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To Autumn

In: English and Literature

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To Autumn

The poem To Autumn by John Keats is a simple poem that describes the stages of fall. The poem is personification of autumn.

The poem is a personification of autumn to better display what autumn is. In the first stanza of the poem autumn is personified as the force that ripening and maturing the crop allowing them to grow and mature. For example the 4th to the 7th verse is With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves 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
This displays how the fall is a time of nurture and growth and the ripeness of the flora in the fall that could relate to human life as one grows and matures. He uses this personification to better emphasis the beauty in this stage of autumn. It emphasis the growth of the flora that take place during autumn. It makes in imagery of this stanza more prominent and adds to the beauty one would envision in their head.

Imagery in also very prominent in the poem and in the first stanza. In the first stanza every line has some sort of imagery in it. For example the first three verses are Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun Conspiring with him how to load and bless
These first three verses display the imagery of the poem and the beautiful sight the author see in the fall. This imagery is placed in the poem to share this with the reader and so they can appreciate fall and to an extent life as life should be appreciated since it does come to an end as does autumn. This imagery is to emphasis the beauty of autumn and to an extent life.

Finally in the first stanza there is an example of assonance. In the forth verse he says” With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;” The “th” sound is repeated in this line to emphasis the verse and the imagery of it. It’s a beautiful line and the assonance found emphasis it.

In the second stanza the personification of autumn is still evident. This time it is personified as a harvester. Even though he is represented as a harvester he is not actively taking part in the harvest of the vegetables and fruits. He tends to be sitting or standing and observing. In the poem he is described as Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Autumn is being described as tired from all the harvesting he has to do in his season. His personification is there to display the tiredness of mid-autumn. The verses: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cider-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. represent almost the end of the beauty of autumn, which is discussed more about in the next stanza. The author put these personifications to represent the tiredness of mid-autumn and to an extent this can be used to represent life. In life there is often mention of a “mid-life crisis” this tiredness of the mid-autumn could be representing this mid-life crisis and mid life in general as people find it exhausting. In the whole poem this personification is important.

Also in the second stanza there are a several rhetorical devices. The very first verse is a rhetorical question. It says “Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?” This rhetorical device is place in the poem to display the abundance of autumn. The second rhetorical device found is alliteration in the line “Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;”. This device is placed in to emphasize the effect the wind has on the wheat that is being harvested in the autumn. The third and final rhetorical devices found is repetition in the final verse of this stanza which it “Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours” this rhetorical device is placed in the poem to emphasis how long this process has taken.

The third and final stanza still has the personification of the first few with the emphasis of near death of the winter. In the stanza Autumn is first compared to spring. In the first two verses of the stanza it says Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
This is to lead to the rest of the stanza where the sounds are listed. This comparison is used to display how in the spring life will be back and to not be so sad that winter or death is coming and to just enjoy the life and sight you have left. The following stanza are used to further explore this point of enjoying the beauty there is left as the sunsets. This again could represent life as it shows the old age of people. While people may be older nearing death they must still enjoy what is left of life before death and remember that after death life shall come again in heaven just like spring comes again.

There are various rhetorical devices found in the last stanza as well. Again the last stanza starts with a rhetorical question: “Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?” This rhetorical device is used to remind the reader that spring and life will come again as mentioned before. The second rhetorical device found is again the “th” sounding assonance in the second verse of the stanza “Think not of them, thou hast thy music too.” This again use to emphasis the fact that autumn has its own sound and music that should be enjoyed before the winter comes. In the 29th verse there is a simile when the author wrote “Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;” this simile is place here to show how the river slows while the wind of the second stanza dies. Again this poem has a lot of imagery such as “Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft” to help show that although fall is winding down and approaching death there is still beauty to be seen.

In this poem the personification, imagery and other rhetorical devices all come together to create a simple poem that describes the stages of fall. Its goal is to display the beauty of the autumn season and to accept the passage of time. It not only succeeds in this point but also transmits these points into life. The poem is short and simple and that is what makes it special. It is there to show appreciation to the beauty of autumn.

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