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    Ode to autumn Essay

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    This poem is an excellent portrayal of a term dismissed as being either “too cold” or “too windy” to be classed as a special term, as other poets would, and have, written about the ever-optimistic spring, whereas John Keats has here conveyed Autumn naturally and as beautifully as he sees it. The first stanza is a very descriptive piece, leaving the reader to wonder whether the poet is addressing the time of the year, or merely writing about it, i. e. there is no verb present to show who is doing what, just a varied collection of semantically similar adjectives, e.g. “mature” “ripe” “mellow”.

    These all share the connotation of lateness, or ageing of an object, and these are a reflection of the title of the ode, as it is a term for the year later on in its cycle, and it is aged and is effective because of that. The second stanza directly addresses the autumn, and uses pronouns such as “thee” and “thy”. These suggest a respect present between the poet and the Term, with a familiar feeling creeping in as he says “Thee sitting carelessly on a granary floor”.

    This is an effective image, the poet seeing the term as being wheat or cereal on the floor, where it usually is at the time this poem is set. This personification is effective as it creates a homely atmosphere, bringing the autumn closer i. e. bringing it all around us and making us realise that it is closer than what we imagine. From this stage onwards, the poet gives a feeling that autumn is in fact a woman, and he romances with her, describing all her beautiful aspects, e. g.

    “Drows’d with the fume of poppies” and “Or by a cyder-press, with patient look”. One thing that must be noticed here as well is that although the time is personified, she is not named, a feature maybe that she is so familiar that she need not be named by the poet, and this is extremely effective as it adds to the familiar feeling given to autumn. The third stanza opens by crying out “Where are the songs of Spring? “, referring to the fact that so many poets prefer to write about the Spring, and might dismiss the autumn because of this.

    The poet continues by claiming, “Think not of them, thou hast thy music too”, consoling the Term, and claiming that the autumn is just as naturally beautiful, and that it boasts of songs, a metaphor effectively conveying beauty as well. This is the first time that the sense of sound has arisen in this poem, although the other senses are aplenty, e. g. “Ripeness”=Taste, “rosy hue”=sight, “Warm days… “=feeling etc. The graphology of the poem is interesting, as the rhyming pattern is indicated by the indention of the line, each different indent representing a pair of rhymes.

    This is effective as it eases the reading and gives a steady rhythm. The most fascinating feature of this ode I believe is the fact that the poet was critically ill with Tuberculosis when he wrote this and thinking over the context of the poem, maybe the poet believed that he was in his very own personal autumn of his life? b) Another poem that conveys nature beautifully well to me is that of “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. This is a poem in wonder of God’s work, where he questions mankind’s attitude to Him and to His work.

    This is conveyed in the second part of the sonnet where the poet describes the situation as the “last lights off the black West”, which I believe is extremely effective as west conveys the sunset, and poetically speaking, death and destruction, but, the poet continues by stating “Oh, morning at the brown brink eastward springs”, meaning that dawn will come, where all decay and maliciousness will cease to be and the sun will shine through.

    He also effectively shows his somewhat distaste for modern life, when he feels man cannot feel the earth now, being shod, which is one of many biblical references, this one referring to the Garden of Eden, where man and woman alike wore nothing, least of all shoes. Another way this poem reflects nature to me in an imaginative way is how the poet uses the English equivalent to “cynganeddu”, which gives a very interesting rhythm and pattern to each line, e. g. “The world is charged with the grandeur of God”

    This line, I believe is a fantastic start, as it immediately shows how far ahead the poet was for his era, i. e. , electricity was only making its first appearance, and Gerard Hopkins already senses it’s power and immediately gives God that power in this poem, i. e. “charged with… God”. Also, he asks why we do not “heed His rod”, another reference to biblical background, that is the lightning rod of God, and also another connection between God and electricity.

    The context of this poem is that of a Catholic Priest expressing his belief that God shows his love towards us through the beauty of his Creation, and that all this “smearing”, “man’s smudge” and “blearing”, all phonological effects, suggesting the negative effects man has cast upon this world, and reinforcing the idea that man does not “heed his rod” anymore. The power conveyed in this poem is immense i. e.the power of God, but most of all the power of nature. E. g. the “oozing” of oil phonologically creates a strong grip on me as a reader and this is soothingly effective because of that.

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