To Autumn, a poem by John Keats

November 29, 2013

To Autumn by John Keats

To Autumn by John Keats, a brilliant romantic English poet celebrates the season of autumn and the vivid impressions it made on him with the help of elements of personification.  The poem is an ode which is a lyrical poem which sings praises of any theme that a poet is extremely fond of.  The season autumn or fall begins in the month of September and is up to November in England and other countries in the northern hemisphere.  John Keats describes what kind of sensory impressions the autumn season in all its glory made on him in the 19th century.  Let us enjoy and appreciate this poem as we look back at the autumn season as the season of winter sets in.

A feeling of abundance and outpouring of nature’s bounty is beautifully captured in the first few verses of the poem.

Read the following lines and try to paint a picture in your mind of the early autumn season as expressed by John Keats.

“To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core”

Contrast this with other seasons and especially winter.  If you were to describe nature and trees in the season of winter, how would you express this in poetical verse?

The literary device of personification is used to describe the season of autumn in an interesting manner in the second stanza.  Autumn is given human avatars in the rural settings of the 19th century and is found in a granary, in a poppy field, crossing a brook and in a cider press.

In the last verse, John Keats says that the season autumn has its own unique quality and is as enchanting as the season of spring with all its melody and freshness.   John Keats ends the poem with visual imagery which is prominent throughout the poem.  You can paint a picture in words in your mind as you read the poem, and at the same time, enjoy the words written in intense lyrical style.

Read and reflect on the last four lines of the poem which beautifully capture some wonderful creatures which are found in rural settings, namely, the lamb, the hedge-cricket, the redbreast and the swallow.

“And full-grown lambs, loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft

And gathering swallow twitter in the sky.”

What are some sights that come to your mind when you think of a season that you would like to celebrate?   Perhaps, the poem “To Autumn” by John Keats will inspire you to write a poem in celebration of your favorite season.

photo credit: Ben Sutherland via photopin cc

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