John Keats 's Poem Analysis

1328 WordsApr 1, 20166 Pages
Underlying Methods of Communication in Keats’ “To Autumn” In “To Autumn,” a poem by John Keats, we see a multi-leveled examination of mortality concealed within a seemingly simple ode to the fall season. The poem opens with an overwhelming appeal to the senses. Anyone familiar with the common motifs of Autumn will identify heavily with the first stanza, for Autumn is a time of ripening pumpkins and relaxed musings. The second stanza has a tone reminiscent of the feeling that accompanies the end of a hard day’s work. However, as the second part of this poem ends, the reader feels a dull pang of some unidentified negative emotion. This emotion is similar to the guilt of relaxed, yet hardworking men who are too proud to be lazy, even for a moment. The ending stanza of the poem arrives and passes like the end of Autumn, swiftly (Keats 763-764). The speaker in the poem seems to be scrambling to appreciate the wonders of Autumn before the swift, bitter end. The progression of ideas, imagery, and tone are highly reminiscent to the thoughts of a man who, at the end of his life, is trying to find meaning and beauty in his life as he approaches his swift, bitter end. The poignancy of this poem is found in the distinct levels by which Keats communicates emotions. In the progression of Keats’ “To Autumn,” there are three basic levels of understanding: the outright evolution of ideas seen in the initial reading, the contradictory tone changes, and the subtle paradoxes found
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