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Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by John Keats. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for John Keats

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.

--John Keats

The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest.

--John Keats

Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one.

--John Keats

Every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

--John Keats

A drainless shower of light is poesy: 'tis the supreme of power; Tis might half slumbering on its own right arm.

--John Keats

What when a stoud unbending champion awes envy and malice to their native sty?

--John Keats

Where soil is, men grow, Whether to weeds or flowers.

--John Keats

Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry , for large white plumes are dancing in mine eye.

--John Keats

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 Looked at each other with a wild surmise-- Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

--John Keats

What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth.

--John Keats

I wish to believe in immortality-I wish to live with you forever.

--John Keats

But the rose leaves herself upon the brier, For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed.

--John Keats

So let me be thy choir, and make a moan Upon the midnight hours.

--John Keats

What shocks the virtuous philosopher, delights the chameleon poet.

--John Keats

All clean and comfortable I sit down to write.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

She hurried at his words, beset with fears, For there were sleeping dragons all around.

--John Keats

I am sailing with thee through the dizzy sky! How beautiful thou art!

--John Keats

Oh, sweet Fancy! Let her loose;
Everything is spoilt by use
Let the winged Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home.

--John Keats

I do think better of womankind than to suppose they care whether Mister John Keats five feet high likes them or not.

--John Keats

There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify -- so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in the rubbish.

--John Keats

Hear ye not the hum Of mighty workings?

--John Keats

He who saddens at thought of idleness cannot be idle, And he's awake who thinks himself asleep.

--John Keats

The excellence of every Art is its intensity.

--John Keats

Longer Version:

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.

--John Keats

Let us open our leaves like a flower, and be passive and receptive.

--John Keats

My mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it.

--John Keats

Longer Version:

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.

--John Keats

I was too much in solitude, and consequently was obliged to be in continual burning of thought, as an only resource.

--John Keats

It keeps eternal whisperings around desolate shores.

--John Keats

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!

--John Keats

I wish I was either in your arms full of faith, or that a Thunder bolt would strike me.

--John Keats

It struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously -- I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.

--John Keats

We must repeat the often repeated saying, that it is unworthy a religious man to view an irreligious one either with alarm or aversion, or with any other feeling than regret and hope and brotherly commiseration.

--John Keats

I go amongst the buildings of a city and I see a Man hurrying along -- to what?

--John Keats

How long is this posthumous life of mine to last?

--John Keats

To bear all naked truths, And to envisage circumstance, all calm, That is the top of sovereignty.

--John Keats

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!

--John Keats

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget.

--John Keats

Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips, bidding adieu.

--John Keats

For axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

If poetry does not come as naturally as leaves to a tree, then it better not come at all.

--John Keats

My friends should drink a dozen of Claret on my Tomb.

--John Keats

Alas! thou this wilt never do:
Thou art an enchantress too,
And wilt surely never spill
Blood of those whose eyes can kill.

--John Keats

Neither poetry, nor ambition, nor love have any alertness of countenance as they pass by me.

--John Keats

I leaped headlong into the Sea, and thereby have become more acquainted with the Soundings, the quicksands, and the rocks, than if I had stayed upon the green shore, and piped a silly pipe, and took tea and comfortable advice.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

O let me lead her gently o'er the brook, Watch her half-smiling lips and downward look; O let me for one moment touch her wrist; Let me one moment to her breathing list; And as she leaves me, may she often turn Her fair eyes looking through her locks auburne.

--John Keats

Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose, Flushing his brow.

--John Keats

I don't need the stars in the night I found my treasure All I need is you by my side so shine forever.

--John Keats

You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving.

--John Keats

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?

--John Keats

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!

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

Open afresh your rounds of starry folds, Ye ardent Marigolds.

--John Keats

Talking of Pleasure, this moment I was writing with one hand, and with the other holding to my Mouth a Nectarine -- how good how fine. It went down all pulpy, slushy, oozy, all its delicious embonpoint melted down my throat like a large, beatified Strawberry.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

Tall oaks branch charmed by the earnest stars Dream and so dream all night without a stir.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

Where the nightingale doth sing Not a senseless, tranced thing, But divine melodious truth.

--John Keats

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk.

--John Keats

Its better to lose your ego to the One you Love than to lose the One you Love to your Ego.

--John Keats

O for the gentleness of old Romance, the simple planning of a minstrel's song!

--John Keats

Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience.

--John Keats

Longer Version:

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.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

I have an habitual feeling of my real life having past, and that I am leading a posthumous existence.

--John Keats

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold.

--John Keats

Longer Version:

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.

--John Keats

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that ofttimes hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

That which is creative must create itself.

--John Keats

Blessed is the healthy nature; it is the coherent, sweetly co-operative, not incoherent, self-distracting, self-destructive one!

--John Keats

How does the poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they.

--John Keats

But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings That fill the sky with silver glitterings!

--John Keats

Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success.

--John Keats

Already with thee! tender is the night... But here there is no light.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

I never was in love -- yet the voice and the shape of a woman has haunted me these two days.

--John Keats

The silver, snarling trumpets 'gan to chide.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

I Cannot Exist Without You. I Am Forgetful Of Everything But Seeing You Again.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children.

--John Keats

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.

--John Keats

Wine is only sweet to happy men.

--John Keats

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity.

--John Keats

I see a lily on thy brow, With anguish moist and fever dew; And on thy cheek a fading rose Fast withereth too.

--John Keats

How sad it is when a luxurious imagination is obliged in self defense to deaden its delicacy in vulgarity, and riot in things attainable that it may not have leisure to go mad after things that are not.

--John Keats

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