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When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be Summary & Analysis
by John Keats

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"When I have Fears That I May Cease to be" is an Elizabethan (a.k.a. Shakespearean) sonnet written by John Keats in 1818, although it wasn't published until 1848, which was twenty-seven years after the poet's death. A lyric poem (in the sense that it expresses personal or intimate feelings), the poem centers on a speaker's anxiety about dying before being able to achieve his or her aspirations as a poet. What makes the poem especially tragic and moving is that Keats died of tuberculosis only three years after writing it, at the young age of 25.

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