Posted by ESC on February 11, 2003
In Reply to: John keats posted by norm on February 11, 2003
: what does this mean "here lies a man whose name was writ in water." please email me the awnser
I believe it must mean that a person will be soon forgotten. Here's what I found online:
In 1820 appeared the second volume of Keats poems. It gained a
huge critical success. However, Keats was suffering from tuberculosis and his
poems were marked with sadness partly because he was too poor to marry Fanny Brawne,
the woman he loved. In a letter from 1819 he wrote. "I love you more in that I
believe you have liked me for my own sake and nothing else. I have met with women
whom I relay think would like to be married to a Poem and given away by a Novel."
When his condition gradually worsened, he sailed for Italy with his friend, the
painter Joseph Severn, to escape England's cold winter. Declining Shelley's invitation
to join him at Pisa, Keats went to Rome, where he died at the age of 25, on February
23, 1821. Keats did not invent his own epitaph, but remembered words from the
play Philaster, or Love Lies-Ableeding, written by Beaumont and Fletcher in 1611.
"All your better deeds / Shall be in water writ," one of the characters says.
Keats told his friend Joseph Severn that he wanted on his grave just the line,
"Here lies one whose name was writ in water."
From The Literature Network at http://www.online-literature.com/keats/
A picture of the tombstone and the
following text is at http://www.geocities.com/bymasako/index02.html
THIS GRAVE CONTAINS
ALL THAT WAS MORTAL OF
A YOUNG ENGLISH POET WHO
ON HIS DEATH-BED
IN THE BITTERNESS OF HIS HEART
at the malicious power of his enemies
desired these words to be engraved
on his tomstone
"HERE LIES ONE WHOSE NAME
WAS WRIT IN WATER"
FEB 24 1821