To Autumn

Last updated

Illustration for "To Autumn" by William James Neatby, from A Day with Keats, 1899 A Day with Keats, Neatby plate - Autumn.png
Illustration for "To Autumn" by William James Neatby, from A Day with Keats, 1899

"To Autumn" is a poem by English Romantic poet John Keats (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821). The work was composed on 19 September 1819 and published in 1820 in a volume of Keats's poetry that included Lamia and The Eve of St. Agnes . "To Autumn" is the final work in a group of poems known as Keats's "1819 odes". Although personal problems left him little time to devote to poetry in 1819, he composed "To Autumn" after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening. The work marks the end of his poetic career, as he needed to earn money and could no longer devote himself to the lifestyle of a poet. A little over a year after the publication of "To Autumn", Keats died in Rome.


The poem has three eleven-line stanzas which describe a progression through the season, from the late maturation of the crops to the harvest and to the last days of autumn when winter is nearing. The imagery is richly achieved through the personification of Autumn, and the description of its bounty, its sights and sounds. It has parallels in the work of English landscape artists, [1] with Keats himself describing the fields of stubble that he saw on his walk as conveying the warmth of "some pictures". [2]

The work has been interpreted as a meditation on death; as an allegory of artistic creation; as Keats's response to the Peterloo Massacre, which took place in the same year; and as an expression of nationalist sentiment. One of the most anthologised English lyric poems, "To Autumn" has been regarded by critics as one of the most perfect short poems in the English language.


Sketch of Keats by Charles Brown, August 1819, one month before the composition of "To Autumn" Keats19.jpg
Sketch of Keats by Charles Brown, August 1819, one month before the composition of "To Autumn"

During the spring of 1819, Keats wrote many of his major odes: "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode on Indolence", "Ode on Melancholy", "Ode to a Nightingale", and "Ode to Psyche". After the month of May, he began to pursue other forms of poetry, including the verse tragedy Otho the Great in collaboration with friend and roommate Charles Brown, the second half of Lamia, and a return to his unfinished epic Hyperion . [3] His efforts from spring until autumn were dedicated completely to a career in poetry, alternating between writing long and short poems, and setting himself a goal to compose more than fifty lines of verse each day. In his free time he also read works as varied as Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy , Thomas Chatterton's poetry, and Leigh Hunt's essays. [4]

Although Keats managed to write many poems in 1819, he was suffering from a multitude of financial troubles throughout the year, including concerns over his brother, George, who, after emigrating to America, was badly in need of money. Despite these distractions, on 19 September 1819 he found time to write "To Autumn". The poem marks the final moment of his career as a poet. No longer able to afford to devote his time to the composition of poems, he began working on more lucrative projects. [3] Keats's declining health and personal responsibilities also raised obstacles to his continuing poetic efforts. [5]

On 19 September 1819, Keats walked near Winchester along the River Itchen. In a letter to his friend John Hamilton Reynolds written on 21 September, Keats described the impression the scene had made upon him and its influence on the composition of "To Autumn": [2] "How beautiful the season is now How fine the air. A temperate sharpness about it [...] I never lik'd stubble fields so much as now [...] Somehow a stubble plain looks warm in the same way that some pictures look warm this struck me so much in my sunday's walk that I composed upon it." [6] Not everything on Keats's mind at the time was bright; the poet knew in September that he would have to finally abandon Hyperion. Thus, in the letter that he wrote to Reynolds, Keats also included a note saying that he abandoned his long poem. [7] Keats did not send "To Autumn" to Reynolds, but did include the poem within a letter to Richard Woodhouse, his publisher and friend, and dated it on the same day. [8]

The poem was revised and included in Keats's 1820 collection of poetry titled Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. Although the publishers Taylor and Hessey feared the kind of bad reviews that had plagued Keats's 1818 edition of Endymion , they were willing to publish the collection after the removal of any potentially controversial poems to ensure that there would be no politically motivated reviews that could give the volume a bad reputation. [9]


