Analysis of Keats' To Autumn
John Keats' poem To Autumn is essentially an ode to Autumn and the change of seasons. He was apparently inspired by observing nature; his detailed description of natural occurrences has a pleasant appeal to the readers' senses. Keats also alludes to a certain unpleasantness connected to Autumn, and links it to a time of death. However, Keats' association between stages of Autumn and the process of dying does not take away from the "ode" effect of the poem.
The three-stanza poem seems to create three distinct stages of Autumn: growth, harvest, and death. The theme going in the first stanza is that Autumn is a season of fulfilling, yet the theme ending the final stanza is that Autumn is a season of dying. However, by using the stages of Autumn's as a metaphor for the process of death, Keats puts the concept of death in a different, more favorable light.
In the first stanza, the "growth" stanza, Keats appeals to our sense of visualization. The reader pictures a country setting, such as a cottage with a yard ... Like the "Ode on Melancholy," "To Autumn" is written in a three-stanza structure with a variable rhyme scheme. Each stanza is eleven lines long (as opposed to ten in "Melancholy", and each is metered in a relatively precise iambic pentameter. In terms of both thematic organization and rhyme scheme, each stanza is divided roughly into two parts. In each stanza, the first part is made up of the first four lines of the stanza, and the second part is made up of the last seven lines. The first part of each stanza follows an ABAB rhyme scheme, the first line rhyming with the third, and the second line rhyming with the fourth. The second part of each stanza is longer and varies in rhyme scheme: The first stanza is arranged CDEDCCE, and the second and third stanzas are arranged CDECDDE. (Thematically, the first part of each stanza serves to define the subject of the stanza, and the second...
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