NaPoWriMo-Day 8-The Keats Room

Inspired by my visit to the Keats-Shelley museum and the room where Keats spent his last days.

The Keats Room:

Standing in that tiny room

The burbles of the rotten boat

And shouts on the Piazza

Are deaf to the tragedy of this space

 

But those that visit and remember are not

Instead we stand and weep—choked with grief

Feeling the presence of the genius

Lost in this stifling rectangle

I can almost hear you calling

“Lift me up—for I am dying”

And my heart aches

 

I can feel the grief of Severn

How glad I am you had him by your side

To ease you into immortality

A devoted friend—who keenly felt your loss as I do now

What pain he must’ve known

A companion and friend ever committed to your memory

A hero of poesy

 

Your posthumous life

That passed in this little room

So brief

Such cause for grief

 

‘Tis almost unbearable to stand here

And palpably feel your pain

You could not even think of England

Or look on Fanny’s hand

Knowing they were lost forever

Instead you carried her love and letters to your grave

 

Your name, your gift of poesy, and your true, burning, brightest love

All are now immortal

Like your nightingale and bright star

Eternal in the Eternal City

 

You welcomed death like sleep

For all our sakes, would it have come much later

What more awaited—had you not been so consumed

 

Lift you up for you are dying

We lift you up, immortal Keats

Each day

As we thank the gods of poesy

For your brief and wondrous gifts

 

I am so touched to stand in this space

Where you eeked out a posthumous existence

To share this room with your great spirit

To stand and weep where Fanny never could

The girl who loved you as I do

 

I’ll be “stedfast” to your memory

In my remembrances of your words and this room

And my tears

That welled upon my standing there

“Stedfast” and love you ever more

“Or else swoon to death”