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The Complete Poems

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,733 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews

'I think I shall be among the English Poets after my death,' John Keats soberly prophesied in 1818 as he started writing the blankverse epic Hyperion. Today he endures as the archetypal Romantic genius who explored the limits of the imagination and celebrated the pleasures of the senses but suffered a tragic early death. Edmund Wilson counted him as 'one of the half dozen
3rd, 752 pages
Published 1977 by Penguin Classics (first published 1820)
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Jun 13, 2007 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poetry fans, 18th/19th Century Lit fans
I'm going to come right out and say that I'm not usually a huge poetry fan. (Except in the epic sense where it's actually basically a novel, Byron, or Shakespeare.) But I make a huge exception for Keats. I adore Keats. All of Keats. You can't show me a poem of Keats that I wouldn't like. This stuff is so heartbreakingly beautiful sometimes, I can hardly stand it.

If anyone else has a poet to recommend that they can't live without, please do. I would really like to get more into poetry. I just ha
Mademoiselle Karma
Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful - a faery's child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her
Dec 08, 2014 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
On first looking into Chapman's Homer Bjørneboe's Bestialitetens historie

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or lik
Athena Shardbearer
May 08, 2015 Athena Shardbearer rated it really liked it


I was a woman, let me have once more
A woman’s shape, and charming as before.
I love a youth of Corinth – O the bliss!
Give me my woman’s form, and place me where he is.
Stoop, Hermes, let me breathe upon thy brow,
And thou shalt see thy sweet nymph even now
Conor Walsh
Aug 17, 2010 Conor Walsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Every morning I would wake at 7am just to read this work of genius.

Keats was the Romantic poet who cared most about art and beauty. He didn't allow himself to get mixed up in religion and politics. But in quiet ways, he did comment on political, religious, aesthetic, and sexual beliefs, sometimes in ways that were less traditional than his poetic style. Above all, he was supremely conscious of beauty in the world, as well as the world's suffering. His 143page poem 'Endymion: A Poetic Romance' wo
Lady Jane
Oct 04, 2011 Lady Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Keats... lovely as his writings were, achieved fame only posthumously. Posthumous fame has to be one of the saddest things for an artist, especially for John Keats, whose situation never really got any happier. The poor lad died at the age of 29 after struggling with tuberculosis for years. As if this were not bad enough, critics of his time were very harsh on him... they disliked him because he did not derive from a wealthy family, and claimed that an farm boy like John Keats cannot possib ...more
Lidia Mascaró
Aug 01, 2015 Lidia Mascaró rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keats? Johnny? What should I call you? I consider you a close friend, for you /always/ manage to speak to me on a very spiritual level. There is not really much I can say. If I began to talk about these poems, I'd write a novel. Simply amazing, genius, excellent, superb... you get the drill. Your poems have been my safe haven for the last six months now, and I can safely say you have made me fall in love with both life and death in the best ways possible. Thank you very much.
Jun 13, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah Keats, truest literary love of my life. At least once or twice a year I feel the need to get lost in this book for a little while, and it always feels like having tea and a deep, tearful discussion with a dear friend. It also takes me back to my wonderful memories of studying in England, and all the time I spent belatedly stalking Keats (walking along the path in Winchester where he composed "To Autumn," visiting his home in Hampstead, reading rare biographies in gorgeous old libraries, etc.) ...more
Patrick Gibson
Aug 23, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who can read
Recommended to Patrick by: calliope
Shelves: poetry
People always pair Keats and Milton. Milton shmilton. Keats is the man. Probably the finest English poet. I think he should shack up with John Donne. Wouldn’t you like to take a walk with those two by your side? I wonder if they ever wrote any dirty limericks?

Think Of It Not, Sweet One

John Keats

Think not of it, sweet one, so;—
Give it not a tear;
Sigh thou mayst, and bid it go

Do not lool so sad, sweet one,—
Sad and fadingly;
Shed one drop then,—it is gone—
O ’twas born to die!

Jul 14, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sad people in need of catharsis.
Recommended to Megan by: A nightengale.
I bring this with me when I am forced to ride the Metro. Mostly I read "Ode to a Nightengale", "Ode on Melancholy" and "The Eve of St. Agnes" and teeter on the edge of crying and not-crying. I think he really understood depression. Hit up that last stanza of "Melancholy" and you'll have a little window into my brain. Mom assures me that "Endymion" will also make me cry. Maybe it will make you cry, too!
Paul Dinger
Mar 21, 2010 Paul Dinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that it was the movie Bright Star that got me to read the very slim oveare that is Keat's body of work. Yet, for such a small output, it had a huge following. Keats is very influentional through out the Victorian age. There are all kinds of influence on writers from Tennyson to Matthew Arnold and Browning. It seems to me that a major theme in Keats is work is potential unfufilled. It is a major theme in Ode to a Grecian Urn and Eve of Saint Agnes, where the love story is told fro ...more
Therese Ptak
Jul 28, 2012 Therese Ptak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in LOVE with Keats. He's one of my favorites if not my absolute FAVORITE poet. His sonnets are deep touching and beautiful. His poem "the Lamia" and "Bright Star" are so beautifully written. If you haven't yet aquainted yourself with him, buy a book of his poetry and start. If you can get a hold of some of his written letters (they are often published with his poems) read them, it's so interesting to see his thought process!
Jul 10, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful poet and beautiful man - he died too soon. I love the poetry, the letters, all of it. Found it on Google for free (pubilc domain!) in e-book form, sought it out after watching the movie Bright Star, about his love affair with Fanny Brawne. I recommend that as well.
Autumn Meier
Nov 22, 2015 Autumn Meier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction

Super sophisticated review, right?
Naima Haviland
Oct 20, 2013 Naima Haviland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read much poetry, and when I do it's modern and in-your-face. However, I saw the Jane Campion movie, Bright Star, which focuses on the doomed romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. It's so beautiful, and it made me want to learn more about Keats. So I read The Complete Poems cover to cover, in order. I will not tell you I found it easy, but it was rewarding. Keats surprised me and, at times, moved me.

