Top Keats Quotes

Browse top 45 famous quotes and sayings about Keats by most favorite authors.

Favorite Keats Quotes

1. "Excerpt from: Adonais: An elegy on the death of John KeatsAnd in a mad tranceStrike with our spirit's knifeInvulnerable nothingsWe decayLike corpses in a charnelFear & GriefConvulse is & consume usDay by dayAnd cold hopes swarmLike worms withinOur living clay"
Author: Adonais
2. "... While much recent historicist criticism has assumed early nineteenth-century readers attuned to subtle ideological nuances in poetry, actual responses from readers often come closer to clulessness. ... It is no surprise that no one understood Blake, but other poets fared not much better. ... Coleridge's 'Christabel' was 'the standing enigma which puzzles the curiosity of literary circles. What is it all about?', while another reviewer asked about Shelley, 'What, in the name of wonder on one side, and of common sense on the other, is the meaning of this metaphysical rhapsody about the unbinding of Prometheus?'. Even Keats was condemned for 'his frequent obscurity and confusion of language' and his 'unintelligible quaintness'. Byron, never to be outdone, boasted in 'Don Juan' that not only did he not understand many of his fellow poets, he did not understand himself either: 'I don't pretend that I quite understand / My own meaning when I would be very fine.' ..."
Author: Andrew Elfenbein
3. "If people connect me with the Romantics in general, they probably connect me most with Keats. But Wordsworth is the poet I admire above all others."
Author: Andrew Motion
4. "Keats writes better about poems than anybody I've ever read. The things that he says about what he wants his own poems to be are the ideals that I share."
Author: Andrew Motion
5. "I want to read Keats and Wordsworth, Hemingway, George Orwell."
Author: Aravind Adiga
6. "Because it's a fucking disaster to be creative when you know you're not Mozart or Keats. Dammit, I got tired of scratching around in my past. There's nothing in me to justify the pretension of creativity. This came before anything, before you, before Raquel, this is a matter of my own emptiness, my awareness of my own limits, maybe my sterility. Does what I'm saying to you seem awful? Now you want to come along and sell me an illusion, which I don't believe in but which does make me believe that either you're a fool or you underestimate my intelligence. Why don't you just leave me alone, so I can fill the emptiness in my own way? Let me see things for myself, learn if something can still grow in my soul, an idea, a faith, because I swear to you, Laura, my soul is more desolate than this rock landscape you see here… why?"
Author: Carlos Fuentes
7. "What I teach is a process of becoming a soulmaker. Soulmaking, as John Keats noted, is the work of creating our unique bliss. In this process, we liberate our creativity and our joy, our power and our purpose. We become imaginatively rich and spiritually vibrant. The interesting thing about soulmaking is that everyone craves it- an enlarged imaginative perception of themselves and the world, a deeper emotional connection to their own heart and to the hearts of others, a wilder capacity for joy- and yet we have almost no societally sanctioned space for this endeavor."
Author: Carolyn Elliott
8. "I pen you words from my heartneither paper nor pen would doas I lay them out in flowery fontswhat more could you ask foras I am writing in your heartthe love that I want to endureI am no Keats nor am I anyone but mea poetess longing for your touchget lost with me in my wordsas I serenade you with a forever quill."
Author: Chimnese Davids
9. "Other nights, Ayrs likes me to read him poetry, especially his beloved Keats. He whispers the verses as I recite, as if his voice is leaning on mine."
Author: David Mitchell
10. "A bookseller," said grandfather, "is the link between mind and mind, the feeder of the hungry, very often the binder up of wounds. There he sits, your bookseller, surrounded by a thousand minds all done up neatly in cardboard cases; beautiful minds, courageous minds, strong minds, wise minds, all sorts and conditions. There come into him other minds, hungry for beauty, for knowledge, for truth, for love, and to the best of his ability he satisfies them all...yos...it's a great vocation...Moreover his life is one of wide horizons. He deals in the stuff of eternity and there's no death in a bookseller's shop. Plato and Jane Austen and Keats sit side by side behind his back, Shakespeare is on his right hand and Shelley on his left."
Author: Elizabeth Goudge
11. "... It seems to me / the the great bards of the 20th century are in Publicity / those Keatses and Shelleys singing the Colgate smile / Cosmic Coca-Cola, the pause the refreshes, / the make of car that will take us to the land of happiness."
Author: Ernesto Cardenal
12. "To like Keats is a test of fitness for understanding poetry, just as to like Shakespeare is a test of general mental capacity."
Author: George Gissing
13. "The seasonal urge is strong in poets. Milton wrote chiefly in winter. Keats looked for spring to wake him up (as it did in the miraculous months of April and May, 1819). Burns chose autumn. Longfellow liked the month of September. Shelley flourished in the hot months. Some poets, like Wordsworth, have gone outdoors to work. Others, like Auden, keep to the curtained room. Schiller needed the smell of rotten apples about him to make a poem. Tennyson and Walter de la Mare had to smoke. Auden drinks lots of tea, Spender coffee; Hart Crane drank alcohol. Pope, Byron, and William Morris were creative late at night. And so it goes."
