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19.5.13

Ode to Autumn Summary Explanations Meaning Critical Appreciation

Critical Appreciation, Explanation, Questions Answers of the Poem “Ode to Autumn” by John Keats:-

The organic unity of a poem defies analysis and reminds us of Wordsworth’s famous line “we murder to dissect”. Still for practical purposes we are often asked to dissect poems intellectually. However, such an analysis remains harmless as long as we do not equate in with the poem itself. With this qualification we attempt to analyze ‘Ode to Autumn”.

The poem consists of three stanzas, each having eleven lines. The first recreates a panoramic vision of the plants, fruits and flowers growing everywhere on the ‘Happy autumn fields’. Autumn is the bosom friend of the maturing sun. The vines, creeping along the edges of thatched roof are blessed with juicy grapes, in cottages moss-covered tress bend under the heavy weight of too many apples, pumpkins are fully swollen, hazel shells are full of the sweet kernel, innumerable flowers are in full bloom, bees are so merry that they have mistaken autumn for summer. Thus a magnificent landscape rises before our eyes. Surprisingly, this is made of commonplace things. Keats suggests that the poetry of the earth is at our doorstep, if only we keep our eyes and ears open.

The second stanza gives us four grand personifications of Autumn. We visualize the season in the role of a delighted winnower who is sitting carelessly on the granary floor.  While the wind blows away the chaff from the grain it also dallies with farmer’s flowing hair. Next we see Autumn incarnated as a tired reaper who was fallen asleep on half-reaped field with the smell of the opium bearing poppies.

The third picture shows the season as a gleaner who has made a large bundle, collecting left out corns from the reaped field. With that load on his head the gleaner is coming a brook. Finally, Autumn is personified as a cyber-presser who carefully watches for hours together the drops of juice of cracked apples falling from the machine.
The last stanza recreates the music of Autumn. Is has the glorious sunset. While the evening is descending birds, insects are animated with that abundant spirit of music. The small gnats mourn along the river willows full grown lambs bleat from their hilly shelters. All these combine to create the autumnal song.

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