List of popular references to John Keats

List of popular references to John Keats

Popular references to the works of John Keats.

In written works

* In Rudyard Kipling's story "Wireless", from his book "Traffics and Discoveries" (1904), a chemist (or "pharmacist", in American English) with tuberculosis, while dozing under the influence of drugs, reproduces almost perfectly about a dozen lines of Keats' poem "The Eve of St. Agnes", although he has never read Keats. The narrator believes that this remarkable near-perfect reproduction happens because of the combination of the chemist's drug-trance and his having the same illness and profession as Keats, causing him to "pick up" the same "universal spiritual vibrations" that Keats once did. The story at the same time makes fun of the infant science of radio-telegraphy: in the next room a "wireless telegraph" hobbyist is attempting to communicate with a friend, with little success.

* F. Scott Fitzgerald refers to a line in "Ode to a Nightingale" in the title of his novel "Tender Is The Night".

* Arthur Ransome uses two references from "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" in his children's books, the "Swallows and Amazons" series. [ [ A.N.Wilson's review in "The Daily Telegraph" 15 August 2005] ]

* P.G. Wodehouse in his review of the first Flashman novel that came to his attention used a phrase from "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer": "Now I understand what that ‘when a new planet swims into his ken’ excitement is all about." [Quoted on current UK imprint of Flashman novels as cover blurb. ]

* J. D. Salinger, in his novella "", introduces the reader to a certain haiku, the authorship of which he attributes to his most complex fictional creation, Seymour Glass. The haiku reads as follows: "John Keats/ John Keats/ John/ Please put your scarf on." (Tuberculosis is a condition aggravated by cold weather.)

* In allusion to Keat's complaint to Sir Isaac Newton for destroying the beauty of the rainbow, Richard Dawkins names his book "Unweaving the rainbow"

* Dan Simmons's science-fiction novels of the "Hyperion Cantos" feature two characters with the cloned body of John Keats, as well as his personality (reconstructed and programmed into an AI). Some of the main themes of these novels, as well as their names, draw upon "Hyperion" and "Endymion".

* A quote from Keats appears in Phillip Pullman's novel "The Subtle Knife", "...capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason -" (from a 21 Dec. 1817 letter by Keats on his theory of negative capability).

* The popular teen series "Gossip Girl" mention Keats throughout the novels as the male protagonist Daniel Humphrey's poetic hero and is referenced numerous times by the character.

* Robert Frost, in his poem "Choose Something Like a Star", alludes to John Keats' poem Bright Star. The eighteenth line reads as follows: "And steadfast as Keats' Eremite."

* In 1977 author Anthony Burgess ("A Clockwork Orange", "Napoleon Symphony") recreated Keats' last days in Rome in a book entitled "ABBA ABBA".

* Ann Brashares named one of her chapters in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on," from Ode to a Grecian Urn

* In the introduction to Literary Theory, Terry Eagleton writes, "If you approach me at a bus stop and murmur 'Thou still unravished bride of quietness,' then I am instantly aware that I am in the presence of the literary." What is murmured by the hypothetical bus rider is the first line of Keats' "Ode to a Grecian Urn."

In performed works

* Keats was mentioned in The Smiths' song "Cemetry Gates": "Keats and Yeats are on your side while Wilde is on mine".

* In pop singer Natasha Bedingfield's 2005 single "These Words", Keats is mentioned along with Byron and Shelley.

* "Keats in Hampstead", a play written and directed by James Veitch and based on the poet's time at Wentworth Place, premiered in the garden of Keats House in July 2007.

* A radio play "The Mask Of Death" on the final days of John Keats in Rome written by the Indian English poet Gopi Kottoor captures the last days of the young poet as revealed through his circle of friends (Severn), his poetry and letters.

* Hammersmith rock band Tellison adapt J.D. Salinger's haiku in their song "Architects", with the lyric "John Keats, John Keats, John Keats, John, John Keats, John, Please put a scarf on".

* On their 2005 album "The Runners Four", the band Deerhoof included a song titled "Spirit Ditties Of No Tone," referencing a line in Keats' poem, "Ode on a Grecian Urn".

* Two films about Keats's life are in pre-production as of July 2007:
** a period drama about Keats's romance with Fanny Brawne titled "Bright Star", set for release in 2008, is directed by Jane Campion and stars Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish in the lead roles.
** a mockumentary 'grunge' musical based on Keats's letters and set in Seattle at the beginning of the 1990s, titled "Negative Capability", directed by Daniel Gildark.

* Dawson Leery from Dawson's Creek quotes Keats's poem "Ode on A Grecian Urn"- "beauty is truth, truth beauty" in Season 2, Episode "The All-Nighter". The same Ode is quoted by Pacey in another episode of the same season, "To Be or Not to Be...".

* Keats's line from Book 1 of Endymion is referenced in the film "White Men Can't Jump" (1992) when a character admires a shot and says "A thing of beauty is a joy forever. My man John Keats said that".

* "When I have fears that I may cease to be" is mentioned in the film "Brief Encounter" (1945).

* "To Autumn" is mentioned in the films "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1969) and "Bridget Jones’s Diary" (2001).

* The title of Ziggy Marley’s album "Love Is My Religion" (2006) is a quotation from Keats’s letter to Fanny Brawne of 13 October 1819.

* On their 2008 album "Trivmvirate", the band The Monolith Deathcult included a few lines from Keats's "La Belle Dame sans Merci" in a song titled "Wrath of the Ba'ath".

* The Love Letters written by Keats to his beloved, Fanny Brawne, are mentioned as part of the love letters that Mr. Big writes to Carrie in "Sex and the City - The Movie" (2008).


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