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On The Grasshopper And Cricket

John Keats

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Two Sonnets
Added by: Maddy
There is a lovely story about this poem.

Firstly- It is a sonnet ie. a poem of 14 lines, with Iambic rhythm (de-dah, de-dah, de-dah) and 5 stressed syllables to every line. The other requiremnt of a sonnet is that there should be a change of thought or and expanding of ideas in the last six lines. Usually every line rhymes with at least one other; the rhyming pattern varies FROM sonnet to sonnet.

John Keats and his dear friend Leigh Hunt (there is a poem about him in this Keats collection) discussed the difference between the grasshopper and the cricket and challenged each other to write a sonnet, to be judged by some literary friends. The young Keats won the competition, but he always humbly said that he preferred Hunt's sonnet to his own.

Keat's line "The poetry of earth is ceasing never" goes down with "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" as one of Keat's most quotable quotes. (They sound as if they come FROM the same poem .... but No....

Here is Hunt's sonnet-

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,

Catching your heart up at the feel of June,

Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,

When even the bees lag at the summoning brass;

And you, warm little housekeeper, who class

With those who think the candles come too soon,

Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune,

Nick the glad, silent moments as they pass;

O sweet and tiny cousins, that belong

One to the fields, the other to the hearth,

Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong

At your clear hearts; and both seem given to earth

To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song,

In doors and out, summer and winter -- mirth.

Added by: amarandi
Yes, I think it's especially nice that Keats and Hunt could be so open with each other about their mutual love and admiration instead of HAVING to deny it and lie about it and hurt each other when they write their little poems about being the grasshopper and the cricket back and forth over time. I guess it's because they were both men or something.

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