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To Autumn Essay

The poem “€To Autumn”€ is written by the Englishman John Keats in 1819. The poem contains 3 stanzas each containing 11 lines. The poem is about autumn and the love that the narrator has for it. The poem is full of life and the mood is very positive, and in general the poem is very poetic. The poem is written in the romantic movement.

The form of the poem is very natural and it fits very well with the content. The form is very harmonious and as a reader you have a god experience reading it. The title indicates that it could be some kind of a letter, because it says “To autumn”, like when you write a letter to a friend.

In the first stanza the narrator addresses autumn, and describes how he sees autumn. He de-scribes it as “The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, a very positive description. He fo-cuses on the nature and especially fruits, and he mentions both apples and hazel shells, be-cause autumn or indian summer is the seasons when you harvest. The language is very de-scribing and full of passion. The narrator uses a lot of adjectives such as mellow, maturing and sweet and it makes the poem very vividly and more exiting to read. He describes autumn as a person and he ensouls autumn. The whole stanza is some kind of a metaphor, because he de-scribes autumn as a person and he makes it alive. He describes autumn not just as a friend of the sun, but as a close bosom-friend of it. You could say that the first lines of the stanza tells us that the autumn is not far away from the summer that we all love, because it has a close rela-tionship to the sun as well.

One of the main themes in the first stanza is ripeness. He mentions both how the sun matures, but also how all fruits are filled with ripeness. Its describe as a mature person, who does good things to nature.

In the second stanza, the narrator describes the figure of autumn as a beautiful woman. So again he makes a personification, but this time it is a woman. The narrator mentions three places, where we can probably find autumn: The granary floor, on a half reaped furrow or by the cider-press.

In the first line, the narrator mentions a store, which could be a metaphor or a symbol for all the fruits and crops and he asks a rhetorical question.

In the next part of the poem, the mood is actually not that good. The woman or autumn is mentioned as careless on the granary floor, which is the first place we could find her. Maybe he means that autumn is careless, because now that the harvest is done, there are no more jobs for autumn to do in the world. But this is the only part of the poem, where the mood is not positive.

The narrator then paints a picture in our head of a beautiful woman lying on a half harvested field half asleep, with the smell of nice red puppies. That is the second place where we could find her.

The third place where we could be able to find her is by the cider-press. She watches it with a patient look, and maybe she does not know what else to do. The autumn does not know what to do, now that the harvest is done.

The third stanza is very peaceful and full of positivity. Positive words as light, whistles and twitter are all words, that contributes to a peaceful poem full of harmony. In this stanza, the narrator paints a picture in our minds that is very beautiful. The narrator uses a lot of adjec-tives to describe autumn and all the good things that comes with it. The adjectives are positive and for example it is not a tragic or a violent death, but it is “the soft dying day” He also brings up spring in this stanza. He speaks to autumn like you would talk to a person. He reminds au-tumn that it has it own qualities.

There are a lot of different animals mentioned in this stanza. Both gnats, lambs, hedge crick-ets, red-breasts and swallows are mentioned. All the animals have one thing in common. The focus is on what noises they make, and how they contribute to the mood in autumn.

To sum up, the text is very positive and poetic. It shows the narrators love for the season au-tumn and how he sees it. It is about every sense. It is about hearing the animals, tasting the mature fruit, and se how beautiful autumn is. The narrator keeps on painting these pictures in our heads, and suddenly it has two levels. A level that is the story told, and then a metaphori-cal level that is very creative. The whole story is a personification of autumn and that gives the poem a very creative expression and it is interesting to read.

One of the main themes of the poem is obviously nature. The narrator’s focus is on describing nature and all the good things that the nature in autumn gives us. The whole text is filled with positive adjectives to create a mood in the poem.

To put another text in to perspective I choose the song made by Chris Brown featuring Kendrick Lamar — Autumn leaves. There are some similarities, but they are also different in some way. They both have a metaphorical level and use a lot of metaphors. In Chris Brown’s song he uses an iceberg as a metaphor for the girl that he loves and in John Keats — To autumn he uses the whole poem as a metaphor for autumn. But the two poems are very different in the way that they look at autumn. John Keats has a very positive look at autumn, and Chris Brown uses autumn as a metaphor for something that is about to die. Because his love is about to end just as the year is about to end when it hits autumn. So they have a different look at the same season, and that is characteristic for autumn.

