John Keats

Poet, Author

1795 – 1821

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Who was John Keats?

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 poets and writers. Jorge Luis Borges stated that his first encounter with Keats was the most significant literary experience of his life.

The poetry of Keats is characterised by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analysed in English literature.

Famous Quotes:

  • The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.
  • My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.
  • It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.
  • Though the most beautiful creature were waiting for me at the end of a journey or a walk; though the carpet were of silk, the curtains of the morning clouds; the chairs and sofa stuffed with cygnet's down; the food manna, the wine beyond claret, the window opening on Winander Mere, I should not feel --or rather my happiness would not be so fine, as my solitude is sublime.
  • I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.
  • Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it.
  • The excellency of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeable evaporate.
  • O fret not after knowledge -- I have none, and yet my song comes native with the warmth. O fret not after knowledge -- I have none, and yet the Evening listens.
  • I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.
  • Health is my expected heaven.

Citation

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Born
Oct 31, 1795
Moorgate
Also known as
  • Keats, John
Siblings
Religion
  • Anglicanism
Nationality
  • England
  • Kingdom of Great Britain
Profession
Education
  • King's College London
Lived in
  • Ireland
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Italy
Died
Feb 23, 1821
Rome
Resting place
Protestant Cemetery, Rome

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