Ode to Autumn Essay

623 Words Feb 29th, 2008 3 Pages
Analysis and commentary of To Autumn by John Keats

In ‘To Autumn', a superficial reading would suggest that John Keats writes about a typical day of this season, describing all kind of colourful and detailed images. But before commenting on the meaning of the poem, I will briefly talk about its structure, its type and its rhyme.
The poem is an ode[1] that contains three stanzas, and each of these has eleven lines. With respect to its rhyme, ‘To Autumn' does not follow a perfect pattern. While the first stanza has an ABABCDEDCCE pattern (see the poem on the next page), the second and the third ones have an ABABCDECDDE pattern. However, it is important to say that a poetic license appears in the third stanza. The word ‘wind' (line 15) is
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And the second one is just a repetition of the same question. However, the poet tells autumn that she has her own sounds, although some of them are sad:

‘Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn'

On the contrary, the ‘full-grown lambs' bleat loudly, the crickets sing, a red-breast whistles, and swallows warble in the sky. Keats also describes a day that is dying, ending, and, as a consequence, is getting rose (lines 25 and 26). The last lines of this stanza consist of a combination of the autumn sounds, of the animal sounds (lines from 30 to 33) as I said before few lines above.
To conclude, although my first impression was that John Keats was simply describing the main characteristics of autumn, and the human and animal activities related to it, a deeper reading could suggest that Keats talks about the process of life. Autumn symbolises maturity in human and animal lives. Some instances of this are the ‘full-grown lambs', the sorrow of the gnats, the wind that lives and dies, and the day that is dying and getting dark. As all we know, the next season is winter, a part of the year that represents aging and death, in other words, the end of life. However, in my opinion, death does not have a negative connotation because Keats enjoys and accepts ‘autumn' or

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