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Analysis of John Keats' To Autumn

By Callie-Torres May 14, 2015 465 Words
In a well-focused essay, reveal how such elements as imagery, personification, and structure evoke meaning in "To Autumn."

“To Autumn,” written by John Keats was written as an ode, expressing the endearment of the autumn season. In his poem Keats employs many elements in order to evoke passion and meaning over the beauty of the season. By using imagery, personification and structure Keats is able to mold his poem into conveying autumn as a parallel to life at its fullest with the creeping melancholy lurking close by. Immediately beginning the poem Keats begins setting the scene through imagery. He suggests the weather of autumn saying the, “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” making one think of the cool chill of fall and the ripe fruit waiting to be harvested. Keats also employs personification suggesting autumn and the sun are close friends and the sun is “maturing” implying it is indeed getting weaker and not providing as much warmth. He then continues on with the personification as if autumn and the sun were people, saying how they conspire in order to make the vines full and heavy with the ripest fruit for the cottages. Towards the end of the stanza Keats also mentions that autumn is also a time for new growth. Using imagery he allows the reader to visualize the nuts and seeds falling to the ground just waiting for spring to come around so they can sprout up. Next we are then given the image of Autumn lazing around waiting to bring harvest to all that Summer has produced with phrases such as, “sitting careless on a granary floor,” and “on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep.” Revealed to us is the personification of Autumn of what one can be assumed is a woman through lines such as, “Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind.” Also Keats employs the use of metaphor in order to emphasize that the harvest is coming to an end with lines such as, “And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep,” meaning that the last of the grain that was missed is being harvested. After reading one could assume that the speaker is trying to avoid the melancholy that is winter approaching to take over. Based on the structure of the poem one could also assume Keats aids in this avoidance of winter. In the last stanza we see Autumn asking where spring is only to say they have their own songs. This adds overall to the melancholy presented throughout the poem. This also returns the poem to its theme reminding Autumn of its similarity to Spring. In conclusion Keats employs imagery, personification, and structure to add meaning in his work, “To Autumn,” to convey the inevitability of time and its effects on the changing seasons.

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