Manuscript copy of "To Autumn" page 1 John Keats - To Autumn Manuscript 1 unrestored.jpg
Manuscript copy of "To Autumn" page 1
Manuscript copy of "To Autumn" page 2 John Keats - To Autumn Manuscript 2 unrestored.jpg
Manuscript copy of "To Autumn" page 2

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. [10]


"To Autumn" describes, in its three stanzas, three different aspects of the season: its fruitfulness, its labour and its ultimate decline. Through the stanzas there is a progression from early autumn to mid autumn and then to the heralding of winter. Parallel to this, the poem depicts the day turning from morning to afternoon and into dusk. These progressions are joined with a shift from the tactile sense to that of sight and then of sound, creating a three-part symmetry which is not present in Keats's other odes. [11]

As the poem progresses, Autumn is represented metaphorically as one who conspires, who ripens fruit, who harvests, who makes music. The first stanza of the poem represents Autumn as involved with the promotion of natural processes, growth and ultimate maturation, two forces in opposition in nature, but together creating the impression that the season will not end. [12] In this stanza the fruits are still ripening and the buds still opening in the warm weather. Stuart Sperry says that Keats emphasises the tactile sense here, suggested by the imagery of growth and gentle motion: swelling, bending and plumping. [11]

Harvested field, Hampshire Sparsholt Road - - 81201.jpg
Harvested field, Hampshire

In the second stanza, Autumn is personified as a harvester, [13] to be seen by the viewer in various guises performing labouring tasks essential to the provision of food for the coming year. There is a lack of definitive action, all motion being gentle. Autumn is not depicted as actually harvesting but as seated, resting or watching. [12] In lines 1415 the personification of Autumn is as an exhausted labourer. Near the end of the stanza, the steadiness of the gleaner in lines 1920 again emphasises a motionlessness within the poem. [14] The progression through the day is revealed in actions that are all suggestive of the drowsiness of afternoon: the harvested grain is being winnowed, the harvester is asleep or returning home, the last drops issue from the cider press. [11]

The last stanza contrasts Autumn's sounds with those of Spring. The sounds that are presented are not only those of Autumn but essentially the gentle sounds of the evening. Gnats wail and lambs bleat in the dusk. As night approaches within the final moments of the song, death is slowly approaching alongside the end of the year. The full-grown lambs, like the grapes, gourds and hazelnuts, will be harvested for the winter. The twittering swallows gather for departure, leaving the fields bare. The whistling red-breast and the chirping cricket are the common sounds of winter. The references to Spring, the growing lambs and the migrating swallows remind the reader that the seasons are a cycle, widening the scope of this stanza from a single season to life in general. [15]

Of all of Keats's poems, "To Autumn", with its catalogue of concrete images, [16] most closely describes a paradise as realized on earth while also focusing on archetypal symbols connected with the season. Within the poem, autumn represents growth, maturation and finally an approaching death. There is a fulfilling union between the ideal and the real. [17]

Scholars have noted a number of literary influences on "To Autumn", from Virgil's Georgics , [18] to Edmund Spenser's "Mutability Cantos", [19] to the language of Thomas Chatterton, [20] to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Frost at Midnight", [21] to an essay on autumn by Leigh Hunt, which Keats had recently read. [22]

"To Autumn" is thematically connected to other odes that Keats wrote in 1819. For example, in his "Ode to Melancholy" a major theme is the acceptance of the process of life. When this theme appears later in "To Autumn", [23] however, it is with a difference. This time the figure of the poet disappears, and there is no exhortation of an imaginary reader. There are no open conflicts, and "dramatic debate, protest, and qualification are absent". [24] In process there is a harmony between the finality of death and hints of renewal of life in the cycle of the seasons, paralleled by the renewal of a single day. [25]

