John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

John Keats Quotes

  • ''The Public ... a thing I cannot help looking upon as an enemy, and which I cannot address without feelings of hostility.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, April 9, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 60, ed. Frederick Page (1954). Keats continued, "I never wrote one single line of poetry with the least shadow of public thought." See also Keats's comment under "criticism, professional."
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  • ''Though a quarrel in the streets is a thing to be hated, the energies displayed in it are fine; the commonest man shows a grace in his quarrel.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, written Feb. 14-May 3, 1819, to his brother and sister-in-law, George and Georgiana Keats. Letters of John Keats, no. 123, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
  • ''I would jump down Etna for any public good—but I hate a mawkish popularity.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, April 9, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 60, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
  • ''I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, May 21-25, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 66, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
  • ''I equally dislike the favour of the public with the love of a woman—they are both a cloying treacle to the wings of independence.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Aug. 23, 1819. Letters of John Keats, no. 144, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
  • ''Who would wish to be among the commonplace crowd of the little famous—who are each individually lost in a throng made up of themselves?''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Aug. 23, 1819. Letters of John Keats, no. 144, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
  • ''Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Sept. 30, 1820. Letters of John Keats, no. 239, ed. Frederick Page (1954). Written shortly after embarking from England on his last journey to Italy, where he succumbed to tuberculosis, Feb. 23, 1821.
  • ''There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Jan. 13-19, 1818, to his brothers George and Thomas Keats. Letters of John Keats, no. 37, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
  • ''With a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, December 21, 1817, to his brothers George and Thomas Keats. Letters of John Keats, no. 32, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
  • ''Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity—it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Feb. 27, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 51, ed. Frederick Page (1954).

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Best Poem of John Keats

A Thing Of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon, ...

Read the full of A Thing Of Beauty (Endymion)

To My Brothers

Small, busy flames play through the fresh laid coals,
And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep
Like whispers of the household gods that keep
A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.
And while, for rhymes, I search around the poles,
Your eyes are fix d, as in poetic sleep,
Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That aye at fall of night our care condoles.
This is your birth-day Tom, and I rejoice

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