John Keats is among the greatest English poets. (He himself imagined he would be counted so!) For some readers, his odes define the essence of poetry. We also discover in Keats a great composer of sonnets. Here, for the first time published in a separate edition, are all sixty-four sonnets, the first written when Keats was eighteen, the last just five years later. Reading these poems, you'll experience the wonder of Keats's growing poetic powers; you'll feel the "shock of recognition" when you come upon the great ones. Presented with an introduction by Edward Hirsch, and accompanying explanatory notes, the sonnets stand out as a triumph of their own.
Edward Hirsch has published six books of poems: For the Sleepwalkers (1981), Wild Gratitude (1986), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Night Parade (1989), Earthly Measures (1994), On Love (1998), and Lay Back the Darkness (2003). He has also written three prose books: How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), a national bestseller, Responsive Reading (1999), and The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration (2002). He writes a weekly column on poetry for the Washington Post Book World. He has received the Prix de Rome, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He taught for eighteen years at the University of Houston, and is now the fourth president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.