Critics have tended to emphasize different aspects of the process. Some have focused on renewal; Walter Jackson Bate points to the theme of each stanza including "its contrary" idea, here death implying, though only indirectly, the renewal of life. [25] Also, noted by both Bate and Jennifer Wagner, the structure of the verse reinforces the sense of something to come; the placing of the couplet before the end of each stanza creates a feeling of suspension, highlighting the theme of continuation. [14]

Others, like Harold Bloom, have emphasized the "exhausted landscape", the completion, the finality of death, although "Winter descends here as a man might hope to die, with a natural sweetness". If death in itself is final, here it comes with a lightness, a softness, also pointing to "an acceptance of process beyond the possibility of grief." [26] The progress of growth is no longer necessary; maturation is complete, and life and death are in harmony. The rich description of the cycle of the seasons enables the reader to feel a belonging "to something larger than the self", as James O'Rourke expresses it, but the cycle comes to an end each year, analogous to the ending of single life. O'Rourke suggests that something of a fear of that ending is subtly implied at the end of the poem, [27] although, unlike the other great odes, in this poem the person of the poet is entirely submerged, [24] so there is at most a faint hint of Keats's own possible fear.

According to Helen Vendler, "To Autumn" may be seen as an allegory of artistic creation. As the farmer processes the fruits of the soil into what sustains the human body, so the artist processes the experience of life into a symbolic structure that may sustain the human spirit. This process involves an element of self-sacrifice by the artist, analogous to the living grain's being sacrificed for human consumption. In "To Autumn", as a result of this process, the "rhythms" of the harvesting "artist-goddess" "permeate the whole world until all visual, tactile, and kinetic presence is transubstantiated into Apollonian music for the ear," the sounds of the poem itself. [28]

In a 1979 essay, Jerome McGann argued that while the poem was indirectly influenced by historical events, Keats had deliberately ignored the political landscape of 1819. [29] Countering this view, Andrew Bennett, Nicholas Roe and others focused on what they believed were political allusions actually present in the poem, Roe arguing for a direct connection to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. [30] Later, Paul Fry argued against McGann's stance when he pointed out, "It scarcely seems pertinent to say that 'To Autumn' is therefore an evasion of social violence when it is so clearly an encounter with death itself [...] it is not a politically encoded escape from history reflecting the coerced betrayal [...] of its author's radicalism. McGann thinks to rescue Keats from the imputation of political naïveté by saying that he was a radical browbeaten into quietism". [31]

More recently, in 2012, a specific probable location of the cornfield that inspired Keats was discussed in an article by Richard Marggraf Turley, Jayne Archer and Howard Thomas, which draws upon new archival evidence. Traditionally, the water-meadows south of Winchester, along which Keats took daily leisurely walks, were assumed to have provided the sights and sounds of his ode. [32] Marggraf Turley, Archer and Thomas argue that the ode was more directly inspired by Keats's visit to St Giles's Hill—site of a new cornfield—at the eastern extremity of the market city. The land, previously a copse, had recently been turned over to food production to take advantage of high bread prices. This new topography, the authors argue, enables us to see hitherto unsuspected dimensions to Keats's engagement with contemporary politics in particular as they pertained to the management of food production and supply, wages and productivity.

In his 1999 study of the effect on British literature of the diseases and climates of the colonies, Alan Bewell read "the landscape of 'To Autumn'" as "a kind of biomedical allegory of the coming into being of English climatic space out of its dangerous geographical alternatives." [33] Britain's colonial reach over the previous century and a half had exposed the mother country to foreign diseases and awareness of the dangers of extreme tropical climates. Keats, with medical training, [34] having suffered chronic illness himself, [35] and influenced like his contemporaries by "colonial medical discourse", [36] was deeply aware of this threat.

