Quickly Quotable #21 – John Keats

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?

Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.

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 (born Oct. 31, 1795, London, Eng. — died Feb. 23, 1821, Rome, Papal States) English Romantic poet. The son of a livery-stable manager, he had a limited formal education. He worked as a surgeon’s apprentice and assistant for several years before devoting himself entirely to poetry at age 21. His first mature work was the sonnet “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” (1816). His long Endymion appeared in the same year (1818) as the first symptoms of the tuberculosis that would kill him at age 25. During a few intense months of 1819 he produced many of his greatest works: several great odes (including “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” and “To Autumn”), two unfinished versions of the story of the titan Hyperion, and “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” Most were published in the landmark collection Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820). Marked by vivid imagery, great sensuous appeal, and a yearning for the lost glories of the Classical world, his finest works are among the greatest of the English tradition. His letters are among the best by any English poet.

Quotes from BrainyQuote.com

Biography courtesy of Answers.com


About Jodi

I'm an aspiring novelist working in fantasy and suspense, for now. I also have two pretty awesome blogs! https://myliteraryquest.wordpress.com and http://jodilmilnerauthor.wordpress.com
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11 Responses to Quickly Quotable #21 – John Keats

  1. oldancestor says:

    @ quote 1 – What about a world of imagined pain and troubles, like mine? I think that just makes a whiner

    @ quote 2 – I think I’ve been reading poetry incorrectly all these years. That must be why I can’t write it.

    • tsuchigari says:

      Imagined pains and troubles can be just as problematic as real ones – worse even, because no one cares to sympathize. My attempts at poetry are pretty sad.

  2. nrhatch says:

    I had no idea he lived such a short life.

    He built up quite a fan base after 4 short years as a poet.

    • tsuchigari says:

      He, like many of us, had an occupation and decided to ditch it when the urge to write grew too strong. Although I don’t blame him for leaving the heady world of 17th century medicine – an awful mess that was.

  3. aardvarkian says:

    The good and great die young. Except for us, of course.

  4. Heather says:

    Must be nice to be able to devote yourself entirely to poetry!

    • tsuchigari says:

      I dare say most of us will never get the chance to do likewise. I can spare a few minutes to devote myself entirely to a bit of poetry – does that count?

  5. Lua says:

    Oh God, I love John Keats, he’s one of my favourite English Poets… It’s a shame he lived such a short life…
    That last quote is amazing; describing what you imagine is harder than describing what you see.

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