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Poem To Autumn Annotation

Decent Essays
2.3 Form The meter of “To Autumn” is quite irregular. While iambic pentameter generally rules the poem, it is at times debatable, or even open for interpretation. There are eight to ten lines in the poem which could be forced into the meter, but which would then sound awkward and unnatural (e.g. l. 2, by making “close” an unstressed syllable; l. 8, by stressing the “a”, and not the “sweet” …) Additionally, several spondaic feet (e.g. “moss’d cottage”, l. 5; “sweet kernel”, l. 8 …) can be found in the poem, providing strong accentuation to relevant places in the poem, and a distinct pronunciation when reading it aloud. The effect of these features is that it gives the ode a natural, as in non-artificial, flow, and that the poem cannot be…show more content…
There are less ominous words, like “granary” (l. 14), or “gleaner” (l. 19), but also words symbolically representing death, such as “half-reap’d” (l. 16), “hook” (l. 17), or “cyder-press” (l. 21). The burden of harvest (or death), however, is weakened by depicting Autumn, the reaper, as idle, soft, passive, and sleepy. They are only half-working, taking part, but not in all seriousness (“sitting careless”, l. 14, “sound asleep”, l. 16 …). In the last stanza, where the personification of Autumn is almost entirely removed from the scene, words belonging to the word field “sound” or “music” predominate the stanza, such as “choir” (l. 26), “bleat” (l. 30), or “treble” (l. 31). In the context of the poem, it is quite possible that the stanza itself, or even the whole poem, is a farewell song, or a mourning anthem (see also the word “mourn” in l. 26), especially if one considers Autumn’s sudden disappearance, and the detailed description of their…show more content…
It shifts from stanza to stanza. Presented like a supernatural power in the first stanza, and still addressed as season (“[s]eason of mists”, l. 1), Autumn is present and active, changing nature together with the sun (“[c]onspiring with him how to load and bless”, l. 3), and putting summer's work to the extreme (“more, | And still more”, l. 9). In the second stanza, Autumn is very much humanized, since they are described in human terms (“sitting careless”, l. 14; “keep | Steady thy […] head” l. 19 f. …). They are still present, but very passive, in their role as a
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