According to Bewell, the landscape of "To Autumn" presents the temperate climate of rural England as a healthful alternative to disease-ridden foreign environments. [37] Though the "clammy" aspect of "fever", the excessive ripeness associated with tropical climates, intrude into the poem, these elements, less prominent than in Keats's earlier poetry, are counterbalanced by the dry, crisp autumnal air of rural England. [1] In presenting the particularly English elements of this environment, Keats was also influenced by contemporary poet and essayist Leigh Hunt, who had recently written of the arrival of autumn with its "migration of birds", "finished harvest", "cyder [...] making" and migration of "the swallows", [22] as well as by English landscape painting [1] and the "pure" English idiom of the poetry of Thomas Chatterton. [38]

In "To Autumn", Bewell argues, Keats was at once voicing "a very personal expression of desire for health" [39] and constructing a "myth of a national environment". [37] This "political" element in the poem, [22] Bewell points out, has also been suggested by Geoffrey Hartman, who expounded a view of "To Autumn" as "an ideological poem whose form expresses a national idea". [40]

Thomas McFarland, on the other hand, in 2000 cautioned against overemphasizing the "political, social, or historical readings" of the poem, which distract from its "consummate surface and bloom". [41] Most important about "To Autumn" is its concentration of imagery and allusion in its evocation of nature, [42] conveying an "interpenetration of livingness and dyingness as contained in the very nature of autumn". [43]


"To Autumn" is a poem of three stanzas, each of eleven lines. Like others of Keats's odes written in 1819, the structure is that of an odal hymn, having three clearly defined sections corresponding to the Classical divisions of strophe, antistrophe, and epode. [44] The stanzas differ from those of the other odes through use of eleven lines rather than ten, and have a couplet placed before the concluding line of each stanza. [45]

"To Autumn" employs poetical techniques which Keats had perfected in the five poems written in the Spring of the same year, but departs from them in some aspects, dispensing with the narrator and dealing with more concrete concepts. [46] There is no dramatic movement in "To Autumn" as there is in many earlier poems; the poem progresses in its focus while showing little change in the objects it is focusing on. There is, in the words of Walter Jackson Bate, "a union of process and stasis", "energy caught in repose", an effect that Keats himself termed "stationing". [47] At the beginning of the third stanza he employs the dramatic Ubi sunt device associated with a sense of melancholy, and questions the personified subject: "Where are the songs of Spring?" [48]

Like the other odes, "To Autumn" is written in iambic pentameter (but greatly modified from the very beginning) with five stressed syllables to a line, each usually preceded by an unstressed syllable. [49] Keats varies this form by the employment of Augustan inversion, sometimes using a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable at the beginning of a line, including the first: "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness"; and employing spondees in which two stressed syllables are placed together at the beginnings of both the following stanzas, adding emphasis to the questions that are asked: "Who hath not seen thee...", "Where are the songs...?"

The rhyme of "To Autumn" follows a pattern of starting each stanza with an ABAB pattern which is followed by rhyme scheme of CDEDCCE in the first verse and CDECDDE in the second and third stanzas. [45] In each case, there is a couplet before the final line. Some of the language of "To Autumn" resembles phrases found in earlier poems with similarities to Endymion , Sleep and Poetry , and Calidore. [50] Keats characteristically uses monosyllabic words such as " to load and bless with fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run." The words are weighted by the emphasis of bilabial consonants (b, m, p), with lines like "...for Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells." There is also an emphasis on long vowels which control the flow of the poem, giving it a slow measured pace: "...while barred clouds bloom the soft dying day". [45]

Between the manuscript version and the published version of "To Autumn" Keats tightened the language of the poem. One of Keats's changes emphasised by critics is the change in line 17 of "Drows'd with red poppies" to "Drows'd with the fume of poppies", which emphasises the sense of smell instead of sight. The later edition relies more on passive, past participles, as apparent in the change of "While a gold cloud" in line 25 to "While barred clouds". [51] Other changes involve the strengthening of phrases, especially within the transformation of the phrase in line 13 "whoever seeks for thee may find" into "whoever seeks abroad may find". Many of the lines within the second stanza were completely rewritten, especially those which did not fit into a rhyme scheme. Some of the minor changes involved adding punctuation missing from the original manuscript copy and altering capitalisation. [52]

