John Keats

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

John Keats
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John Keats was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work only having been in publication for four years before his death.

Although his poems were not generally well received by critics during his life, his reputation grew after his death, so that by the end of the 19th century he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets. He had a significant influence on a diverse range of later poets and writers. Jorge Luis Borges stated that his first encounter with Keats was the most significant literary experience of his life.

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John Keats Quotations

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  • ''Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Oct. 9, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 90, ed. Frederick Page (1954). Despite Shelley's assertion ...
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  • I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion—I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more—I could be martyred for my religion—Love is my religion—I could die for tha...
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Oct. 13, 1819, to his fiancée Fanny Brawne. Letters of John Keats, no. 160, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
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  • ''Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Feb. 14-May 3, 1819, to his brother and sister-in-law, George and Georgiana Keats. Letters of John Keats...
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  • ''It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Feb. 19, 1818. Letters of John Keats, no. 48, ed. Frederick Page (1954).
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  • ''You speak of Lord Byron and me—there is this great difference between us. He describes what he sees—I describe what I imagine. Mine is the hardest task.''
    John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. letter, Sept. 17-27, 1819, to his brother and sister-in-law George and Georgiana Keats. The Letters of John Keat...
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Best Poem of John Keats

Ode To A Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,---
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting ...

Read the full of Ode To A Nightingale