Keats' Poems and Letters

Keats' Poems and Letters Glossary


Poetic device in which the same, or similar, words are used to begin successive phrases for rhetorical/poetic effect


A princess in ancient Greek mythology. Andromeda's mother angers the god Poseidon, and Andromeda herself is chained to a rock and offered as a sacrifice to the monster of the sea, but is ultimately saved by the hero Perseus.


A poetic device in which a narrator directly addresses an absent/abstract person or thing


Like or of the dawn


A pauper who prays on behalf of wealthy patrons


An old woman


An ornament used for burning incense

Chameleon Poet

Keats describes the character of a poet as resembling that of a chameleon; the poet has no character and only reflects the environment in which he finds himself.


A wood-nymph in ancient Greek mythology


A hermit or social recluse, often spiritual or religious


A temple or shrine



Fragrant zone

A belt made of flowers


One who gathers the grain left behind by reapers


An ancient Greek fountain, sacred to the Muses and considered a source of poetic inspiration.

Iambic pentameter

A type of poetic meter composed of five pairs of "iambs" or "iambic feet." An iamb is a two-syllable pair in which the second syllable is stressed.

Negative Capability

The ability of an artist or thinker to exist comfortably in the presence of "uncertainties, Mysteries, [and] doubts," rather than trying to situate every phenomenon in an overarching logical or philosophical system. Keats describes his theory of "Negative Capability" in a letter to his brothers George and Tom, which was written on December 21, 1818.


Verses of a poem

Petrarchan sonnet

A fourteen-line poem in rhyming iambic pentameter, beginning with an octet that follows a ABBA ABBA rhyme scheme and concluding with a sestet with a flexible rhyme scheme


Feathers essential to flight, on the outer part of a bird's wing


A Greek mortal-turned-goddess who married Cupid/Eros and was made immortal

Shakespearean/English sonnet

A fourteen-line poem composed in rhyming iambic pentameter. This type of sonnet begins with three quatrains (stanzas of four lines each) and concludes with a rhyming couplet.


A division of a poem, often involving a fixed number of lines, a set type of meter, and a clear rhyme scheme