Author: Helen Bevington
14. "I am a genius who has written poems that will survive with the best of Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Keats."
Author: Irving Layton
15. "John Keats / John Keats / John / Please put your scarf on."
Author: J.D. Salinger
16. "A poem with grandly conceived and executed stanzas, such as one of Keats's odes, should be like an enfilade of rooms in a palace: one proceeds, with eager anticipation, from room to room."
Author: James Fenton
17. "As for how criticism of Keats' poetry relates to criticism of my own work, I'll leave that for others to decide."
Author: Jane Campion
18. "If you read Keats's poems, they're often full of doubts and anxieties. They can be quite tough."
Author: Jane Campion
19. "When I read Andrew Motion's biography, I wept. It's something about the purity of the story and how fresh it was because of the love letters Keats wrote."
Author: Jane Campion
20. "...The verses of Byron, Keats or Poe are real whether they are in bootleg form or not. You can still read them for the same effect."
Author: Jasper Fforde
21. "Miltons were, on the whole, the most enthusiastic poet followers. A flick through the London telephone directory would yield about four thousand John Miltons, two thousand William Blakes, a thousand or so Samuel Colleridges, five hundred Percy Shelleys, the same of Wordsworth and Keats, and a handful of Drydens. Such mass name-changing could have problems in law enforcement. Following an incident in a pub where the assailant, victim, witness, landlord, arresting officer and judge had all been called Alfred Tennyson, a law had been passed compelling each namesake to carry a registration number tattooed behind the ear. It hadn't been well received--few really practical law-enforcement measures ever are."
Author: Jasper Fforde
22. "He says, "Keats for my Keats. Look inside."I gently open the cover. Inside, written in pencil,is an old inscription.1903, To my love.-SUnderneath is more pencil, written in Brooklyn's neat print.Even Keats speaks of chaos.There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music.All my love,B"
Author: Jillian Dodd
23. "Keats was getting a reputation just when he was too ill to appreciate it or build on it: his country was taking notice of him just when he would have to leave it."
Author: Jude Morgan
24. "Haunting the library as a kid, reading poetry books when I was not reading bird books, I had been astonished at how often birds were mentioned in British poetry. Songsters like nightingales and Sky Larks appeared in literally dozens of works, going back beyond Shakespeare, back beyond Chaucer. Entire poems dedicated to such birds were written by Tennyson, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, and many lesser-known poets. I had run across half a dozen British poems just about Sky Larks; Thomas Hardy had even written a poem about Shelley's poem about the Sky Lark. The love of birds and of the English language were intermingled in British literary history.Somehow we Americans had failed to import this English love of birds along with the language, except in diluted form. But we had imported a few of the English birds themselves — along with birds from practically everywhere else."
Author: Kenn Kaufman
25. "Make a list of all the lovers you've ever had.Warren LasherEd "Rubberhead" CatapanoCharles Deats or KeatsAlfonseTuck it in your pocket. Leave it lying around, conspicuously. Somehow you lose it. Make "mislaid" jokes to yourself. Make another list."
Author: Lorrie Moore
26. "On a summer night it can be lovely to sit around outside with friends after dinner and, yes, read poetry to each other. Keats and Yeats will never let you down, but it's differently exciting to read the work of poets who are still walking around out there."
Author: Michael Cunningham
27. "One of the effects of indoctrination, of passing into the anglo-centrism of British West Indian culture, is that you believe absolutely in the hegemony of the King's English and in the proper forms of expression. Or else your writing is not literature; it is folklore, or worse. And folklore can never be art. Read some poetry by West Indian writers--some, not all--and you will see what I mean. The reader has to dissect anglican stanza after anglican stanza for Caribbean truth, and may never find it. The anglican ideal -- Milton, Wordsworth, Keats -- was held before us with an assurance that we were unable, and would never be able, to achieve such excellence. We crouched outside the cave."
Author: Michelle Cliff
28. "... Whereas Hunt recommended universal charity, Keats, feeling himself 'in a Mist', relied on a knowing passivity: 'Men should bear with each other - there lives not the Man who may not be cut up, aye hashed to pieces on his weakest side'."
Author: Nicholas Roe
29. "... Coexisting with the radiant masculinity of Apollonian Keats is a lunar poet of enchanted night in thrall to the goddess Hecate."
Author: Nicholas Roe
30. "Phidias and the achievements of Greek art are foreshadowed in Homer: Dante prefigures for us the passion and colour and intensity of Italian painting: the modern love of landscape dates from Rousseau, and it is in Keats that one discerns the beginning of the artistic renaissance of England. Byron was a rebel and Shelley a dreamer; but in the calmness and clearness of his vision, his perfect self-control, his unerring sense of beauty and his recognition of a separate realm for the imagination, Keats was the pure and serene artist, the forerunner of the pre-Raphaelite school, and so of the great romantic movement of which I am to speak."
