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The Eve of St. Agnes

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  581 ratings  ·  54 reviews
'Hoodwink'd in faery fancy...'

This volume contains a selection of Keats's greatest verse - including his gothic story in verse, 'The Eve of St Agnes', and the mysterious 'Lamia' - exploring themes of love, enchantment, myth and magic.
Paperback, Little Black Classics #13, 56 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published 1820)
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3.64  · 
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 ·  581 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
This poem has a real good story to it; it wasn’t a conveyance of metaphor, but a story of love and longing. It’s a narrative poem, which means it’s fairly long and plot driven. It’s really quite imaginative in this because it explores different types of dreams and wishes through a few different devices. I quite like it. It’s a little enchanting:

“Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.”


She’s dreaming when s
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

- John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn"


Vol 12 of my Penguin Little Black Classics Box Set. The small selection of Keats' poems contains, as the title would suggest:

1. The Eve of St. Agnes
2. La Belle Dame sans Merci. A Ballad
3. Lamia
4. Ode to Psyche
5. Ode on a Grecian Urn

It is a nice introduction to Keats for those who haven't read him in some HS poetry section, or college poetry class. He is good, if you like Ro
Michelle Curie
"Beauty is truth, truth is beauty, - that is all
Ye need to know on earth, all ye need to know."

Oh, how wonderful a collection! This Little Black Classic features five of John Keats' poems, two of which are fairly long and narrative and probably my favourites out of those included. The Eve of St Agnes tells the story of two lovers who long to be together - it's interesting, because plot-wise it's quite realistic, but solely through the way Keats writes a whole new dimension of magic and enchant
Sep 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
I may or may not picked up this collection solely due to the fact that Keats is Oscar's favorite writer, indeed he considered him the greatest English poet of the century. When Wilde was just 22 and touring Europe he visited the grave of Keats and said it was the holiest place in Rome. At the tender age of 22, I visited Oscar's grave in Paris for the first time in my life and was overcome by emotion as well. So it is far to say that what Oscar is to me, Keats is to Oscar, naturally, I had to che ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-english
It's Keats. Do I need to say more?

Okay, it's a got a female vampire in it.
Read all my reviews on

Having never read anything by Keats before, but having heard a lot of it, I was really looking forward to this collection of five of his poems.

The poem of the title is the longest and it is, as his other poems, very visual. It really tells a story, and while this is a nice change for the other poetry so far in the Little Black Classic collection, it also became slightly dull after a while. It is a long story, and my thought wandered af
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: penguin-classics
It was probably not the right time for me to read this classic but well it happened.

I actually enjoyed the way the poems were written (everything that rhymes is good with me) but the stories (?) of the poems were just meh. I couldn't really enjoy it, though I must admit that it's not as easy to read for someone who picked up English as a third language. I feel bad rating it only 2 stars, especially because Keats seemed to get better and better with each poem he wrote and wouldn't he have died so
M.J. Black
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Keats is the Daddy, so nothing further to say other than - 5 stars
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Yes, I'm probably just horribly uneducated but this is not for me.
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, poetry
Did not care for Keats' poetry at all. His syntax grates against my nerves, and his subject matter doesn't do anything for me ("Ode to a Grecian Urn", anyone?)
Shawn Thrasher
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Keats's poem is sort of dumb and tells a story William Shakespeare told better four hundred years before, but something about it struck the imaginations of artists and illustrators, particularly those of the art nouveau and Arts and Crafts movement. It's worth taking a peak at the Internet Archive and seeing how many editions over the years of this poem have been lovingly created. My favorite was illustrated in 1900 by R.F. Seymour.
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Read full review at:

The Little Black Classic #13 is a title full of poetry. In this book, five poems by John Keats are to found. The two larger poems are The Eve of St Agnes and Lamia while the three short ones are La Belle Dame san Merci, Ode to Psyche and Ode to a Grecian Urn. Keats' poetry is more visual and narrative and these poems are great examples of this.

The Eve of St Agnes is based on the superstition that a virgin will see in her dream her futu
I have previously read the first three in this small anthology - Le Belle Dame Sans Merci, Lamia and The Eve of St Agnes - so only read the last two of the book this time, but my score reflects all 5 poems.

