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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Celebrating Autumn


As many of you know (and are probably groaning "not again!"), the poetry of Keats holds a special place in my heart. Of all his work, which was not enough since he died so young, my favorite poem is "To Autumn." In fact, it may be my favorite poem -- period.

In it, he celebrates the season using all of the senses. He describes a farm in autumn, personifies autumn, and as he ventures outward from the center of the farm that is buzzing with activity and moves to the borders of the property, rather than encounter bleak winter, he moves back to the center and soars upward. Autumn, for Keats, was not a prelude to winter or death, but a veritable feast of rich sensation.

John Keats (1795-1821)
TO AUTUMN.

1.
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-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
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,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

2.
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;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

3.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
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;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

4 Comments:

  • At 6:11 PM, Blogger Kristen said…

    Yeah, you did it.

    Did you enjoy lunch?

    Get some ideas swirling or just enjoy the perfect afternoon after delicious Mexican food?

    Enjoy!

     
  • At 9:10 PM, Blogger Ellen said…

    Loved the lunch. Love Mexican. :)

    I DO have some ideas. LOL. As soon as I finish some necessary business chores, I'll begin power-writing (hopefully).

    And you...you're heart and mind are probably already in the Emerald Isle. *sigh*

     
  • At 12:51 PM, Blogger Aura said…

    Great poem E! Autumn is my favorite time of year, so it's nice to read about it's celebration. :)

     
  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger Ellen said…

    Thanks, A. I love autumn too.

    I also adore this poem because I can almost taste the apples and hear the buzzing, etc. It's so vivid and beautiful.

     

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