Kind quotes in constant print (from Shelley to Keats)¬†#Romanticism #JohnKeats #Shelley #poetry #OnThisDay

In kindness, and in sympathy Percy Shelley remembers in poetry, the most fitting and appropriate art form, his fellow Romantic poet, John Keats, who died in Rome, 23rd February 1821.

‘He is a presence to be felt and known

In darkness and in light, from herb and stone…’

‘He is a portion of the loveliness

Which once he made more lovely…’ 

From, ‘Adonais, An Elegy on the Death of John Keats’

by Percy Bysshe Shelley (written June 1821)

John Keats reading at his home in Hampstead, with a portrait of William Shakespeare watching o’er him…

Follow my blogs


John Keats, Reflecting on A Star¬†#OnThisDay #poetry #JohnKeats

John Keats born 31st October 1795, (220 years ago today).

Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,

And many goodly states and kingdoms seen…’

From, ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’ (sonnet) composed by Keats in October 1816 after a night spent reading aloud translations from Homer. These translations were completed by George Chapman in 1616, precisely 200 years prior to Keats, then add another 220 years and you reach our 21st century.

That evening Keats parted from his school friend, Cowden-Clarke, walked over London Bridge back to Dean Street (present day fashionable Soho) and at once wrote this sonnet.

Keats died of tuberculosis aged only 25 years in Rome, 23rd February 1821.

‘When I have fears that I may cease to be,
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain…’ 

He never got his girl (Fanny Brawne) and, in true romantic fashion, he strove to write and achieve the very best poetry; believing he had failed in his lifetime as a poet.

‘ – then on the shore 

Of the wide world I stand alone and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.’

Keats wrote some of the most beautiful lines in the English language.

Today he is considered ‘a bright star.’

Stars, whose fires corresponded with his own ardour (Latin ardere = to burn), were an endless preoccupation for Keats; he had a kinship with the transcendent world – a place where he might continuously exist outside the created world; free from life’s limitations and restrictions and ultimately death… ‘A Bright Star.’

Subscribe to my blogs for free

London’s Autumnal Reflections: ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever…’


Letter-writing – what’s that? #JohnKeats #poetry #letters

John Keats (1795-1821) a man of many words, poetical of course, but also a keen, enthusiastic letter-writer. An honest letter or postcard holds more personality and truth of my mind than a practised or rehearsed verse or set of lyrics; it speaks spontaneously from the heart and remains forever a private, intimate, immediate gift from one to another.
However many texts, Facebook friends, likes or comments, tweets or followers – a unique and original offering and an everlasting token remains: the old-fashioned handwritten note…it says more than it reads…it says ‘I’ve been thinking of YOU, and now you’re not with me, I hold a little something of you and until I see you again, I send this as a little something of me.’

‘poetry should be a great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul.’
From a letter by John Keats

‘My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense.’
John Keats Poetry (it must be love, love, love)

The Leaves on a Tree, the Leaves of Poetry

Poet, John Keats sat at his window in Hampstead overlooking this Mulberry tree, a supreme specimen, in 1818 making this comment on inspiration and creativity,”If Poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all.”  Let this be a good argument for sitting and staring out of a window!

The ‘Cockney’ poet’s greatest literary influences were Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton, and he admired his contemporaries, particularly Wordsworth.  Keats was a fierce critic of his own work, and faced harsh criticism from outside his circle.  Despite disappointing sales of his first collection, he was intensely ambitious,

“I was never afraid of failure,” he insisted,”for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.” Keats, in his short lifetime, was not recognised as a great poet, but some time later and well after his death he sits firmly among the celebrated, the finest, ‘the greatest’ poets. The tragic triumph that was his life story.


Everything made interesting 

John Keats, the young Romantic poet of the early 19th century penned many sensuous, symbollic, evocative, illustrious pieces of poetry with an extraordinary use of language and a whole whirlpool of words.

He also found time to comment both honestly and comically on his favourite topic, POETRY.  Everything and every place is made immediately more interesting when it finds itself within a poem. 

 ‘I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination – What the Imagination seizes as new beauty must be truth, whether it existed before or not.’  From the mind to the matter, it is clear that Poetry is a perfect art form in which the imagination of a complex mind can live in eternal abundance (exempt from reasoning or judgement).

Let your thoughts run away with you…just as Keats did, and become ‘a citizen of the world.’