Quotes on Keats

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John Hodgman

Author, actor, humorist

Keats is astonishing for several reasons. One, he was not a television personality (remember when you didn’t have to be one to write a children’s book?). Two, because it never occurred to him to teach a contrived lesson, and certainly not to sell a product or tie-in to a movie. Rather, he did what very few can: quietly and intimately engage with the way children experience the world—the small excitements, the tiny heartbreaks, the bright newness of all five senses, and the unparalleled elation of snow on a school day.

It’s historically interesting, I suppose, that Peter is a black kid in Brooklyn during a time when that world was as alien as Narnia in most (lesser) children’s literature; but what makes it revolutionary is that you don’t even notice: any child sees that boy and knows that his world is theirs too. And finally, he just made beautiful books that you never want to stop reading and looking at, which is the most elusive skill of all.”