Keat’s evocation of perfect sleep is particularly moving considering he was soon robbed of health and ‘quiet breathing’ by the assault of tuberculosis. ┬áHe had also nursed his mother and younger brother through it, losing both of them to its wreckage, and so no doubt witnessed much unhealthy and unquiet breathing before suffering it himself.

It seems that having enough good sleep is more important to our long term well being than previously thought.

‘… a sleep / Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.’


Source: John Keats, ‘Endymion’, quoted in Andrew Motion, Keats (London: Faber & Faber, 1997), p. 162

Photo credit: Annie Spratt at unsplash


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