Thursday, January 11, 2018

The English poet John Keats is a true admirer of nature. Perhaps, he is one of the best portrayers of nature’s beauty amongst the English romantic poets. His most celebrated poem Ode to Autumn is a beautiful poem describing the beauty of nature during the Autumn season.

Autumn, according to Keats, is the season of mists and ripe fruits. Its three stanzas show a gradual rise of thought. In the first, Autumn is viewed as the season itself, doing the season's work, bringing all the fruits of the earth to maturity in readiness for harvesting. Autumn in cooperation with the sun makes the grapes and the apples, the gourds and the nuts, ripen. Autumn also causes honey-flowers to blossom late in the season so that the bees may be supplied with honey in the months of Winter.

In the second stanza, Autumn, personified in woman's shape is present at the various activities of the harvest and wine-pressing. First, Autumn is the harvest sitting carelessly on the granary floor. Secondly, she is a reaper tired with her work and asleep. She is lulled to sleep by the sweet smell of poppy. Thirdly, she is a gleaner carrying home the corn she has picked up during the day. She carries corn on her head balancing herself gracefully as she crosses a brook. Fourthly, she is a cider presser sitting by the press and watching the oozing of the apple juice. She is the very personification of Autumn.

In the last stanza, the close of the year is associated with sunset; the songs of spring are over, and night is falling; but the sense of sadness is merged in the feeling of the continuous life of Nature, which eternally renews itself in insect and animal and bird. The close of the ode, though solemn breathes the spirit of hope. In the twilight of evening, one can hear the mournful sounds of gnats by the riverside, the loud bleating of lambs on the hills, the shrill chirping of the crickets in the hedges, the whistling' of the Robin red-breast and the twittering of the swallows.

Use of Imagery in Keats’ Ode to Autumn


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