Two Tidbits About John Keats that I Learned from Reading Science Fiction

John Keats, the 19th century English Romantic poet, loved a woman named Fanny. That’s tidbit one. Fast forward to the last sentence if you want to skip the middle stuff and go directly to tidbit two.

Oddly enough, Keats, or at least his “cybrid” analog in the Hegemony, is a major character in the far future science fiction adventure, Hyperion and its sequel, The Fall of Hyperion, written by Dan Simmons.*

Googling Keats brought up a link to his works from which Simmons borrowed the titles for his books.

Hyperion is an abandoned epic poem by 19th-century English Romantic poet John Keats. It is based on the Titanomachia, and tells of the despair of the Titans after their fall to the Olympians. Keats wrote the poem from late 1818 until the spring of 1819, when he gave it up as having “too many Miltonic inversions.” He was also nursing his younger brother Tom, who died on 1 December 1818 of tuberculosis. 

The themes and ideas were picked up again in Keats’s The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, when he attempted to recast the epic by framing it with a personal quest to find truth and understanding.

Dan Simmons’s novels pull off the amazing feat of combining old world sense and sensibilities with the ethics and challenges of a far reaching human presence in an infinite future universe.

I’m going to be honest and tell you, dear reader, that there were some small passages of Simmons’s books that I just did not comprehend. I often had to go back and reread and even read aloud certain passages, and still the technology was over my head. But the stories were so compelling that I was able to allow myself to be carried through those sections. Avid readers of science fiction will understand what I mean.

One thing’s for certain. I will be pondering Hyperion Cantos for a long time. Oh, tidbit two–I learned that John Keats was only five feet tall.

Peace, people!

*Hyperion Cantos is a four novel series. I just started book 3, Endymion.

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

13 thoughts on “Two Tidbits About John Keats that I Learned from Reading Science Fiction”

  1. I was just writing perseverance in another post and look at that, it would seem to apply to you as well! I must enjoy a milder form of sci fi-perhaps it borders more on fantasy I suppose- because just looking at the cover of this book would have caused me to bypass it altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t even see the cover until I wrote this post since my Kindle skips right to chapter one. I only downloaded the book because two of my favorite sci-fi authors recommended it on Twitter. It’s a little more tech heavy than my usual sci-fi preference, but the author intrigued me early on and I persevered!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Now I have to check out Dan Simmons.
    In college I had a mental love affair with Bryon and Keats and adored their poetry. Especially Lord Byron, because he seemed like a rather tragically flawed romanized figure. But Keats’ work was incredible. Thank you for giving me something new to investigate…
    I recall reading that Keats was considerably shorter than Byron, but I had no idea exactly how little he was. Interesting. The really tragic thing was that they both died so young. Thank goodness we still have their beautiful poems to cherish.

    Liked by 1 person

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