John Keats

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

John Keats Quotes

  • ''Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, February 3, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 44, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
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  • ''My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Aug. 16, 1820, to Percy Bysshe Shelley. Letters of John Keats, no. 227, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
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  • ''There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify—so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, February 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).
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  • ''For the sake of a few fine imaginative or domestic passages, are we to be bullied into a certain philosophy engendered in the whims of an egotist?''
    John Keats (1705-1821), British poet. letter, Feb. 3, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 44, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
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  • ''Health is my expected heaven.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, March 1, 1820, to his fiancée Fanny Brawne. Letters of John Keats, no. 194, ed. Frederick Page (1954). Keats died of tuberculosis.
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  • ''I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections, and the truth of imagination.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Nov. 22, 1817. Letters of John Keats, no. 31, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
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  • ''"If I should die," said I to myself, "I have left no immortal work behind me—nothing to make my friends proud of my memory—that I have loved the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remembered."''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Feb. 1820, to Fanny Brawne. Letters of John Keats, no. 186, ed. Frederick Page (1954). Describing his thoughts during his illness.
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Best Poem of John Keats

Ode On A Grecian Urn


Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; ...

Read the full of Ode On A Grecian Urn

This Living Hand

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed - see here it is -
I hold it towards you.

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