Welcome to our collection of quotes by John Keats. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
John Keats (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) was an English Romantic poet. He was prominent in the second generation of Romantic poets, with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, though his poems were in publication for only four years before he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25. They were not generally well received by critics in his lifetime, but his fame grew rapidly after his death. By the end of the century he had been placed within the canon of English literature and had become the inspiration for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with a strong influence on many writers; the Encyclopædia Britannica described one ode as "one of the final masterpieces".
Jorge Luis Borges called his first encounter with Keats' work an experience that he felt all of his life. It had a style "heavily loaded with sensualities", notably in the series of odes. It was typical of the Romantics to accentuate extreme emotion through emphasis on natural imagery. Today his poems and letters remain among the most popular and analysed in English literature. Especially acclaimed are "Ode to a Nightingale", "Sleep and Poetry" and the famous sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer".
Even bees, the little alsmen of spring bowers, know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.
The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest.
Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one.
Every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country green.
A drainless shower of light is poesy: 'tis the supreme of power; Tis might half slumbering on its own right arm.
What when a stoud unbending champion awes envy and malice to their native sty?
Where soil is, men grow, Whether to weeds or flowers.
Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry , for large white plumes are dancing in mine eye.
What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth.
I wish to believe in immortality-I wish to live with you forever.
But the rose leaves herself upon the brier, For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan Upon the midnight hours.
What shocks the virtuous philosopher, delights the chameleon poet.
All clean and comfortable I sit down to write.
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.
So rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries, She seem'd, at once, some penanced lady elf, Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self.
She hurried at his words, beset with fears, For there were sleeping dragons all around.
I am sailing with thee through the dizzy sky! How beautiful thou art!
Oh, sweet Fancy! Let her loose;
Everything is spoilt by use
Let the winged Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home.
I do think better of womankind than to suppose they care whether Mister John Keats five feet high likes them or not.
Hear ye not the hum Of mighty workings?
He who saddens at thought of idleness cannot be idle, And he's awake who thinks himself asleep.
The excellence of every Art is its intensity.
The excellence of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeables evaporate, from their being in close relationship with beauty and truth.
Asleep in lap of legends old.
Let us open our leaves like a flower, and be passive and receptive.
My mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it.
My mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it.... I never felt my mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment- upon no person but you. When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses.
One of the most mysterious of semi-speculations is, one would suppose, that of one Mind's imagining into another.
I was too much in solitude, and consequently was obliged to be in continual burning of thought, as an only resource.
It keeps eternal whisperings around desolate shores.
For, by all the stars That tend thy bidding, I do think the bars That kept my spirit in are burst -- that I Am sailing with thee through the dizzy sky! How beautiful thou art!
I wish I was either in your arms full of faith, or that a Thunder bolt would strike me.
I go amongst the buildings of a city and I see a Man hurrying along -- to what?
How long is this posthumous life of mine to last?
To bear all naked truths, And to envisage circumstance, all calm, That is the top of sovereignty.
Wherein lies happiness? In that which becks
Our ready minds to fellowship divine,
A fellowship with essence; till we shine,
Full alchemiz'd, and free of space. Behold
The clear religion of heaven!
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget.
Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips, bidding adieu.
For axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses.
I have met with women whom I really think would like to be married to a Poem and to be given away by a Novel.
No sooner had I stepp'd into these pleasures Than I began to think of rhymes and measures: The air that floated by me seem'd to say 'Write! thou wilt never have a better day.
Why employ intelligent and highly paid ambassadors and then go and do their work for them? You don't buy a canary and sing yourself.
If poetry does not come as naturally as leaves to a tree, then it better not come at all.
My friends should drink a dozen of Claret on my Tomb.
Alas! thou this wilt never do:
Thou art an enchantress too,
And wilt surely never spill
Blood of those whose eyes can kill.
Neither poetry, nor ambition, nor love have any alertness of countenance as they pass by me.
I should write for the mere yearning and fondness I have for the beautiful, even if my night's labors should be burnt every morning and no eye shine upon them.
Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose, Flushing his brow.
I don't need the stars in the night I found my treasure All I need is you by my side so shine forever.
You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving.
Are there not thousands in the world who love their fellows even to the death, who feel the giant agony of the world, and more, like slaves to poor humanity, labor for mortal good?
I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried- La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!
No stir of air was there, Not so much life as on a summer's day Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass, But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
The poetry of earth is never dead When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide I cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
Open afresh your rounds of starry folds, Ye ardent Marigolds.
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Tall oaks branch charmed by the earnest stars Dream and so dream all night without a stir.
It is a flaw In happiness to see beyond our bourn -- It forces us in summer skies to mourn, It spoils the singing of the nightingale.
Where the nightingale doth sing Not a senseless, tranced thing, But divine melodious truth.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk.
Its better to lose your ego to the One you Love than to lose the One you Love to your Ego.
O for the gentleness of old Romance, the simple planning of a minstrel's song!
Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience.
Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some.
Through the dancing poppies stole A breeze, most softly lulling to my soul.
The opinion I have of the generality of women -- who appear to me as children to whom I would rather give a sugar plum than my time, forms a barrier against matrimony which I rejoice in.
I have an habitual feeling of my real life having past, and that I am leading a posthumous existence.
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold.
Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne, Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He stared at the Pacific, and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise, Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
They swayed about upon a rocking horse, And thought it Pegasus.
Young playmates of the rose and daffodil, Be careful ere ye enter in, to fill Your baskets high With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines Savory latter-mint, and columbines.
No, no, I'm sure, My restless spirit never could endure To brood so long upon one luxury, Unless it did, though fearfully, espy A hope beyond the shadow of a dream.
That which is creative must create itself.
Blessed is the healthy nature; it is the coherent, sweetly co-operative, not incoherent, self-distracting, self-destructive one!
How does the poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they.
But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings That fill the sky with silver glitterings!
Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success.
Already with thee! tender is the night... But here there is no light.
I equally dislike the favor of the public with the love of a woman -- they are both a cloying treacle to the wings of independence.
I never was in love -- yet the voice and the shape of a woman has haunted me these two days.
The silver, snarling trumpets 'gan to chide.
To one who has been long in city pent, 'Tis very sweet to look into the fair And open face of heaven, -- to breathe a prayer Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
I Cannot Exist Without You. I Am Forgetful Of Everything But Seeing You Again.
I wish you could invent some means to make me at all happy without you. Every hour I am more and more concentrated in you; everything else tastes like chaff in my mouth.
The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children.
Shed no tear -- O, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more -- O, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root's white core.