“To Autumn”


by John Keats





Ode to Autumn


SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,          5

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease;   10

For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;   15

Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,

Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;   20

Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day   25

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river-sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;   30

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.













This poem seems on the surface to be about the transition from summer to autumn. A period of variation.


In the title John Keats addresses to autumn since his intention is personificate the poem.


The author opens his first stanza by addressing autumn, describing its abundance and its intimacy with the sun. In the second stanza the poet describes the figure of autumn as a female goddess and finally in the third stanza the author tells autumn not to wonder where the songs of spring have gone, but instead of listening to her own music.


John Keats describes the autumn with its calm, gentle, and lovely description. The meaning in the poem is overcoat straightforward because there are not a lot of words that confused you to know about what the poet is referring to. We could find some ambiguity when the poet is describing the author as if it was a person.


John Keats dedicates the poem to nature and accepts all aspects of autumn, this includes the dying, and so be introduces sadness. He accepts the reality of the mixed nature of the world. For the author nature becomes a person with personality. This season in Keat’s ode is a time of warmth and plenty, but it is perched on the brink of winter’s desolation. The author thinks about the good things that we will have in this season and expresses his love of this beautiful time of year.


The poem is not explicitly autobiographical.


The tone of the poem is soft, mellow and wistful since the poem give you patience to read it and think about what is said. The diction enhances the mood of the poem, because it is feminine (the poet refers to autumn in the third person single feminine) and slow instead of severe.


“To Autumn” is written in a three stanza structure with a variable rhyme scheme. Each stanza is eleven lines long and each is metered in a relatively precise iambic pentameter. The different stanzas are divided into two parts. In the first part of each stanza rhyme the first line with the third, and the second line with the fourth. The second part of each stanza is longer and varies in rhyme scheme. Although the rhyme scheme varies the poem has a smooth flowing rhythm.


In the poem we can find some key images. The most important is the personification that the author gives to the season, the autumn. We could say allegory too. The poet refers to the season as if it was a person and describing this with word that are typically for a person. Another image is in the first stanza, Keats constructs the details using parallelism; repeating “to plus a verb” four times.


John Keats describes what is seeing around his and the characteristics of the autumn. We can see that the poem belongs to the Romanticism; it is a typical poem of that period, because everything is wonderful. The author does not use an elaborated language because it is not difficult to understand. It is a beautiful poem, simple and overcoat it has a simple theme. The poem is concentrated in the present, the autumn. Keats describes the situation that everyone lives. The poet uses words that are directly related on the autumn.


I think that in the poem there is nothing confusing or complex to know that the author is talking about the autumn. By means of the description Keats immerses the reader in the sights, feel and sounds of autumn and keep in mind the passage of time as you read it. I like the poem because I like the autumn and all the things that Keats tells us are true. I also like because the author is very optimistic, he does not let us to be sad about the end of the summer, the author pleases us telling the wonders of the season. The autumn is described in feminine, since the woman is prettier than the man (she is considered a beauty), I think that it is to emphasize that everything in autumn is good and nice.



by Merce Quiralte Moragues.

(20 October 2005)




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Academic year 2005/2006
© a.r.e.a./Dr.Vicente Forés López
© Merce Quiralte Moragues
Universitat de València Press