WHEN I HAVE FEARS
Q.1. Explain the title of the poem. What are Keat’s fears? Why does he fear?
Keats is He was always under the feeling and apprehension that he would die soon. This proved correct later on. He expresses the following fears in this sonnet:
First of all, he fears of premature death and the job to reap the harvest of his full ripened ideas and to store them in the form of books will remain undone. Secondly, he is afraid that he may die before communicating his lofty thoughts and romantic feelings to the people. Thirdly he fears that he may miss cherishing the beauty of the starry sky; the huge symbol of high romance due to his untimely demise.
Fourthly, he fears that he will not be able to look upon the beautiful face of his beloved and enjoy her love for a long time due to premature death. He wants to enjoy the company of his beloved and the fame he has earned as a poet. He wants to become the most popular figure in history. But he knows full well that both love and fame must sink into nothingness. He is also mindful of the transitory nature of beauty and love.
Q.2. How reliable and durable are ‘Love and Fame’ in the eyes of Keats?
Keats, in concluding verses of his poem, “When I Have Fears,” talks of his two favorite themes-the first, the unrequited/unresponded love and the transient nature of beauty, and the second, fame which he always aspires to get and enjoy in his life.
First, he turns to his beloved and his own self. He is actually pained to think that, with his death, which he expects to be imminent because of his being a patient of the fatal disease of T. B., he will be permanently separated from his beloved, who has not yet responded to his love. He is filled with despair in life. Such thought makes him feel as if he were standing alone on the shore of the world.
Second, the thought of his death fills with despair and makes him realize the worthlessness of love and fame. In the eyes of Keats, ‘Love and fame’ are very reliable important for a living person but for a dead man they are of no importance. He feels that beauty and love lose their importance when he will start his journey to the eternal world. He concludes that for a dying man like a poet, Love and Fame have no importance as they are transitory. Life after death is eternal