TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®  •  TODAYINSCI ®
Celebrating 24 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > John Keats Quotes

John Keats
(31 Oct 1795 - 23 Feb 1821)

British poet who studied medicine, but instead devoted his life to poetry. He remains important among the English Romantics movement, despite a short life that ended at age 25.

Science Quotes by John Keats (9 quotes)

’Tis the witching hour of night,
Orbed is the moon and bright.
And the stars they glisten, glisten,
Seeming with bright eyes to listen-
For what listen they?
— John Keats
From poem 'Prophecy', collected in The Complete Works of John Keats (1818). Vol. 2, 239.
Science quotes on:  |  Bright (81)  |  Eye (440)  |  Glistening (2)  |  Hour (192)  |  Listen (81)  |  Listening (26)  |  Moon (252)  |  Night (133)  |  Orb (20)  |  Seeming (10)  |  Star (460)  |  Stars (304)

Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge.
— John Keats
Letter to George and Thomas Keats (21 Dec 1817). In H. E. Rollins (ed.), Letters of John Keats (1958), Vol. 1, 193-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1276)  |  Capability (44)  |  Capable (174)  |  Content (75)  |  Doubt (314)  |  Fact (1257)  |  Incapable (41)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Man (2252)  |  Mystery (188)  |  Negative (66)  |  Reason (766)  |  Remaining (45)  |  Truth (1109)  |  Uncertainty (58)

Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine
Unweave a rainbow.
— John Keats
Lamia 1820, II, lines 229-37. In John Barnard (ed.), John Keats. The Complete Poems (1973), 431.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (366)  |  Angel (47)  |  Charm (54)  |  Cold (115)  |  Common (447)  |  Conquer (39)  |  Do (1905)  |  Dull (58)  |  Empty (82)  |  Fly (153)  |  Heaven (266)  |  Know (1538)  |  Mine (78)  |  Philosophy (409)  |  Poem (104)  |  Rainbow (17)  |  Rule (307)  |  Thing (1914)  |  Touch (146)  |  Will (2350)  |  Wing (79)

Even bees, the little alms-men of spring bowers,
Know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.
— John Keats
From poem, 'Isabella', collected in The Poetical Works of John Keats (1885), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Bee (44)  |  Bower (2)  |  Entomology (9)  |  Flower (112)  |  Juice (7)  |  Know (1538)  |  Little (717)  |  Poison (46)  |  Rich (66)  |  Spring (140)

Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true.
— John Keats
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (837)  |  Earnestly (4)  |  Failure (176)  |  False (105)  |  Highway (15)  |  Inasmuch (5)  |  Lead (391)  |  Seek (218)  |  Sense (785)  |  Success (327)  |  True (239)

I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination—What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth—whether it existed before or not.
— John Keats
Letter to Benjamin Bailey (22 Nov 1817). In H. E. Rollins (ed.), Letters of John Keats (1958), Vol. 1, 184.
Science quotes on:  |  Affection (44)  |  Beauty (313)  |  Certain (557)  |  Certainty (180)  |  Exist (458)  |  Heart (243)  |  Holiness (7)  |  Imagination (349)  |  Must (1525)  |  Nothing (1000)  |  Truth (1109)

The Poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
— John Keats
Poem, 'On the Grasshopper and Cricket' (30 Dec 1816). Collected in Harry Buxton Forman (ed.), The Complete Works of John Keats (), Vol. 1, 49. By
Science quotes on:  |  Cricket (8)  |  Grasshopper (8)  |  Poem (104)

The sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.
— John Keats
From his ballad, 'La Belle Dame sans Merci' (1820), collected in The Poetical Works of John Keats (1895), 446. Used as epigraph in Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962), vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Bird (163)  |  Lake (36)  |  Sedge (2)  |  Song (41)  |  Wither (9)

Who, of men, can tell
That flowers would bloom, or that green fruit would swell
To melting pulp, that fish would have bright mail,
The earth its dower of river, wood, and vale,
The meadows runnels, runnels pebble-stones,
The seed its harvest, or the lute its tones,
Tones ravishment, or ravishment its sweet,
If human souls did never kiss and greet?
— John Keats
Endymion (1818), bk. 1, l. 835-842. In John Barnard (ed.), John Keats. The Complete Poems (1973), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Bright (81)  |  Earth (1076)  |  Fish (130)  |  Flower (112)  |  Fruit (108)  |  Green (65)  |  Harvest (28)  |  Human (1512)  |  Kiss (9)  |  Meadow (21)  |  Never (1089)  |  Pebble (27)  |  Poem (104)  |  River (140)  |  Seed (97)  |  Soul (235)  |  Stone (168)  |  Sweet (40)  |  Tell (344)  |  Tone (22)  |  Wood (97)



Quotes by others about John Keats (3)

Now if we want poets to interpret physical science as Milton and Shelley did (Shelley and Keats were the last English poets who were at all up-to-date in their chemical knowledge), we must see that our possible poets are instructed, as their masters were, in science and economics.
In Daedalus or Science and the Future (1924). Reprinted in Haldane's Daedalus Revisited (1995), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemical (303)  |  Chemistry (376)  |  Economic (84)  |  Economics (44)  |  English (35)  |  Instruction (101)  |  Interpret (25)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Last (425)  |  Master (182)  |  John Milton (31)  |  Must (1525)  |  Physical (518)  |  Physical Science (104)  |  Poet (97)  |  Possible (560)  |  See (1094)  |  Percy Shelley (7)  |  Want (504)

Now and then, in the course of the century, a great man of science, like Darwin; a great poet, like Keats; a fine critical spirit, like M. Renan; a supreme artist, like Flaubert, has been able to isolate himself, to keep himself out of reach of the clamorous claims of others, to stand “under the shelter of the wall,” as Plato puts it, and so to realise the perfection of what was in him, to his own incomparable gain, and to the incomparable and lasting gain of the whole world.
In Sebastian Melmoth (1908), 133-134.
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (97)  |  Century (319)  |  Claim (154)  |  Clamor (7)  |  Course (413)  |  Critical (73)  |  Charles Darwin (322)  |  Gustave Flaubert (18)  |  Gain (146)  |  Great (1610)  |  Himself (461)  |  Incomparable (14)  |  Isolate (24)  |  Man (2252)  |  Other (2233)  |  Perfection (131)  |  Plato (80)  |  Poet (97)  |  Reach (286)  |  Realize (157)  |  Ernest Renan (3)  |  Shelter (23)  |  Spirit (278)  |  Stand (284)  |  Supreme (73)  |  Wall (71)  |  Whole (756)  |  Whole World (29)  |  World (1850)

It is only in mathematics, and to some extent in poetry, that originality may be attained at an early age, but even then it is very rare (Newton and Keats are examples), and it is not notable until adolescence is completed.
In A Study of British Genius (1904), 142
Science quotes on:  |  Age (509)  |  Attain (126)  |  Complete (209)  |  Completed (30)  |  Early (196)  |  Example (98)  |  Extent (142)  |  Mathematics (1395)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (363)  |  Notable (6)  |  Originality (21)  |  Poetry (150)  |  Rare (94)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Thank you for sharing.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.