Overall Score - 2.5 stars
The Eve of St Agnes - 3 stars
Le Belle Dame Sans Merci - 2 stars
Lamia - 2 stars
Ode to Psyche - 3 stars
Ode on a Grecian Urn - 2 stars

Review taken from https://emdoesbookreviews.wordpress.c... -
This Little Black Classic contains 5 poems, however the first three, ‘The Eve
Joey Woolfardis
John Keats, a Romantic poet who died at the tender age of 25, writes visual poetry concerning love and loss, myth and superstition, the selection in this Little Black Classic being taken from Selected Poems.

I am quite picky when it comes to poetry. It needs to move me from the off, and Keats poetry simply did not do this. There are five poems in this collection, only one of which I loved: Lamia, being about the fairy folk, piqued my interest greatly. The rest fell flat for me, though I enjoyed t
Liz Janet
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
If never read any of his poetry, this is an okay introduction, since it contains "La Belle Dame sans Merci", and "Lamia." Not much to say, except that the poetry here was selected much better than the selection for Walt Whitman.
Sen Ita
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Eerily similar to Tales from Ovid I recently read.
Jess Donn
May 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
really enjoyed the two longer poems (the eve of st agnes and lamia) but wasn't a fan of the shorter ones.
Chas Bayfield
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Where to begin. I guess this kind of poetry was popular in 1819 or thereabouts. Still, there are only so many beldames, nymphs, satyrs, naiads and people 'syllabling' that I can take. Verse after verse of prolonged faux classical nonsense. I lost the will to read it. Some of the language is lovely but this feels like poetry for poetry's sake. I blame the drugs - a lot of spaced out rock bands sang a lot of gibberish in the 60s and 70s - maybe Keats just needs a soundtrack and a decent singer.
Demi Ev.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
To be honest, some of Keats’ verses were hard for me to understand, his poetry is more complex than Shakespeare (in my opinion, always) but still lyrical and mesmerizing. La Belle Dame sans Merci was my favorite out of all those and made me understand his writing style better. I consider Keats a great poet and will definitely read this book in the future again when my knowledge is bigger.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars
I think I should give up trying to understand poetry, it's never going to happen.

Embarrassingly I have no idea what these 5 poems were about, I couldn't tell what was actually happening compared to what someone was thinking.

EDIT: I just did a wiki research on these poems and I now understand what they are about.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I generally do enjoy poetry by Keats, and this was a really good little collection.

He creates a vivid and rich image with his words, and despite the age of his poetry it is still quite easy to read and understand. I liked the way used myths, such as in Ode to Psyche; it was something that was fun and interesting for me.
Elshey Hey
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Too high-brow for me but I gave it a shot.

Bridget: Season of mist… and… mellow fruitlessness.
Daniel: Oh,fuck me, I love Keats.

Have you heard this one? “There was a young woman from Ealing / who had a peculiar feeling. She lay on her back and opened her crack / and pissed all over the ceiling.”
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This is my first poetry read and I will say it was quite beautiful and I like the whole gothic take on the romance although as a first poetry read probably wouldn't recommend it but if you're keen into poetry then yes I'd say you'll like it.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I don't know what it is about early romantic poets that just immediately turns me off. Ode on a Grecian Urn and the eponymous Eve of St. Agnes were alright, but I can't be doing all those faeries and maidens. That's the good thing about these Penguin LBCs, can get a low-commitment sample.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pocket sized poety to dip into.
5 works by Keats also including Lamia, Ode to Psyche, Ode on a Gercian Urn and La Bella Dame sans Merci. What can I say about Keats that hasn't already been said more eloquently?

Fab, beautiful and etheral loveliness.

Really needs to be read aloud...
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Four and a half stars. This is the first of Keats I have read. I really enjoyed the beautiful language he used. There were a couple of poems I had to read twice to understand but overall some beautiful poetry by Mr Keats.
Mary Mithrilil
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter;

This one had somehow escaped my 'read' list as a mini collection.

Includes The Even of St Agnes, La Belle Dame sans Merci, Lamia, Ode to Psyche and Ode to a Grecian Urn.

Perfect Keats on the go.
John Yelverton
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is John Keats' stab at epic poetry. It's good, not so much for the poetic verse, but for the story itself.
Dane Cobain
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m not necessarily a massive Keats fan, but I can still appreciate his work for what it is. It was just the right length for me to enjoy it, so yay.

Mary Kelly
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The language is a little clumsy for a modern reader, but the ideas are quite beautiful.
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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
“Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again”
“Upon the honey’d middle of the night,” 0 likes
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