30 Famous John Keats Quotes

Last updated on Oct 30th, 2023

30 Famous John Keats Quotes

John Keats (born October 31, 1795, London, England – died February 23, 1821, Rome, Italy) was an English Romantic poet known for sensuous appeal and lyrical poetry marked by vivid imagery.

His most famous poems include Ode to a Nightingale, Endymion, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Sleep and Poetry, and To Autumn.

Despite his short lifetime, Keats influenced many poets and writers. His contribution to the decorative Romantic verse of the Victorian Age ensured his place in the canon of English literature.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness. - John Keats (Endymion Poem Quotes)
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A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness.Endymion (1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 71

Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critique on his own Works. - John Keats Quotes
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Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critique on his own Works.Letter to James Augustus Hessey (October 9, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 197

The music, yearning like a God in pain. - John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes Poem Quotes)
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The music, yearning like a God in pain.The Eve of St. Agnes (1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume II, Page 67

Pleasure is oft a visitant; but pain clings cruelly to us. - John Keats (Endymion Poem Quotes)
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Pleasure is oft a visitant; but pain clings cruelly to us.Endymion (1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 101

If Poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves of a tree, it had better not come at all. - John Keats Quotes
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If Poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves of a tree, it had better not come at all.Letter to John Taylor (February 27, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 81

Love is my religion - I could die for that. - John Keats Quotes
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Love is my religion – I could die for that.Letter to Fanny Brawne (October 13, 1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 130

We read fine things, but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the author. - John Keats Quotes
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We read fine things, but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the author.Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds (May 3, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 107

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced - John Keats Quotes
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Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.Letter to George and Georgiana Keats (March 19, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 38

Stop and consider! life is but a day. - John Keats (Sleep and Poetry Quotes about Life)
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Stop and consider! life is but a day.Sleep and Poetry (1816); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 53

Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a Soul? - John Keats Quotes
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Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a Soul?Letter to George and Georgiana Keats (April 21, 1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 53

The poetry of the earth is never dead. - John Keats (On the Grasshopper and Cricket Quotes about Poetry)
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The poetry of the earth is never dead.On the Grasshopper and Cricket (1816); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 49

The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing - to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts, not a select party. - John Keats Quotes
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The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing – to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts, not a select party.Letter to George Keats (September 24, 1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 121

What the Imagination seizes as Beauty must be Truth! - John Keats Quotes
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What the Imagination seizes as Beauty must be Truth!Letter to Benjamin Bailey (November 22, 1817); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 46

There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music. - John Keats Quotes
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There is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.Letter to George and Thomas Keats (January 13, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 57

The excellence of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeables evaporate. - John Keats Quotes
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The excellence of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeables evaporate.Letter to George and Thomas Keats (December 28, 1817); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 49

Philosophy will clip an angel's wings. - John Keats (Lamia Quotes)
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Philosophy will clip an angel’s wings.Lamia (1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume II, Page 30

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He ne'er is crown'd with immortality, who fears to follow where airy voices lead. - John Keats (Endymion Quotes about Immortality)
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He ne’er is crown’d with immortality, who fears to follow where airy voices lead.Endymion (1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 112

There is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object. - John Keats (Endymion Quotes about Failure)
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There is not a fiercer hell than the failure in a great object.Endymion (1818), Preface (April 10, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 69

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. - John Keats (Ode on a Grecian Urn Quotes)
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‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 106

Time, that aged nurse. - John Keats (Endymion Quotes about Time)
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Time, that aged nurse.Endymion (1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume I, Page 94

I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest. - John Keats Quotes
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I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.Letter to James Augustus Hessey (October 9, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 171

My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk. - John Keats Quotes
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My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk.Letter to Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 1820); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 189

I will give you a definition of a proud man. He is a man who has neither Vanity nor Wisdom - one filled with hatreds cannot be vain, neither can he be wise. - John Keats Quotes
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I will give you a definition of a proud man. He is a man who has neither Vanity nor Wisdom – one filled with hatreds cannot be vain, neither can he be wise.Letter to John Taylor (August 23, 1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 85

Land and sea, weakness and decline, are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever. - John Keats Quotes
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Land and sea, weakness and decline, are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever.Letter to Charles Armitage Brown (September 28, 1820); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume V, Page 197

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. - John Keats (Ode on a Grecian Urn Quotes)
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Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume II, Page 104

Touch has a memory. - John Keats Quotes
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Touch has a memory.Lines to Fanny (1819); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume III, Page 164

There is an old saying "well begun is half done" - 'tis a bad one. I would use instead, "Not begun at all 'til half done." - John Keats Quotes
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There is an old saying “well begun is half done” – ’tis a bad one. I would use instead, “Not begun at all ’til half done.”Letter to Benjamin Robert Haydon (May 10, 1817); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 19

Scenery is fine - but human nature is finer. - John Keats Quotes
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Scenery is fine – but human nature is finer.Letter to Benjamin Bailey (March 13, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 84

Axioms in philosophy are not axioms till they are proved upon our pulses. - John Keats Quotes
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Axioms in philosophy are not axioms till they are proved upon our pulses.Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds (May 3, 1818); in The Complete Works of John Keats (ed. Gowans & Gray, 1900), Volume IV, Page 107

Here lies one whose name was writ in water. - John Keats Quotes
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Here lies one whose name was writ in water.Epitaph for himself

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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 form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.No source