Author: Oscar Wilde
31. "And so in poetry too, the real poetical quality, the joy of poetry, comes never from the subject but from an inventive handling of rhythmical language, from what Keats called the 'sensuous life of verse.' The element of song in the singing accompanied by the profound joy of motion, is so sweet that, while the incomplete lives of ordinary men bring no healing power with them, the thorn-crown of the poet will blossom into roses for our pleasure; for our delight his despair will gild its own thorns, and his pain, like Adonis, be beautiful in its agony; and when the poet's heart breaks it will break in music."
Author: Oscar Wilde
32. "Like Keats he may wander through the old-world forests of Latmos, or stand like Morris on the galley's deck with the Viking when king and galley have long since passed away. But the drama is the meeting-place of art and life; it deals, as Mazzini said, not merely with man, but with social man, with man in his relation to God and to Humanity. It is the product of a period of great national united energy; it is impossible without a noble public, and belongs to such ages as the age of Elizabeth in London and of Pericles at Athens; it is part of such lofty moral and spiritual ardour as came to Greek after the defeat of the Persian fleet, and to Englishman after the wreck of the Armada of Spain."
Author: Oscar Wilde
33. "In idyllic small towns I sometimes see teenagers looking out of place in their garb of desperation, the leftover tatters and stains and slashes of the fashion of my youth. For this phase of their life, the underworld is their true home, and in the grit and underbelly of a city they could find something that approximates it. Even the internal clock of adolescents changes, making them nocturnal creatures for at least a few years. All through childhood you grow toward life and then in adolescence, at the height of life, you begin to grow toward death. This fatality is felt as an enlargement to be welcomed and embraced, for the young in this culture enter adulthood as a prison, and death reassures them that there are exits. "I have been half in love with easeful death," said Keats who died at twenty-six and so were we, though the death we were in love with was only an idea then."
Author: Rebecca Solnit
34. "We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?"
Author: Richard Dawkins
35. "Keats mourned that the rainbow, which as a boy had been for him a magic thing, had lost its glory because the physicists had found it resulted merely from the refraction of the sunlight by the raindrops. Yet knowledge of its causation could not spoil the rainbow for me. I am sure that it is not given to man to be omniscient. There will always be something left to know, something to excite the imagination of the poet and those attuned to the great world in which they live (p. 64)"
Author: Robert Frost
36. "God, listen to him. Fucking pathetic, going on about the girl like he was Keats or something."
Author: Shayla Black
37. "Women don't want all that. Women just want a partner who is considerate and attentive, who will spoon with them while reciting Keats, and feed them organic yogurt by candlelight on a seaside cliff at sunset."
Author: Stephen Colbert
38. "We learned in the university to consider Wordsworth and Keats as Romantics. They were only a generation apart, but Wordsworth didn't even read Keats's book when he gave him a copy."
Author: Thom Gunn
39. "Literary history and the present are dark with silences . . . I have had special need to learn all I could of this over the years, myself so nearly remaining mute and having to let writing die over and over again in me. These are not natural silences--what Keats called agonie ennuyeuse (the tedious agony)--that necessary time for renewal, lying fallow, gestation, in the natural cycle of creation. The silences I speak of here are unnatural: the unnatural thwarting of what struggles to come into being, but cannot."
Author: Tillie Olsen
40. "The indifference of the world which Keats and Flaubert and other men of genius have found so hard to bear was in her case not indifference but hostility. The world did not say to her as it said to them, Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me. The world said with a guffaw, Write? What's the good of your writing?"
Author: Virginia Woolf
41. "... All who have brought about a state of sex-consciousness are to blame, and it is they who drive me, when I want to stretch my faculties on a book, to seek it in that happy age ... when the writer used both sides of his mind [the male and female sides of his mind] equally. One must turn back to Shakespeare then, for Shakespeare was androgynous; and so were Keats and Sterne and Cowper and Lamb and Coleridge. Shelley perhaps was sexless. Milton and Ben Jonson had a dash too much of the male in them. So had Wordsworth and Tolstoy."
Author: Virginia Woolf
42. "We are absurdly accustomed to the miracle of a few written signs being able to contain immortal imagery, involutions of thought, new worlds with live people, speaking, weeping, laughing. We take it for granted so simply that in a sense, by the very act of brutish routine acceptance, we undo the work of the ages, the history of the gradual elaboration of poetical description and construction, from the treeman to Browning, from the caveman to Keats. What if we awake one day, all of us, and find ourselves utterly unable to read? I wish you to gasp not only at what you read but at the miracle of its being readable."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
43. "Do you know what would hold me together on a battlefield? The sense that I was perpetuating the language in which Keats and the rest of them wrote!"
Author: Wilfred Owen
44. "The term 'role model' is so odious, but the truth is it's a very strong writer indeed who gets by without a model kept somewhere in mind. I think of Keats. Keats slogging away, devouring books, plagiarizing, impersonating, adapting, struggling, growing, writing many poems that made him blush and then a few that made him proud, learning everything he could from whomever he could find, dead or alive, who might have something useful to teach him."
Author: Zadie Smith
45. "I lost many literary battles the day I read 'Their Eyes Were Watching God.' I had to concede that occasionally aphorisms have their power. I had to give up the idea that Keats had a monopoly on the lyrical."
Author: Zadie Smith

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