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Ode to Autumn -modified version

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Ode to Autumn
John Keats
What is Romantisism?
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Use creative imagination
• Focus on nature
• Importance of myth and symbolism
• Focus on feelings and intuition
• Freedom and spontaneity
• Simple language
• Personal experience, democracy
and liberty
• Fascination with past
Odes
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Lengthy
Serious in subject matter
Elevated in its word choice and style
Elaborate structure in stanzas
The Horatian ode - “To Autumn”
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uniform stanzas
same metrical pattern
more personal, meditative, & restrained
Guiding Questions
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Read the first stanza and circle two words which you think best describe
autumn.
Point out lines in the first stanza which draw pictures in your mind
Name at least three things that autumn and the sun are conspiring to do in
stanza 1. How may autumn confuse the bees?
Cite three instances in which the spirit of autumn is personified as a farm
girl?
What sights are evoked at line 25-26 to picture autumn's beauty? What
autumn sounds are mentioned in the last seven lines of final stanza?
What does Keats suggest about autumn's beauty and about cyclic pattern of
nature? Is this poem mainly descriptive, or does the poet intrude his moods
on the poem?
What examples of tactile imagery-imagery that appeals to the senses of
touch-do you find in "To Autumn"?
What is the theme of the ode? (ripeness and harvest; nature's cycles) (20
minutes)
To Autumn
1.
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;
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
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
2.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinГ©d flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
3.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Stanza 1
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Autumn: a season of harvest; fruiting stage
Metaphors of the autumn: “close bosom-friend of the maturing sun,”
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”
“him” пѓ the sun
“bless with fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run ” пѓ bless the vines
that run round the thatch-eves with fruit
“load and bless”: Autumn and the sun not only load but also bless the vines
with fruit. The effects of using the word bless may include autumn’s
benediction over the ripening of the fruits and its power to enrich the
fertility of nature.
“To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-treesвЂќпѓ To bend the moss’d
cottage-trees with apples пѓ The apples become so numerous that their
weight bends the trees.
“to set budding more ”: -ing form suggests activity that is continuing
“And still more ” suggests the mushrooming of flowers
Use of flashback : line 9 - line 11(cause and effect are reversed)
Stanza 2
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Autumn: lax or resting; the stage of slowing
down; personification of autumn as a reaper or
a harvester
“sound asleep,” “Drows'd ” пѓ Autumn is
listless and even falls asleep
“Thou watchest the last oozings hours by
hours ”: The end of the cycle is near. The
squeezing of the apple cider is nearly finished
(“the last oozings”)
Stanza 3
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Autumn: Description of the beauty of autumn. Keats blends living and
dying, the pleasant and the unpleasant, because they are crucial elements of
the mixed nature.
Mention of “spring”: 1. representing process; the proceeding flow of time
(like the “summer” in stanza 1) 2. Spring is a time of rebirth of life which
contrasts with the seemingly dying autumn of stanza 3.
“the soft-dying day”: Its dying also creates beauty (as the following lines
present)
“While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubbleplains with rosy hue ”: the setting sun casts a “bloom” of “rosy hue” over the
stubble left after the harvest
“And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn”: sheep will be
slaughtered in autumn (Note: why is Keats using the term “lambs” rather
than “sheep”?)
“And gathering swallows twitter in the skies”: The swallows are gathering
for their winter migration пѓ suggesting that the autumn will cease
Images:Stanza 1
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The whole stanza is a single phrase that does
not form a complete sentence.
It addresses Autumn by name, just as a prayer
would begin by invoking or naming the god it
addresses, but uses a description rather than
Autumn's proper name.( e.g. “Season of mists
and mellow fruitfulness,”&“Close bosom-friend
of the maturing sun”)
Personification
Images:Stanza 1
Besides maturing sun,
other words and
phrases that suggest
maturity
пѓ And fill all fruit with
ripeness to the core;
пѓ To swell the gourd, and
plump the hazel shells
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Images:Stanza 1
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A repetitive listing of ripening indicates that Keats
might designed it on purpose, in order to show the
conspiracy between autumn and sun.
Autumn and the sun not only load but also bless the
vines with fruit. пѓ the effects of using the word bless
at the end of the stanza, Autumn and the sun make so
many flowers bud late in the season that the bees have
become confused (Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.) пѓ suggests
unawareness
Images:Stanza 2
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“Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy
store?вЂќпѓ Keats is stressing that in fact
everyone has seen Autumn.
“harvested grain, a partially harvested field,
apples being pressed to make cider” пѓ All
the stanza's images take sights common in the
countryside during autumn
“sitting careless; sound asleep; Drows'd; keep
/ Steady; with patient lookвЂќпѓ the images
seem to picture Autumn at rest
Images:Stanza 3
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пѓ пѓ вЂњthe soft-dying day,”“mourn,” “sinking,” “dies,”
words and phrases that suggest death or dying
Indicates that “Autumn is leaving”
Images:Stanza 3
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Autumn's music: “Then
in a wailful
choir the small gnats mourn”
“And full-grown lambs loud bleat
from hilly bourn;” “Hedgecrickets sing; and now with
treble soft” “The red-breast
whistles from a garden-croft”
“And gathering swallows twitter
in the skies”
Images:Stanza 3
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“And full-grown lambs bleat from hilly bourne;”
“Hedge-crickets sing;”
“And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.”
пѓ connotations of death
“Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breat whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies."
1st stanza—describing the
autumn as a fruitful season
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;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.
2nd stanza—Comparing autumn to
“someone” (personification)
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinГ©d flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
3rd stanza—Autumn is a symbol
of maturity of beings
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Reflective Questions
1.
2.
3.
How does each speaker talk to/about the
subject (Art/Nature)?
What are their attitudes?
Is the speaker in “To Autumn” more
respectful and in awe than “Grecian Urn”?
How?
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