Monday, November 2, 2009

"He is gone..." Keats' Death

In the film we get only the briefest shot of the house at the Piazza di Spagna, where Keats died, and Severn's letter bearing the news is read out by Charles Brown, Keats's best friend, to the distraught Fanny:

My dear Brown,

He is gone - he died with the most perfect ease - he seemed to go to sleep. On the 23rd, about 4, the approaches of death came on. "Severn - I - lift me up - I am dying - I shall die easy - don't be frightened - be firm, and thank God it has come!" I lifted him up in my arms. The phlegm seemed boiling in his throat, and increased until 11, when he gradually sunk into death - so quiet - that I still thought he slept. I cannot say now - I am broken down from four nights' watching, and no sleep since, and my poor Keats gone. Three days since, the body was opened; the lungs were completely gone. The Doctors could not conceive by what means he had lived these two months. I followed his poor body to the grave on Monday ...

J. S.

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