John Keats

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

Written On A Summer Evening - Poem by John Keats

The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some blind spell: seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crowned.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp,
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp, -
That 'tis their sighing, wailing, ere they go
Into oblivion -that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.

Comments about Written On A Summer Evening by John Keats

  • (7/24/2018 12:51:00 PM)

    This is such a lovely poem and I commend you for including it on the website. BUT poetry loses all its charm and potency when 'spoken' by an automaton - wholly without feeling and without any idea as to the importance of UNDERSTANDING how Keats's lines should flow from one to the other. PLEASE keep the written poems on your website, but equally, please disconnect the monotone robotic voice. (Report) Reply

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  • (6/28/2014 9:23:00 AM)

    .............truly wish I could write a poem like this one..... (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2014 10:17:00 PM) outstanding poem written on a summer evening....enjoyed.. (Report) Reply

  • Keith Sifelani (6/7/2014 3:12:00 PM)

    Read this poem 24/7 and always thought
    of a morning prayer.
    (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Patrick (6/7/2013 5:18:00 PM)

    The miraculous power of nature can install a spiritual guidance and temperance that a musty old crumbling building with archaic and informal rituals of destitution can never achieve the potent power of real belief. Enjoy the air not the sermon, great poem from Mr. Keats (Report) Reply

  • David Wood (6/7/2013 4:58:00 AM)

    A brilliant poem from Britain's best poet. (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2012 1:53:00 PM)

    i have patience with this poem because there was a time when i also was not a believer in the round but now. (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2012 2:44:00 AM)

    i read this poem every year and on this date.
    i thought of same meaning 6pm prayer
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2010 11:52:00 PM)

    'The church bells toll a melancholy round,
    Calling the people to some other prayers,
    Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
    More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.,

    This is a very interesting poem because within the first four lines of the octave, John Keats in his poem ‘Written on a Summer Evening’, has clearly written his total rejection of Christianity as a religion. He defined the ‘blood sacrifice of Christ is 'horrid.'’ Christians are ‘dying like an outburnt lamp, ’ which implies Keats' belief that Christianity is a religion of ‘reprehensible Christian sensibilities.’ Keats believes personified nature is an ‘entity capable of expressing itself through the sensory perception that humans enjoy.’ Keats defines ‘Art and Salvation through the creative process’.
    This poem reveals Keats' emphasis on his ideal that ‘the deepest meaning of life lay in the apprehension of material beauty, although his mature poems reveal his fascination with a world of death and decay.’ Yet Keats retained a host of moral and intellectual uncertainties. His truth is arbitrary ‘based on feelings and preferences, rather than facts or reason.’ He wrote 'I have not one Idea of the truth of any of my speculations'. In his ‘pseudo-religious beliefs; his many references to higher powers, the afterlife, salvation, the soul, ’ his ‘rubric of his religious ideas’ reveals ‘varied opinion oriented ideas and philosophical speculations of his sometimes tormented mind’.
    Keats believed in a ghostly earth is where ‘the great artists, such as Shakespeare or Milton, did not die, but survived in some form to guide the present.’ He never defined exactly how? Yet he believed ‘salvation from a painful world was delivered by the personal experience of the Soul, and not by an external saviour.’ Keats worshipped
    'Apollo as the divine source of poetry. His poetic lyrics tell of the exploits of Apollo, elevating him into the sphere of creative rapture. In this scheme, Apollo takes on an aspect of the Saviour, the leader of those people (the poets) who would bring humanity to bliss by pointing out the world's lessons for the Soul. Apollo becomes 'the golden theme' of inspiration (Hyperion book II line 28) . '
    Keats rejected ‘the Christian model of salvation’ and it has been said he was ‘enamoured with Greek mythology’ because ‘the 'gods' and 'spirits' of Classical mythology were 'mediators, ' but not 'palpable' ones; they only represented certain qualities of the natural world that Keats wanted to bring 'common apprehension' to.’’ Keats ‘lauded, respected, and expounded the mythologies of the ancient Greeks who presented gods as symbols of elements at work in the universe.’ It is interesting that Keats creates his religion from mythology and fictitious stories. In contrast my study of the great minds who revolutionized the western ‘world's thinking by developing advanced systems of jurisprudence, civility, education, and science’; so often reveals an inspiration from their belief in Jesus Christ.
    We are given free choice to believe as we will! Although I have studied Keats and have opinions concerning his life and beliefs, all sources quoted are from Tekton Education and Apologetic Ministry, the article ‘John Keats and Christianity’ by professor Carmelo Tropiano from Seneca College. However most of us simply appreciate Keats for the wonderful legacy which he has left us.
    (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (6/7/2010 5:59:00 AM)

    This is an attack on the melancholy of the Church of England service whose songs and sermons are often dirge-like. It compares the funereal inside of a church with the glories outside it, and asks why should people want to worship God in such a gloom, when they could be among nature's 'rarities'? This poem predicts the death of such a religion, based on “a chill as from a tomb”, to be replaced by a religion of nature - a true Romantic statement. The style is pre-Romantic, but the idea is not. One sees here too the view of a man whose life is lived under the shadow of death revolting against a religion which is so deathly, and who braves his fear of death by advocating, not a heaven in which he will live forever, but a Nature which will eventually draw him into its bosom after a life spent glorying in it. The glory is here now all around us, not in some putative ghostly heaven. (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2010 5:40:00 AM)

    The church bell keeping time, for mortal man's reminder. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (6/7/2010 2:41:00 AM)

    A sad note dry as summer time is moving to read written by the master poet John Keats! (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2009 6:00:00 PM)

    I. Argumentum ad Hominem (abusive and circumstantial) : the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a personal attack.
    A. The personal attack is also often termed an 'ad personem argument': the statement or argument at issue is dropped from consideration or is ignored, and the locutor's character or circumstances are used to influence opinion.
    B. The fallacy draws its appeal from the technique of 'getting personal.' The assumption is that what the locutor is saying is entirely or partially dictated by his character or special circumstances and so should be disregarded.
    http: //
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2009 9:48:00 AM)

    A sonnet by John Keats? What's a sonnet and who was 'someone keats'? But why attempt to explicate 'Written on a Summer Evening' for such dullards, you ask? The sonnet is a Romantic poet's farewell to services in a Christian church, whose bells and sermons are driving a wedge between what Keats sees as outmoded beliefs and a new age of natural religion, a return to paganism akin to what transpired during the Sixties, and there's old Keats in his denims and long greasy hair rocking and rolling to beat the band! And how did that resurgence of old time paganism end? Let's light up a joint and dream on, OK? (Report) Reply

    Keith Sifelani (6/7/2014 3:09:00 PM)

    Read this poem 24/7 and i thought of a morning prayer.

  • (6/7/2008 3:54:00 AM)

    Yeah, I also heard the name Keats before... I like the poem, though. Really nice. (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2007 9:35:00 PM)

    hey. john keats. i've heard that name before..i think. was someone keats and he was a poet. i was reading one of his poems in my textbook. but yeah. nice poem. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: people, summer, flower, joy

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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