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

When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;...

Read the full of When I Have Fears

Ode

Bards of Passion and of Mirth,
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Have ye souls in heaven too,
Double lived in regions new?
Yes, and those of heaven commune
With the spheres of sun and moon;
With the noise of fountains wound'rous,
And the parle of voices thund'rous;
With the whisper of heaven's trees