February 23rd 2021 marks the bicentenary of John Keats death. During his brief life he wrote a series of much loved poems that still resonate today. Keats House has organised numerous online events (here,) and on the 23rd February the Poetry Society have organised a gathering of poets and Keats scholars for an evening of poetry, thought and discussion on Keats legacy and place in our imaginations. (here) Furthermore the Keats Foundation has made a series of excellent videos with Mathew Coulton reciting the Odes from Wentworth Place. (here)
Following on from the work I made last summer (see entry The Summer of Lockdown - Herbarium & John Keats, 7/11/2020 ) this small tribute to his Ode to a Nightingale, will feature in the 'Herbarium' exhibition celebrating World Book Night at the Bower Ashton Library 20th April - 30th June 2021. it is one of a series of ten mono-prints inspired by the line
"fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves
And mid May's eldest child,
The coming musk rose, full of dewy wine"
Utilising a letter fold structure from the early 18th Century, the piece unfolds to reveal the fifth stanza from the poem and a small silhouette of Keats. The Exhibition aims to spread some cheer and hope following such a difficult year.