An Outlier and an Outcast: Keats’s Last Lifetime Volume, with “Fancy,” Without “Indolence”

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“Ode on Indolence” was excluded from Keats’s 1820 volume; although “Fancy” has a foothold, appreciations of the volume’s other stellar contents, from the three titling narratives to the unfeatured but now iconic-Keats “Great Odes,” have not been particularly interested in this rondeau, and mostly as a matter of professional hospitality or minor affection. This essay gathers the outcast “Indolence” and the outlier “Fancy” from the margins of curated “Keats” for fresh consideration, as lodges of energies that Keats wanted to conjure into legitimacy. These are poetic experiments that issue an experimental poetics that Keats clearly loved—moods of mind and modes of poetry that fuel the subtle, unsuspected Keatsian motors (ever inventive) that drive with historical intimacy alongside and sometimes into, his last lifetime bid of vocational ambition, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. Kin in the season of this last lifetime volume, the peripheral deliveries of outcast “Indolence” and outlier “Fancy” are of such queerly compelling force as to press received “Keats” into new contouring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Romantic Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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