Critical reception

Critical and scholarly praise has been unanimous in declaring "To Autumn" one of the most perfect poems in the English language. A.C. Swinburne placed it with "Ode on a Grecian Urn" as "the nearest to absolute perfection" of Keats's odes; Aileen Ward declared it "Keats's most perfect and untroubled poem"; and Douglas Bush has stated that the poem is "flawless in structure, texture, tone, and rhythm"; [53] Walter Evert, in 1965, stated that "To Autumn" is "the only perfect poem that Keats ever wrote and if this should seem to take from him some measure of credit for his extraordinary enrichment of the English poetic tradition, I would quickly add that I am thinking of absolute perfection in whole poems, in which every part is wholly relevant to and consistent in effect with every other part." [54]

Early reviews of "To Autumn" focused on it as part of Keats's collection of poems Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems. An anonymous critic in the July 1820 Monthly Review claimed, "this writer is very rich both in imagination and fancy; and even a superabundance of the latter faculty is displayed in his lines 'On Autumn,' which bring the reality of nature more before our eyes than almost any description that we remember. [...] If we did not fear that, young as is Mr K., his peculiarities are fixed beyond all the power of criticism to remove, we would exhort him to become somewhat less strikingly original,—to be less fond of the folly of too new or too old phrases,—and to believe that poetry does not consist in either the one or the other." [55] Josiah Conder in the September 1820 Eclectic Review mentioned, "One naturally turns first to the shorter pieces, in order to taste the flavour of the poetry. The following ode to Autumn is no unfavourable specimen." [56] An anonymous reviewer in The Edinburgh Magazine for October 1820 added to a discussion of some of Keats's longer poems the afterthought that "The ode to 'Fancy,' and the ode to 'Autumn,' also have great merit." [57]

Although, after Keats's death, recognition of the merits of his poetry came slowly, by mid century, despite widespread Victorian disapproval of the alleged "weakness" of his character and the view often advanced "that Keats's work represented mere sensuality without substance", [58] some of his poems began to find an appreciative audience, including "To Autumn". In an 1844 essay on Keats's poetry in the Dumfries Herald, George Gilfillian placed "To Autumn" among "the finest of Keats' smaller pieces". [59] In an 1851 lecture, David Macbeth Moir acclaimed "four exquisite odes,—'To a Nightingale,' 'To a Grecian Urn,' 'To Melancholy,' and 'To Autumn,'—all so pregnant with deep thought, so picturesque in their limning, and so suggestive." [60] In 1865, Matthew Arnold singled out the "indefinable delicacy, charm, and perfection of [...] Keats's [touch] in his Autumn". [61] John Dennis, in an 1883 work about great poets, wrote that "the 'Ode to Autumn', ripe with the glory of the season it describes—must ever have a place among the most precious gems of lyrical poetry." [62] The 1888 Britannica declared, "Of these [odes] perhaps the two nearest to absolute perfection, to the triumphant achievement and accomplishment of the very utmost beauty possible to human words, may be that to Autumn and that on a Grecian Urn". [63]

At the turn of the 20th century, a 1904 analysis of great poetry by Stephen Gwynn claimed, "above and before all [of Keats's poems are] the three odes, To a Nightingale, On a Grecian Urn, and To Autumn. Among these odes criticism can hardly choose; in each of them the whole magic of poetry seems to be contained." [64] Sidney Colvin, in his 1917 biography, pointed out that "the ode To Autumn [...] opens up no such far-reaching avenues to the mind and soul of the reader as the odes To a Grecian Urn, To a Nightingale, or On Melancholy, but in execution is more complete and faultless than any of them." [65] Following this in a 1934 analysis of Romantic poetry, Margaret Sherwood stated that the poem was "a perfect expression of the phase of primitive feeling and dim thought in regard to earth processes when these are passing into a thought of personality." [66]

