Hyperion: A Fragment

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John Keats (1795—1821) poet

John Hamilton Reynolds (1796—1852) writer and lawyer


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Fragments of epic poems by Keats, written 1818–19. Hyperion was published 1820, The Fall of Hyperion, 1856.

In the first version, written as direct narrative, Saturn, conquered by Jove, mourns the loss of his kingdom and debates with his fallen fellow‐Titans how he may regain it. They conclude that only the magnificent Hyperion, who is still unfallen, will be able to help them. In Bk III the golden Apollo, god of music, poetry, and knowledge, speaks to the goddess Mnemosyne of this inexplicable anguish; then, at the moment of his deification, the fragment ends. In the second version, the poet is in a luxuriant garden, where he drinks an elixir which induces a vision. He finds himself in a vast domed monument, then proceeds to climb the stair to the shrine of the priestess Moneta. Together they find the agonized fallen Saturn, and with Mnemosyne and Thea they speak to him of his pain and loss. In despair he leaves with Thea to comfort his fellow‐Titans, while the poet and Moneta watch the magnificent, but much troubled, Hyperion blaze into the west.

Subjects: Literature.

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