Fanny Brawne chides him because he loves her for her beauty. “Why may I not speak of your Beauty,” says John Keats, “since without that I could never have lov'd you? I cannot conceive any beginning of such love as I have for you but Beauty.” See, she thinks he means the way she looks, and, sure, most men start with a handsome bosom or a well-turned ankle, but after that, men love women the way women love men, so that “beauty” doesn’t mean “looks” but something like “the whole package.” Did not John Keats describe her to his brother George as "beautiful and elegant, graceful, silly, fashionable and strange”? Who would not want to be thought “silly” and “strange” by John Keats! Of his own looks, John Keats writes, “I am not a thing to be admired…. I hold that place among Men which snub-nosed brunettes with meeting eyebrows do among women—they are trash to me—unless I should find one among them with a fire in her heart like the one that burns in mine.” On the one hand, I think John Keats is just fishing for compliments, the way we all do when we say, “Oh, this old rag? It’s the only clean thing I could find” or “It’s kind of you to say that about my poem/story/screenplay, but it still needs a lot of work.” On the other, the fire that burned in John Keats’s heart is like one of those 8,000-acre wildfires you see on TV, the ones that burn everything in their paths yet leave the earth ready for fresh growth—woe to the lover who cannot match the heat of that inferno! “In case of the worst that can happen, I shall still love you,” says John Keats, “but what hatred shall I have for another!” Oh, don’t say that, John Keats! Jealousy’s the meanest emotion. Terror, anger, sorrow, joy: these burn the way that fire in your heart does, blue and pure, whereas jealousy smokes and sputters and makes you look noisome and puny. Better to ask Fanny for a letter from her own hand, to say “write the softest words and kiss them that I may at least touch my lips where yours have been,” and, then, when you get it, “I have kiss’d your Writing over in the hope you had indulg’d me by leaving a trace of honey.” Of course: if you’re going to die, why not do it with Fanny Brawne’s lips on yours? Or John Keats’s. His friend Severn says his last words were “lift me up— I am dying—I shall die easy; don’t be frightened—be firm, and thank God it has come.” Fine, though just two months earlier, he’s saying this about Fanny to Charles Brown: “I can bear to die—I cannot bear to leave her. Oh, God! God! God! Every thing I have in my trunks that reminds me of her goes through me like a spear.” Oh, God! God! God! There’s nothing sweeter than the right word to the right person at the right time, nothing sadder, nothing more likely to buoy you up like the scape of a dandelion floating toward heaven, to drag you down to a hell hotter than the hottest hell you’ve ever imagined. Don’t just sit there, reader. Do something! There’s a wildfire headed your way. Throw water on it—no, wait, gasoline.