Harold Bloom, in 1961, described "To Autumn" as "the most perfect shorter poem in the English language." [67] Following this, Walter Jackson Bate, in 1963, claimed that "[...] each generation has found it one of the most nearly perfect poems in English." [24] Later, in 1973, Stuart Sperry wrote, "'To Autumn' succeeds through its acceptance of an order innate in our experience the natural rhythm of the seasons. It is a poem that, without ever stating it, inevitably suggests the truth of 'ripeness is all' by developing, with a richness of profundity of implication, the simple perception that ripeness is fall." [68] In 1981, William Walsh argued that "Among the major Odes [...] no one has questioned the place and supremacy of 'To Autumn', in which we see wholly realized, powerfully embodied in art, the complete maturity so earnestly laboured at in Keats's life, so persuasively argued about in his letters." [69] Literary critic and academic Helen Vendler, in 1988, declared that "in the ode 'To Autumn,' Keats finds his most comprehensive and adequate symbol for the social value of art." [70]

In 1997, Andrew Motion summarised the critical view on "To Autumn": "it has often been called Keats's 'most ... untroubled poem' [...] To register the full force of its achievement, its tensions have to be felt as potent and demanding." [5] Following in 1998, M. H. Abrams explained, "'To Autumn' was the last work of artistic consequence that Keats completed [...] he achieved this celebratory poem, with its calm acquiescence to time, transience and mortality, at a time when he was possessed by a premonition [...] that he had himself less than two years to live". [71] James Chandler, also in 1998, pointed out that "If To Autumn is his greatest piece of writing, as has so often been said, it is because in it he arguably set himself the most ambitious challenge of his brief career and managed to meet it." [72] Timothy Corrigan, in 2000, claimed that "'To Autumn' may be, as other critics have pointed out, his greatest achievement in its ability [...] to redeem the English vernacular as the casual expression of everyday experience, becoming in this his most exterior poem even in all its bucolic charm." [73] In the same year, Thomas McFarland placed "To Autumn" with "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "The Eve of St. Agnes" and Hyperion as Keats's greatest achievement, together elevating Keats "high in the ranks of the supreme makers of world literature". [74] In 2008, Stanley Plumly wrote, "history, posterity, immortality are seeing 'Ode to a Nightingale,' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn,' and 'To Autumn' as three of the most anthologized lyric poems of tragic vision in English." [75]


