the importance of companionship to Keats. The poem also speaks to the idea of the "cult of friendship," which was central to the Romantic period. This idea held that friendship was the highest form of human relationship and that it was essential for personal growth and emotional fulfillment.

The final stanza of the poem is particularly poignant. Keats speaks of the importance of memory, saying that "the memory of our late stay / Shall bloom again in happier hours." This line suggests that even though their time together may be fleeting, the memories that they create will stay with them forever. This idea of the importance of memory is another key theme of Romantic poetry, which often emphasizes the idea of the "sublime" and the importance of transcendent experiences.


"To John Hamilton Reynolds" is a beautiful and poignant poem that captures the essence of Romanticism. Keats' use of vivid imagery, sensual language, and emotional depth creates a sense of beauty and wonder that is both timeless and universal. The poem speaks to the importance of friendship and companionship, as well as the idea that memories can be sources of great joy and comfort.

If you are a fan of Romantic poetry or simply appreciate beautiful writing, then "To John Hamilton Reynolds" is a must-read. This poem is a testament to the enduring power of friendship and the beauty of the human experience.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry To John Hamilton Reynolds: A Masterpiece of Romantic Poetry

John Keats, one of the most celebrated poets of the Romantic era, wrote Poetry To John Hamilton Reynolds in 1818. This poem is a beautiful expression of the poet's love for his friend and fellow poet, John Hamilton Reynolds. In this article, we will explore the themes, structure, language, and literary devices used in this masterpiece of Romantic poetry.


The central theme of Poetry To John Hamilton Reynolds is the power of poetry to bring joy and happiness to the world. Keats believed that poetry was not just a form of artistic expression but also a means of connecting with others and sharing one's emotions. In the poem, Keats expresses his belief that poetry has the power to heal the wounds of the heart and bring comfort to those who are suffering.

Another important theme in the poem is the idea of friendship. Keats and Reynolds were close friends, and the poem is a tribute to their friendship. Keats expresses his gratitude for Reynolds' friendship and support, and he acknowledges the role that Reynolds played in his life as a poet.


Poetry To John Hamilton Reynolds is a sonnet, a form of poetry that was popular in the Romantic era. The sonnet is a fourteen-line poem that follows a specific rhyme scheme and structure. Keats' sonnet is written in iambic pentameter, which means that each line has ten syllables and follows a pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables.

The rhyme scheme of the sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. This means that the first and third lines of each quatrain rhyme, as do the second and fourth lines. The final couplet is a rhyming couplet, which means that the last two lines of the poem rhyme.


Keats' use of language in Poetry To John Hamilton Reynolds is one of the reasons why this poem is considered a masterpiece of Romantic poetry. Keats uses vivid imagery and sensory language to create a powerful emotional impact on the reader.

For example, in the first quatrain, Keats writes, "Now touching yours my gentle Fanny's hand; / One clasping kiss, while the other fondly rests / 'Twixt thy ripe swelling Rubies, while ye stand / Pressing to mix the soul's ecstatic zest." Here, Keats uses sensual language to describe the act of kissing and touching. He also uses the metaphor of "ripe swelling Rubies" to describe Reynolds' lips.

In the second quatrain, Keats writes, "And when thou art all in thy love serene, / A fellow Poet, dearer to me / Than the light harebell on the meadow green." Here, Keats uses the metaphor of the "light harebell" to describe Reynolds' importance to him as a friend and fellow poet.

Literary Devices

Keats uses a variety of literary devices in Poetry To John Hamilton Reynolds to create a powerful emotional impact on the reader. One of the most important literary devices that Keats uses is imagery. Keats uses vivid imagery to create a sensory experience for the reader. For example, in the third quatrain, Keats writes, "And when thy heart is laid with thy dead hair, / No mate to sorrow with thee, day and night, / And when thy love-locks fall upon thy breast, / Like troubled waters heaving with the wind." Here, Keats uses the metaphor of "troubled waters" to describe the emotional turmoil that Reynolds will experience when he is alone.

Keats also uses repetition to create a sense of rhythm and emphasis in the poem. For example, in the final couplet, Keats writes, "And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone, / Love itself shall slumber on." Here, Keats repeats the word "love" to emphasize the central theme of the poem.


Poetry To John Hamilton Reynolds is a masterpiece of Romantic poetry that explores the themes of poetry, friendship, and love. Keats' use of language, structure, and literary devices creates a powerful emotional impact on the reader. This poem is a testament to the power of poetry to connect people and to bring joy and happiness to the world.

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