To Autumn John Keats Poetry Essays - To Autumn by John Keats.

 A brief biography and introduction to Keats, with text for some of his most famous poems. .

Keats does seem aware of the possible dangers of navel-gazing when writing poetry. In 'Ode on Indolence' (May 1819) he concludes his thoughts by rejecting poetry in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner, claiming it will only reveal him as 'a pet lamb in a sentimental farce'. The image is dismissive of cosy, predictable and naive expressions of emotion which lay themselves open, however heartfelt, to derision. It sounds slightly bitter. Keats was prepared to accommodate some of the criticism directed at him, particularly in regard to 'Endymion' (1817). Evidence of this is discernible in the more careful and detached narrative style of 'Lamia' (Summer 1819) and in the changed ending of 'The Eve of St Agnes' (January 1819) where the reappearance of the old and palsied Beadsman and Angela after the romantic happy ending is an attempt to make the poem seem, in his own words, 'less smokeable'. There is no direct evidence that Keats was deliberately looking for a more detached style in 'To Autumn', but this appears to be the direction that his writing was moving towards in late 1819, as, for example, in his desire to make The Fall of Hyperion, 'more naked and Grecian' and in his attempts at drama, Otho the Great and King Stephen: A Tragedy.

In To Autumn, John Keats paints three perfect autumnal landscapes in three powerful stanzas. He also highlights the impact on the senses which occur to the

In To Autumn, John Keats paints three perfect autumnal landscapes in three powerful stanzas. He also highlights the impact on the senses which occur to the

Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling summarizeKeats'sworld view succinctly:

Wordsworth's poem 'A slumber did my Spirit Seal' also seems comparable to 'To Autumn' in its mystic presentation of a dead young child at one with nature: 'Rolled round in earth's diurnal course /With rocks and stones and trees!'
In Hyperion, begun in late 1818 and abandoned at the time of writing 'To Autumn', Keats was already exploring the need to accept suffering with dignity and courage. The poem tells the story of the Titans (a group of mythical gods) and their dethronement by a new set: the Olympians of Ancient Greece. Oceanus, the Titan god of the sea, offers an explanation for the fall of his kind and suggests that they patiently give way to the accession of the Olympians. They have fallen, he says, 'by course of Nature's law' and it would be futile and self-destructive to fight the inevitable. The story of the fall of the Titans seems to be of similar value to Keats as the playful but melancholic contemplation of seasonal cycles (another aspect of 'Nature's law') in 'To Autumn'. The Titans' sudden and to them inexplicable fall from power parallels his own experience.
Keats was writing The Fall of Hyperion, his second attempt at the Titan-theme, at the same time as 'To Autumn'. In this poem, Keats allegorically and self-consciously shows the narrator becoming a true poet. By engaging in the tragic suffering of Moneta and the misery of the Titans, he places his own anxieties in the context of an abstract, eternal story, and together with the beauty of Moneta's presence, this gives his understanding and assurance:

In Keats' Ode to Autumn he is using a large amount of sensual.

If Keats was thinking about dying at a young age, why should he choose to shape such a personal subject matter in the form of an ode; a traditionally public and formal genre? And why should he decide to write in the well-trodden territory of English pastoral writing; autumn being a distinctly conventional inspiration for poets? In 'To Autumn', I think Keats is trying to find a meaningful perspective for the painful consciousness that he might die young, like Tom and Chatterton. By placing his own worries in the context of the processes of nature, he perhaps finds a degree of calmness, and his feelings of frustration and potential self-pity perhaps struggle towards an understanding that his pain is not unique.
The source of such comfort may derive partly from Keats's reading of Wordsworth. Keats was in broad sympathy with Wordsworth's philosophy of man's intimate and mysterious unity with nature. In a letter to Reynolds of 3 May 1818, Keats identifies Wordsworth's Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey as the best example of poetic under-standing of human suffering:
'We feel the 'burden of the Mystery', To this Point was Wordsworth come, as far as I can conceive, when he wrote 'Tintern Abbey' and it seems to me that his Genius is explorative of those dark Passages.'

Analysis of John Keats "On the Sonnet" Essay - 764 …

Colvin, Sidney.  An early biography of Keats (1917), free at questia subscription service].

The effect of the onomatopoeia is to evoke another sense - that of sound. The final two words read like a gentle whistling, and Keats is completing a three-dimensional picture for the reader. The clear indication here is that to fully appreciate the gifts and unique, sensuous experience Autumn brings, it is not enough merely to observe. This insight makes it apparent that Keats writes from first-hand experience. The alliteration continues the 'sound' of the whistling as a continuous drone, creating a lullaby effect to match the sleepy ambience of the first stanza. This relaxed, heavy feeling is emphasised again by the language used:

John Keats- Brooklyn College - City University of New York

A sense of fullness and lethargy is created in the language used. Line seven in particular uses long, slow verbs to create an atmosphere of calm and inertness: an atmosphere that continues through the second stanza, where Keats creates actual scenes to paint a specific picture in the mind of the reader.
All the images are of the ceasing of human civility to take in the hypnotic spell of Autumn - the gentle wind, the incense of the poppies, the slow pressing of apples, the quiet bubbling of a brook. Keats is recreating the sensations of Autumn by employing various techniques. Both alliteration and onomatopoeia are apparent in this stanza:


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The title is the first striking aspect of this poem. Keats has addressed his work specifically to the season; it is not an 'ode to', which would make it less personal, but a direct communication instead. This suggests an intimacy, almost a friendship, and here the elements of classic mythology, which sit at the roots of Romanticism, are apparent. The ancient Greeks had many deities that represented natural objects and occurrences - Helios, the sun god, or Hephaestus, god of fire, for example - in an attempt to explain the world around them. Keats adopts this culture with the personification of Autumn into a living, conscious entity with thoughts and feelings:

Browse through John Keats's poems and quotes

In this sense, the indication that Autumn is a deity suggests that the poem is, in fact, an offering or a gift - adding a hint of worship to the title, as opposed to a simple message to a familiar acquaintance. The word 'bless' emphasises this as it has distinct religious overtones.
Autumn is a short season, and, at only three stanzas long, this reflected in the short and concise structure of the actual poem. However, Autumn is also a time of richness and abundance before the scarcity of winter and Keats has used extensive vocabulary and language to draw a detailed picture in the mind of the reader of this brief, colourful season.
The first stanza concerns itself with extolling the beauty and floridity of Autumn, appealing to the senses of sight and taste. The visual sense is the first to be addressed - 'Mists and mellow fruitfulness'. The use of 'mellow' conjures up an associated colour; one of warmth and age, the parchment yellow of ripened pears perhaps, or the sienna of fallen leaves - all of which fall under 'fruitfulness'. However, we are reminded to keep our other senses aware with the mention of 'mists' - sometimes our vision can be clouded and we have to rely on something other than sight. Taste is an obvious choice for the season of harvest: Keats refers to the 'sweet kernels' and fruit with 'ripeness to the core'. However, most description is used to fully conveying Autumn's bounty giving the impression that, for a short time span, the land is overwhelmed with nourishment:

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~John Keats


There's sunshine in the heart of me,
My blood sings in the breeze;
The mountains are a part of me,
I'm fellow to the trees.
~Robert W.