The Quintessential Poem for the Season #Poetry #Autumn #Romantic #JohnKeats

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This poem needs no introduction. As the temperatures dropped to the high fifties on Friday and I slipped into one of my favorite hoodies, I knew Autumn had arrived. No better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than to read “To Autumn” by John Keats. Grab a cup of hot cider, sit down by the campfire, and get lost in the “[s]eason of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” (If you bring your phone with you, listen to Ben Whishaw read the poem at the bottom of this post. You won’t regret it!)

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;
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.

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-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined 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.

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.
Hear Ben Whishaw read “To Autumn” by John Keats

2 thoughts on “The Quintessential Poem for the Season #Poetry #Autumn #Romantic #JohnKeats

  1. Poetry written in a language 200 years old, yet when heard it being read, it took me back to autumn in a time and place I’ve never been to. I could taste the fruit, hear the bees buzz, and the swallow tweet. The true language of poetry is the metaphors and symbols the poet weaves in. Keats wove those in this poem, speaking to Autumn, while casually commenting about the usually praised spring. Lovely poem. Thanks for the share!

    Reflecting further:
    In an ancient Sanskrit prayer autumn is mentioned…

    Let me see for a hundred autumns,
    let me live for a hundred autumns,
    let me dance (be joyful) for a 100 autumns etc.

    … perhaps to show how ripe one can be in one’s autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it! Thanks for sharing the Sanskrit prayer. I have told my students I intend to live to 100, so 100 autumns is in my future, and I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of them. Thanks again for sharing and commenting. It means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

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