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Angeli Patel

on 20 March 2013

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THEME 2: Time : We don't think it's a coincidence that "To Autumn" mentions autumn and spring, but not winter. Keats doesn't want to dwell on the cold days to come. To appreciate autumn, we need to forget about how each passing day seems a little shorter and chillier. For the most part, the speaker stays focused on the present moment, just like the personified figure of autumn, who doesn't seem to have a care in the world. Nonetheless, the poem moves forward in subtle ways. The natural world is at the peak of sunlight and ripeness in the first stanza, and by the third stanza the sun is setting. THEME 1:Man and the Natural World: There's a lot more to say about this poem besides the fact that it's a "nature poem." By itself, the term "nature poem" doesn't tell us much. "To Autumn" contains very specific natural landscapes and images. The first stanza offers images of the interaction between humans and the plants that surround them. The second describes the production of agriculture, a natural process that is controlled by people. The third stanza moves outside of the human perspective to include things that are not used or consumed by humans, such as gnats and swallows. This third section captures some of the "wildness" and unpredictability of nature. THEME 3: Awe & Amazement : This ode is almost like a pep talk delivered to autumn. The speaker knows that autumn often gets short shrift in the catalogue of seasons, so he reminds her of its many wonders: the bounty of the harvest, the dropping of seeds that will become next year's flowers, and the symphony of sights and sounds at sunset. Strangely, autumn herself seems blissfully unaware of any need to be praised or appreciated by anyone. She wanders through the scenery and examines her work without concern or urgency. THEME 4: Mortality : Autumn is frequently used as a symbol in literature for old age, the time before death, symbolized by winter. "To Autumn" avoids any super-obvious references to death, but we do get some subtle ones, like the oblivious bees that think the summer will last forever, or the "hook" that spares the poppy flowers from their inevitable end. As the day begins to "die" in the final section, the entire landscape contributes to the song of mourning. MAIN THEME: The theme of "To Autumn" is that time passes and that each portion is appreciated by different individuals ABOUT KEATS & HIS POETRY: John Keats was one of the greatest British Romantic poets, but he didn't have a long career like earlier generation Romantic poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. "To Autumn," published in 1819, was one of the last poems that Keats ever wrote. Many readers count this short-and-sweet beauty as one of their favorites in the English language. It's normally grouped among the set of his poems known as the Great Odes, including "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale." Keats had mixed feelings about his poetic career and often considered himself a failure. However, many critics think that if Keats hadn't caught tuberculosis and died at the age of 25, he would have gone on to write many more classics.
Keats today is seen as one of the canniest readers, interpreters, questioners, of the "modern" poetic project-which he saw as beginning with William Wordsworth—to create poetry in a world devoid of mythic grandeur, poetry that sought its wonder in the desires and sufferings of the human heart. He exemplified the brilliance of creativity and the "true voice" of feeling; he personified nature in his works as an entity capable of expressing itself through the sensory perception that humans enjoy.
About "To Autumn": Keats wrote "To Autumn" on September 19, 1819, at the height of his skill. He had just returned from a stroll near the town of Winchester in Hampshire, England. FORM OF THE POEM: "To Autumn" is shorter at three stanzas of eleven lines each (the other two are five and eight stanzas apiece). The rhyme scheme of each stanza is ABAB CDEDCCE. You'll notice that this scheme divides the stanzas into a section of four lines and a section of seven lines.Autumn is an ode in Iambic Pentameter. An ode is a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter. Understanding of the Poem:
"To Autumn" is one of the last poems written by Keats. His method of developing the poem is to heap up imagery typical of autumn. His autumn is early autumn, when all the products of nature have reached a state of perfect maturity. Autumn is personified and is perceived in a state of activity. In the first stanza, autumn is a friendly conspirator working with the sun to bring fruits to a state of perfect fullness and ripeness. In the second stanza, autumn is a thresher sitting on a granary floor, a reaper asleep in a grain field, a gleaner crossing a brook, and, lastly, a cider maker. In the final stanza, autumn is seen as a musician, and the music which autumn produces is as pleasant as the music of spring — the sounds of gnats, lambs, crickets, robins and swallows.
-In the first stanza, Keats concentrates on the sights of autumn, ripening grapes and apples, swelling gourds and hazel nuts, and blooming flowers.
-In the second stanza, the emphasis is on the characteristic activities of autumn, threshing, reaping, gleaning, and cider making.
-In the concluding stanza, the poet puts the emphasis on the sounds of autumn, produced by insects, animals, and birds. To his ears, this music is just as sweet as the music of spring. The ending of the poem is artistically made to correspond with the ending of a day: "And gathering swallows twitter in the skies." In the evening, swallows gather in flocks preparatory to returning to their nests for the night. TO AUTUMN
BY: John Keats
Analyzed By: Debbie U.
Angeli P.
Victoria N. Literary Devices in Poem:
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