John Keats  

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"As to the poetical Character itself . . . it is not itself—it has no self—it is everything and nothing—It has no character—it enjoys light and shade; it lives in gusto, be it foul or fair, high or low, rich or poor, mean or elevated —It has as much delight in conceiving an Iago as an Imogen."--John Keats in a letter to Richard Woodhouse (October 27, 1818)

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
When a new planet swims into his ken;

--"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" (1816) by John Keats

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John Keats (31 October 1795February 23, 1821) was one of the principal poets of the English Romantic movement. During his short life, his work received constant critical attacks from the periodicals of the day, but his posthumous influence on poets such as Alfred Tennyson has been immense. Elaborate word choice and sensual imagery characterize Keats's poetry, including a series of odes that were his masterpieces and which remain among the most popular poems in English literature. Keats's letters, which expound on his theory of aethestics of "negative capability", were among the most celebrated by any men of letters. He is perhaps best known for the line "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever."


  • The death of Keats inspired Shelley to write the poem Adonais.
  • Byron later composed a short poem on Shelley's theme employing the phrase "snuffed out by an article." However, Byron, far less admiring of the poetry of Keats than Shelley and generally more cynical in nature, was here probably just as much poking fun at Shelley's interpretation as he was having a dig at the critics.
  • The largest collection of the letters, manuscripts, and other papers of Keats is in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Other collections of such material can be found at the British Library; Keats House, Hampstead; the Keats-Shelley Memorial House in Rome; and the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.
  • Keats in Hampstead, is a play about Keats and Brawne, written and directed by James Veitch. It has been regularly been performed at Keats House, Hampstead.
  • The 1845 short story "P.'s Correspondence" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the earliest works of alternate history, speculated on what Keats' later life would have been like – especially, what further poetry he would have composed – had he not died so young.
  • The 2009 film Bright Star, written and directed by Jane Campion, focuses on Keats' relationship with Fanny Brawne.
  • Since 1998 the British Keats-Shelley Memorial Association have annually awarded a poetry prize. The organisation encourages poets to "respond personally to the emotions aroused in them by the work of the Romantics".

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "John Keats" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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