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Wednesday, 27 April 2016
ODE TO AUTUMN BY JOHN KEATS
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
Season of mists .......... the thatch-eaves run;
REFERENCE (i) Poem: Ode to Autumn (ii) Poet: John Keats CONTEXT (i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/33)
(ii) Content: Autumn joins with the maturing sun to load the vines with grapes, to ripen apples and other fruit, "swell the gourd", fill up the hazel shell, and set budding more and more flowers. Autumn may be seen sitting on a threshing floor, sound asleep in a grain field filled with poppies, carrying a load of grain across a brook, or watching the juice oozing from a cider press. The sounds of autumn are the wailing of gnats, the bleating of lambs, the singing of hedge crickets, the whistling of robins, and the twittering of swallows.
In these lines the poet describes the advent of autumn and ripening of fruits. Firstly, he says that autumn is a season of "mists". "Mists" often accompany chilly weather because the moisture in the air condenses into a vapor when it is cold. The notion of "mists" also indicates an early part of the day. Secondly, he says that autumn is a season of "mellow fruitfulness". The word "mellow", meaning low-key or subdued, is a good fit for autumn. And it is also the season when many fruits and other crops are harvested, making autumn fruit-full. Thirdly, the poet has personified autumn as a woman whose union with the male sun sets the ripening process in motion. The words "bosom" and "maturing" suggest that the autumn and the sun is an old couple. "Conspiring" means that this couple plans together how to make fruits grow on the vines that curl around roof of thatched cottages. Here, Thatched cottages suggest a pastoral setting, characterized by shepherds, sheep, maidens and agriculture.