One student's journey to becoming "well-read"
Unfortunately, due to increasing time constraints, I will be unable to contribute to this blog regularly for the duration of the school year. Please accept my sincere apologies (I will try to post whenever I find time).
Thursday, July 9, 2009
John Keats's "To Autumn" (Analysis of First Stanza)
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 ...view middle of the document...
--John Keats (September 19, 1819)
(Notes: *which sifts the grain from the chaff; **scythe, ***domain, ^an enclosed garden near a house. Endnotes sourced from The Norton Introduction to Poetry, Ninth Edition.)
When Keats wrote this poem, he was just two years away from his death. In the fall of 1819, he contracted tuberculosis and knew by February the following year that he would die soon. However, this did not prevent him from creating beautiful, much-admired poetry in his final years, when he was racked with illness.
In "To Autumn", Keats is addressing Autumn herself, personifying the season as a sort of goddess or deity. The first stanza describes Autumn as a lighthearted, kind entity that is more mature than summer but just as warm in personality.
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" (line 1) conveys a sort of motherly personality-- the word "mellow", as described by my miniature American Heritage dictionary, means "1. Soft, sweet, and full-flavored because of ripeness. 2. Rich and soft in quality: a mellow wine. 3. Having the gentleness often associated with...