When I have fears that I may cease to be is a sonnet written by John Keats in 1818. In this poem he expresses his recurring fear of dying without living the life that he wished to have. All the things that used to matter to him such as fame and wealth now seem to be unimportant. “When” shows that he must have thought about this feeling before. In the first quatrain, Keats shows how much he has to express. Indeed, he is both the field of grain and the harvester. The alliteration in “g” exposes the imagery of the harvest: “glean’d”, “garners”, “grain”. He wants to be remembered as a famous writer and fears to fail. In the second quatrain, his “magic hand” l. 8 represents him as a poet and his ability to transform nature into poetry: “the night’s starr’d face” l.5 and “Huge cloudy symbols” l.6. He sees beauty everywhere and is scared that he will not have the time to show it: “to trace their shadows” l.7-8. In the next quatrain, Keats turns to his fear of losing love: “fair creature of an hour” l.9, “I shall never look upon thee more” l.10. This parallels the idea of time; love doesn’t last long. For the poet, Love has two qualities. Firstly, there is the “faery power” that can change the world for the people in love, making it better. Then there is the “unreflecting love” l.12 reminding us of the illusion and imaginary aspect of this world. The exclamation sentences emphasize his desperation. By the end of the sonnet, Keats makes Fame and Love appear unimportant: “till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink” l.14. “I stand alone” l.13 towards “the wide world” l.13 emphasizes the fact that nothing else matters. “The shore” is the limit between him and the rest of the world; he distances himself. John Keats died in February 1821 at 26 years old and he is now remembered as one of the most important poets of his time.