Imagination as Truth

John Keats: Letters as Criticism

My initial thought when I read the introductory paragraph before the selections of letters was how surprised I was that Keats was an apprentice to an apothecary-surgeon at the age of 15 It is very impressive that at such a young age Keats was able to understand medical terminology and assist in medical procedures. I was also surprised that Keats left the medical field to become a writer. Keats left the medical field demonstrates how much he loved poetry and writing..
Keats’s letter to Benjamin Bailey on November 22, 1817 starts off by testifying that he cannot write about a subject because he has not had the proper number of years to study it. I am still unsure of about the subject he was asked to write about, but refusing to complete the assignment shows Keat’s commitement to present information as thourughly and acturatily as possible. Keat’. Keats goes on to say that he is certain of nothing but the truth in imagination. This proclamation may be controversial because it seems as though he is suggesting that imagination and love registers more truth than the dictates of religion.
In a letter to Benjamin Bailey, Keats describes imagination as truth proclaiming that he has yet to find truth in logic. “The Imagination may be compared to Adam’s dream—he awoke and found it truth. I am the more zealous in this affair, because I have never yet been able to perceive how any thing can be known for truth by consequitive reasoning—and yet it must be—Can it be that even the greatest Philosopher ever arrived at his goal without putting aside numerous objections—However it may be, O for a Life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts!”
. This reminds me a lot of the saying that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Keats describes dreams as things that can actually occur in real life, but people need to use their imagination and follow their hearts to achieve their goals. He also makes a valid point that nothing would be accomplished if everyone followed the rules and did everything they way everyone else thought it was suppose to be. If everyone was in agreement that building houses with lights that turned on and off with the flick of a switch, and if nobody ever ventured to try and make electricity a reality, we would still be living by candlelight.


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