Virtual Read-Aloud: What the Thrush Said, John Keats.


A winter’s morning is marked with the delicate musical musings of birdsong.

John Keats (1795 – 1821) was an English poet who contributed greatly to the Romantic movement, strengthening the works of his poetic contemporaries and influencing the writers and artists who came after them. Although Keats explored various poetic forms, he is best known for his proficiency with odes— “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn” are among his most famous works.

Not only a poet, Keats was an exceptional epistolary writer; his letters to friends and family are the source of much feeling and study. In a letter sent homewards in early 1818, Keats’ musings prompted the composition of a poem, which he included with the letter. The latter has since been titled “What the Thrush Said.”

Want to read along? Click here to read the poem on Project Gutenberg.

Sound effects included in this video were downloaded from and incorporated in accordance with the Creative Commons Attributions License. No copyright infringement and/or commercial usage is intended.

Thank you to the Friends of the Bloomfield Township Public Library for sponsoring the closed captioning of this video.

A new read-aloud will be published every month on the Adult Services Vimeo page, so keep an eye out for new titles! Material selected for these read-alouds are in the public domain and are sourced from Project Gutenberg, so that listeners can read along if they would like.