“To Autumn” – A Resounding Proclamation of Life and Hope

   The poem "To Autumn" is an amazing piece of work written by one of the greatest poets of all time, John Keats.  From a simple reading, the poem paints a beautiful picture of the coming season.  However, one may wonder if there is more to the poem than what the words simply say.  After it is studied and topics such as sound, diction and imagery are analyzed, one can clearly say that Keats used those techniques to illustrate the progression of death, and to show that there is still life at the end of life. 
From the very beginning of "To Autumn,” sound appears to be an important aspect of Keats’s technique.  When the words are studied, there is an even mixture of loud and soft sounds.  Some soft sounding words – words that use consonant sounds that are soft when spoken such as an s -- include mists, close, son, bless, mossed, and trees.  There are also the hard sounding words – words that use consonant sounds that are loud when spoken such as a b or t -- like maturing, round, thatch, and budding.  The words do not appear to be randomly used, but they seem to have a pattern: the hard and soft sounds come in pairs.  In the second line, we see, "close bosom friend of the maturing sun.”  Close and bosom go together, with close being loud and soft with the hard c and soft s, and bosom being loud and soft with the b and s.  The words “maturing sun” are not placed together haphazardly either.  Maturing is a very hard word with the m and t sound; sun is a very soft word, beginning with an s.  Also, in the third line Keats says, “Conspiring with him how to load and bless.”  Autumn is conspiring . . . to load (loud due to the p and d sounds) andbless (soft due to the double s sound). Again, Keats pairs a loud and a soft sound.  This gives the whole stanza a generally loud, lively sound with a quiet hiss in the background. This tells of the great bounty of the current time, but adds a quiet feeling to it, such as what Keats was trying to communicate -- that death or a time of quiet is approaching.
   The second stanza has mainly quiet sounds. With words such as oft, store, swathseeks, careless, soft-lifted, and drowsed, the whole stanza is filled with soft s and w sounds.  This makes the stanza very sleepy and slow but with a warm comfortable feeling.  What is most brilliant is that he writes about sleep and then uses words that sound like sleep to describe it.  That makes the reader really experience how he is explaining death with sounds, not just words.  This change from stanza one also goes along with the progression of life.  It started out loud and young, and now has begun to soften, such as life does when one grows older or nears death. 
   The third stanza somewhat follows the course set down by the previous two stanzas, but it also does something surprising.  One may predict that the third stanza becomes softer still, following the progression, yet it does not quite do so.  It does start according to prediction, very quiet and feathery, with words such as stubble-plains, rosy, wailful, sallows, and lives or dies.  This is generally very soft, which continues the progression,  but there is a hitch.  Keats writes,  "And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly-bourn.”The whole line stands out very radically because it is almost all loud sounds, especially bleat, with its b and t along with the voiced long e vowel.  In doing so, he seems to be saying that there is still hope and life even as death is approaching.  This line seems to be the transitional one because, after it, the sound goes back to the pattern of stanza one, supporting the cry of life in the previous line.  He again matches loud and soft sounds, such as treble and soft, red breast and whistles, sallows and twitter.  This gives it the same kind of light and lively feeling as stanza one but only for a couple lines.  So, Keats explains the development of death by going from lively and loud at the beginning, then very soft, and even softer still.Finally, he makes his point of how life exists by changing the sound to lively to end his ode.
   The diction and the imagery also play important roles in the interpretation of the poem "To Autumn.”  Words such as maturing, load, fill, ripeness, swell, plump, and budding give the dawning of the poem a very full and luscious feeling.  Also, the repetition of the word more in the phrase “more and still more” is used to further give the impression of a bountiful time.  All of this gives a feeling of youth and aliveness and goes with the theme because it starts the poem out showing how life is before if begins to slow down into the progression of death.  Very lively personification is also used.  At the start, the Sun and Autumn are called friends and they are talking and conspiring, such as  young children would do.  Also, many of the words are very tactile, such as swell, plump, budding, and bend.  This gives autumn a very real and concrete feeling that is important because although life starts out real as in stanza one, death will follow as a quiet, somewhat mysterious concept. 
   In stanza two the diction and imagery flow right with the sound and the progress of the poem.  They become sleepy and tired with phrases like “sitting careless,” “soft-lifted,” “sound asleep,” “drowsed,” and “laden head.” This gives a feeling of laziness and goes right with the sounds before because they also slow down the feeling and show how death is beginning to approach.  Keats also uses visual diction to create imagery in words like seeks, look, watchest, and seen. These are less concrete than tactile imagery and continue the progression towards the end.  This second stanza helps to make the reader feel the slowing of life and how it begins to slip out of their grasp but only allowing them to see the life and no longer feel it. 
   The last stanza follows the progression of the previous two, but then alters course.  The two questions in the first line, which are part of the diction, sound bitter, acting as the realization of death.  Keats says, "Where are the songs of Spring?  Aye, where are they?"  It is almost as if he is resentfully asking where that melody is now that death, and autumn, are here.  The diction is full of words pertaining to death, consisting of soft-dying day, wailful choir, mourn, and lives or dies.  They, in particular, give the beginning part of stanza three a sense of death.  However, he does not make it all bleak by including imagery such as stubble plains and rosy hue, which paint the approaching death in a softer way while still sad and mournful.  He also used auditory imagery to illustrate the progression with words such as wailful choir, mourn, treble soft, music, sing, whistles, and twitters.  Sound is the most abstract concept employed so far and helps one understand the course of death by showing how it fades into something abstruse.The, when it looks like everything is lost to death, he completely changes course and says, "And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn.”  The lamb bleats out, showing that even when death comes there is still life crying out to be heard.  The word bleat especially illustrates that by just standing out.  He finishes out with the hope of life by including lively images such as crickets singing, red breasts whistling, and swallows twittering.  This ends Keats message of the vitality at the conclusion of life. 
    Keats used the poem "To Autumn" to illustrate the progression of death and the existence of hope and life in the face of impending death.  He uses sound by moving from a mixture of loud and soft words in stanza one, to mainly soft in stanza two, to a complete mixture in stanza three of soft then loud.  He also uses diction and imagery by reflecting the quick and kinesthetic constitution of youth, the slow and full characteristics of the coming death, and the arrested and barren traits of death, and finally, the resounding proclamation of life and hope in the very end. 


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