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During his short life, John Keats became one of the three famous English Romantic poets along with Byron and Shelley. Both his parents died when he was a child and he was brought up by his grandmother. He qualified as a surgeon, but always knew his vocation was to be poetry. He succumbed to tuberculosis in Rome at the age of only 25 with his work still largely unknown. His reputation as the author of some of the most famous and memorable verse in the English language, including "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" only became established posthumously. Many of his poems have their origins in Hampstead where he lived most of his adult life, and all of them rise from their particular places to touch every one of us.

Sir Andrew Motion was Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009. He has received the Arvon/Observer Prize, the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and co-founder of The Poetry Archive. His latest project is Poetry By Heart.

image copyright: Charlotte Knee

Time Out London