Though he had only 54 poems published in his lifetime, John Keats is recognized as one of the greatest poets of the romantic era. Mostly noted for his series of odes, Keats used gentle language and natural imagery to illustrate his subtle philosophies on life.
John Keats was born in London on October 31, 1795. He was the eldest of four children from a lower class family with little education and constant financial struggles. By the age of 14, Keats had lost both of his parents. After their death, he left school to pursue a career as an apothecary. However, it was not long until Keats decided that he would leave medicine to pursue poetry.
Keats’s best work falls between ages 23 and 24 when he consecutively produced some of his greatest works, such as “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “To Autumn.” By 1820, however, Keats was showing symptoms of tuberculosis. He traveled to Italy hoping that the climate would improve his condition, yet the disease claimed his life in February of 1821. Keats was only 25 years old.
Though Keats’s life was brief, his work exemplifies a unique philosophy. Throughout his personal letters and poetry, Keats explores the significance of happiness, beauty, and creativity amidst a world of suffering. Perhaps we could all learn something from the way Keats contemplated the realities of everyday life.
Here are 10 of Keats’s quotes that remind us to appreciate the essence of living: