Welcome to our John Keats’ Poems site!
On this site, you’ll find a vast collection of John Keats’ poetry. While you’ll find classics like Bright Star, Hyperion, Endymion, and Ode on a Grecian Urn, you’ll also find some of Keats’ works that might be new to you, like Calidore and To Some Ladies.
So feel free to take a look around and fall in love with the poetry of John Keats!
If you’d like to learn a little more about John Keats, please read our short bio below.
Popular John Keats Poetry and Prose
|Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats|
|The Eve of St. Agnes by John Keats|
|Calidore by John Keats|
|Song (I had a dove and the sweet dove died) by John Keats|
|Bright Star by John Keats|
John Keats Short Biography
Despite only living a little over 25 years, John Keats (October 31, 1795 – February 23, 1821) etched his name as one of the greatest English poets to ever live.
John Keats was born in Moorgate, London to Thomas and Frances Jennings Keats. He was the oldest of four surviving children, having two younger brothers George and Thomas, and a younger sister Frances Mary “Fanny.” In 1804, Thomas Keats died from a skull fracture after falling off his horse. Keats’ mother remarried two months later, but would soon leave her new husband, taking her kids and moving in with her mother (John Keats’ grandmother). In 1810, Keats’ mother died, leaving her children in the custody of their grandmother, who appointed two guardians to take care of them.
In the summer of 1803, John Keats was sent him to John Clarke’s school where he started to develop an interest in classics and history. At John Clarke’s, Keats also became close to the headmaster’s son Charles Cowden Clarke, who introduced Keats to Renaissance literature such such as Tasso and Spenser. In 1810, Keats left John Clarke’s to apprentice with a surgeon and apothecary named Thomas Hammond. After his apprenticeship ended in 1815, Keats began studying at Guy’s Hospital. Within a month, he began assisting surgeons during operations as a dresser. It appeared Keats would have a long medical career as it seemed he enjoyed the medical profession. However, all the time he spent at the hospital was time not spent writing. In 1816, Keats received his apothecary’s licence, which meant he could now practice as an apothecary, physician, and surgeon. Keats chose not to, instead turning his focus towards poetry.
In 1816, Keats published his first poem O, Solitude in Leigh Hunt’s journal The Examiner. In 1817, Keats published his first volume of poetry called Poems, which was considered a failure as it drew little interest and the publishers of the book were ashamed of the work. Keats then switched publishers to Taylor and Hessey, who loved Keats work and paid him in advance for another collection of poems.
Leigh Hunt would publish more of Keats’ poetry including On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer. Hunt also started to introduce Keats to various writers and editors.
In 1817, Keats moved in with his brothers George and Tom. Tom was suffering from tuberculosis, so John and George helped take care of him until Tom’s death on December 1, 1818.
John Keats then moved to the Wentworth Place, which was owned by his friend Charles Armitage Brown. While at the Wentworth Place, Keats composed five of his six great odes in April and May of 1819.
In 1819, Keats also wrote many of his other now-popular poems including The Eve of St. Agnes, La Belle Dame sans Merci, Hyperion, and Lamia. However, when Keats went to his publishers with this collection, they were unimpressed. Keats would eventually get a collection of poems published in 1820 entitled Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. This collection received praise from several publications, and is now recognized as one of the most important works ever published.
In 1820, Keats started to display serious signs of tuberculosis including two lung hemorrhages. In the fall of 1820, Keats left for Rome, hoping the warmer weather would do him well. By the time he arrived in November, his health had worsened significantly. Keats was under the care of a doctor in Rome who treated his condition with the common treatments of the day: starvation and bleeding. Keats’ pain was so severe that those caring for him were fearful Keats would commit suicide. After much pain and suffering, Keats died in Rome on February 23, 1821, and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome.
John Keats’ last request was for his tombstone to bear no name or date, but just the words “Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.”
Keats request was partially followed as his tombstone read:
“This Grave / contains all that was Mortal / of a / Young English Poet / Who / on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart / at the Malicious Power of his Enemies / Desired / these Words to be / engraven on his Tomb Stone: / Here lies One / Whose Name was writ in Water. 24 February 1821″
The world lost a poet at too young an age back in 1821. John Keats accomplished so much during his short life, and the world of poetry owes its gratitude to his works.
We invite you to look around this site and to experience the fabulous poetry of John Keats.