Keats poem fragment ‘set to fetch £45,000’

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A fragment of the only hand-written poem by John Keats known to remain in private hands is going under the hammer.

Inspired by a walk on London’s Hampstead Heath, Keats began writing the work, I Stood Tiptoe Upon A Little Hill, in Margate in July 1816 and completed it in November that year. The piece features 33 scribbled lines, showing how the Romantic poet revised his thoughts as he wrote.

The draft, estimated to fetch £45,000, is a fragment of a manuscript which belonged to Charles Cowden Clarke, a close friend of the English poet. After the poet’s death at the age of 25 in 1821, Clarke cut the manuscript into 13 pieces and gave them to Keats’s friends and admirers as mementoes. It goes on sale on May 8 at Bonhams in London as part of the Roy Davids collection.