"If poetry -- Keats is saying -- is finally about the flesh vanishing, disappearing, turning cold -- the absorbing night, the setting sun, the broken stone -- it is also, in its afterlife, about the word as spirit, aspirant on the air, invisible, articulate, available. Keats's letters are the mind and heart out of which the poems -- the least as well as the best -- are realized. Lyric poetry, after Wordsworth and Coleridge, becomes a crucial drama of the serious, even conflicted, self. After Keats, form itself -- self-generative, self-reflective -- becomes integral to the acting out of that drama. The letters are replete with how form -- the poem as artifice -- is inseparable from the struggle for meaning." (page 347)
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