Written under a plum tree in the garden of what is presently known as the Keats House, Ode to a Nightingale became one of John Keats most famous poems. Exploring themes of nature, transience and mortality parallel to the appearance of the garden, Keats’ experience of living in the property in Hampstead align with his poetic imagination. These days, the House, including its garden and living spaces have been restored in the Regency style, approaching as closely as possible the ways in which the house may have appeared during Keats’ stay.
The Keats House Museum is dedicated not only to the poetry of John Keats (1795 - 1821) but also to poetry in general and as such has an interesting line-up of events and poetry groups. Working closely with community groups, museums, artists and school, the House aims to reanimate the life and times of Keats in contemporary Hampstead. The House also holds a sizable collection of Keats’ works, including letters, books, paintings and household items, as well as his engagement ring to Fanny Brawne.
The garden that inspired Ode to a Nightingale reflects Keats’ poetry with every corner, as it is designed around the themes Melancholy, Autumn and Nightingale. The garden is free to visit and during the summer becomes a popular picnic spot for local residents.