On the surface, his romantic style, seemed very far removed from my modern sensibi
the mad hatter
Sep 09, 2012 the mad hatter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keat’s poems and letters are an absolute pleasure to read. Keats is one of the most seductive poets I have ever read. His words have completely captivated me, and his letters are further irresistible. Although he could be contradictory and manipulative, he is nonetheless loveable. He had a very short life, and yet, he still managed to write some of the most beautiful poems ever written in the English Language.

Keats also had an enduring interest in antiquity and the ancient world. His longer poe
Mar 16, 2009 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How is it, Shadows! that I knew ye
How came ye muffled in so hush a mask?
Was it a silent deep-disguised plot
To steal away, and leave without a task
My idle days? Ripe was the drowsy
The blissful cloud of summer-indolence
Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew
less and less;
Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath
no flower:
O, why did ye not melt, and leave
Unhaunted quite of all but -- nothing-

(from Ode on Indolence)
Nathan Jerpe
Mine is the Cambridge Edition printed in the 1970s, which includes most of his letters.

I'm not often one for reading an author's letters, but these are priceless. Most were penned between 1817-1819, when Keats was traveling the Scottish Highlands, nursing a mysterious sore throat, and falling in love. They become less frequent in 1820 when consumption strikes. By 1821 he is already gone at 25, and suddenly we feel lucky to have them.

Hyperion is one of my all-time favorites, ten pages or so? One
Jul 09, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Keats is one of the finest poets who has ever lived, and he died at 25, and this praise comes from one who is not much of a fan of poetry in general. Not much else can be said other than everyone should sample his work (poems and letters)if they wish to be moved or inspired as no other could.
Oct 02, 2012 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of the Romantic poets, Keats is by far my favorite. I don't know if it was the tragedy of his brief life or the simple way he put being into words, but every time I read his poetry, my pulse slows and the world stands still.
Jun 18, 2013 Kyle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keats has some great lines but comes across all too often like a horny teenage boy. He reminds me of the first Violent Femmes album — but I like the Violent Femmes more.
Christy B
Jun 20, 2012 Christy B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction, poetry
This is something I come back to every now and again, and it's also something I definitely won't read in order. I love picking it up and reading a few poems at random. Bliss.
Apr 26, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This pleasant tale is like a little copse:
The honied lines do freshly interlace,
To keep the reader in so sweet a place,
So that he here and there full hearted stops;
And of ten times he feels the dewy drops
Come cool and suddenly against his face,
And by the wandering melody trace
Which way the tender-legged linnet hops.
Oh! what a power has white simplicity!
What mighty power has this gentle story!
I, that do ever feel athirst for glory,
Could at this moment be content to lie
Meekly upon the grass, as th
George King
Mar 02, 2011 George King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In terms of sensual imagery, Keats is unsurpassed. Only Shakespeare may be a greater English poet.
Sep 11, 2015 Zari added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poem
Cat! who has pass'd thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd? How many tit-bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and
Those velvet ears - but prythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and tell me all thy frays,
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick;
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists, -
For all the wheezy asthma - and for all
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off - and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Dec 31, 2014 Killthepopular rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Delicate yet mesmerising.
Jan 11, 2015 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, poetry, 5-star, uk-ireland
Note to the Third Edition
Tables of Dates
Further Reading

--Imitation of Spenser
--On Peace
--'Fill for me a brimming bowl'
--To Lord Byron
--'As from the darkening gloom a silver dove'
--'Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream'
--To Chatterton
--Written on the Day that Mr Leigh Hunt left Prison
--To Hope
--Ode to Apollo ('In thy western halls of gold')
--Lines Written on 29 May The Anniversary of the Restoration of Charles the 2nd
--To Some Ladies
--On Receiving a Curious She
Oct 22, 2011 Dianne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
It seems I have found a poet I don't like at all. I know his poetry is loved by many, but I fear I will not be one of them. Granted I have read only the 21 poems found in this book and I really don't know how many more he wrote, although dying at the way too young age of 25 didn't give him enough time to be really prolific. Poetry is such a subjective thing that it's difficult to explain why one likes some and not others but I'll try to pinpoint some of the things that kept me at arm's length.

Claire Cray
Jan 10, 2013 Claire Cray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now, I've got mad love for Lord Byron, for both his poetry and his extravagant character. But as soon as I read his scoffing and sneering remarks on "that little dirty blackguard KEATES" -- well, I branded myself Team Keats forever. And I do love them both, but OOF! when I think about that feud I feel a window open to the very same black lake of bitterness, self-pity and despair we know Keats looked on for most of his life.

Of course, I don't agree when Keats throws shade on Byron's talent: "You
Mar 04, 2013 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thus far in my reading life, I have connected much more strongly with prose than poetry, with a few notable exceptions - Emily Dickinson, for example. When I spend time with a classic poet, it is as much with an academic desire to round out my experience of the Western Canon as it is to have a transformative aesthetic experience.

When this fall I stumbled across a gorgeous hardcover volume of Keats’s collected poems from 1895 going for a pittance in a used bookstore, I took that as my sign from t
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  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Major Works
  • Selected Poems
  • The Complete English Poems
  • Poetry (Norton Critical Editions)
  • The Complete Sonnets and Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • Poems and Prose
  • My Last Duchess and Other Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • The Complete Poems
John Keats 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 am ...more
More about John Keats...

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“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”
Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.”
More quotes…