  1. 1 2 3 Bewell 1999 p. 176
  2. 1 2 Bate 1963 p. 580
  3. 1 2 Bate 1963 pp. 526–562
  4. Gittings 1968 pp. 269270
  5. 1 2 Motion 1999 p. 461
  6. Keats 2008 p. 184
  7. Bate 1963 p. 585
  8. Evert 1965 pp. 296297
  9. McGann 1979 pp. 988–989
  10. Keats 1905 p. 205
  11. 1 2 3 Sperry 1973 p. 337
  12. 1 2 Bate 1963 p. 582
  13. The full personification of Autumn emerges only in the second stanza. McFarland 2000 p. 222
  14. 1 2 Wagner 1996 pp. 110111
  15. Bate 1963 pp. 582–583
  16. Sperry 1973 p. 341
  17. Bate 1963 pp. 581–583
  18. O'Rourke 1998 p. 173
  19. Helen Vendler, discussed in O'Rourke 1998 p. 165
  20. Hartman 1975 p. 100, Bewell 1999 pp. 182183
  21. Bloom 1968 p. 96
  22. 1 2 3 Bewell 1999 p. 178
  23. Bate 1962 p. 522
  24. 1 2 3 Bate 1963 p. 581
  25. 1 2 Bate 1963 p. 583
  26. Bloom 1968 pp. 9597
  27. O'Rourke 1998 p. 177
  28. Vendler 1988 pp. 124–125
  29. McGann 1979 pp. 9881032
  30. Strachan 2003 p. 175
  31. Fry 1995 pp. 123–124
  32. Marggraf Turley, R.; Archer, J. Elizabeth; Thomas, H. (1 November 2012). "Keats, 'to Autumn', and the New Men of Winchester". The Review of English Studies. 63 (262): 797–817. doi:10.1093/res/hgs021. ISSN   0034-6551. S2CID   161057656.
  33. Bewell 1999 p. 177
  34. Bewell 1999 p. 162
  35. Bewell 1999 p. 163
  36. Bewell 1999 p. 231
  37. 1 2 Bewell 1999 p. 182
  38. Bewell 1999 pp. 18283
  39. Bewell 1999 p. 183
  40. Hartman 1975 p. 88; qtd. in Bewell 1999 p. 176
  41. McFarland quotes Shelley. McFarland 2000 pp. 22425
  42. McFarland 2000 pp. 22324
  43. McFarland 2000 p. 221
  44. Bate 1963 p. 499
  45. 1 2 3 Bate 1962 pp. 182–184
  46. Bate 1963 pp. 581–582
  47. Bate 1963 pp. 581–584
  48. Flesch 2009 p. 170
  49. Blades 2002 p. 104
  50. Ridley 1933 pp. 283–285
  51. Bate 1962 p. 183
  52. Ridley 1933 pp. 285–287
  53. Bennett 1991 qtd. p. 159
  54. Evert 1965 p. 298
  55. Matthews 1971 qtd. p. 162
  56. Matthews 1971 qtd. p. 233
  57. Matthews 1971 qtd. p. 215
  58. Matthews 1971 pp. 27, 33, 34
  59. Matthews 1971 qtd. p. 306
  60. Matthews 1971 qtd. pp. 351352
  61. Arnold 1962 pp. 376, 380
  62. Dennis 1883 p. 372
  63. Baynes 1888 p. 23
  64. Gwynn 1904 p. 378
  65. Colvin 1917 pp. 42122
  66. Sherwood 1934 p. 263
  67. Bloom 1993 p. 432
  68. Sperry 1973 p. 336
  69. Walsh 1981 p. 118
  70. Vendler 1988 p. 124
  71. Abrams 1998 pp. 51–52
  72. Chandler 1998 p. 430
  73. Corrigan 2000 p. 156
  74. McFarland 2000 pp. 22526
  75. Plumly 2008 p. 343

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Keats</span> English Romantic poet (1795–1821)

John Keats was an English poet of the second generation of Romantic poets, with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. His poems had been in publication for less than four years when he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25. They were indifferently received in his lifetime, but his fame grew rapidly after his death. By the end of the century, he was placed in the canon of English literature, strongly influencing many writers of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1888 called one ode "one of the final masterpieces". Jorge Luis Borges named his first encounter with Keats an experience he felt all his life. Keats had a style "heavily loaded with sensualities", notably in the series of odes. Typically of the Romantics, he accentuated extreme emotion through natural imagery. Today his poems and letters remain among the most popular and analysed in English literature – in particular "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Sleep and Poetry" and the sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer".

<i>Kubla Khan</i> Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Kubla Khan is a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, completed in 1797 and published in 1816. It is sometimes given the subtitles "A Vision in a Dream" and "A Fragment." According to Coleridge's preface to Kubla Khan, the poem was composed one night after he experienced an opium-influenced dream after reading a work describing Shangdu, the summer capital of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty of China founded by Kublai Khan. Upon waking, he set about writing lines of poetry that came to him from the dream until he was interrupted by "a person from Porlock". The poem could not be completed according to its original 200–300 line plan as the interruption caused him to forget the lines. He left it unpublished and kept it for private readings for his friends until 1816 when, at the prompting of Lord Byron, it was published.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ode</span> Type of lyrical stanza

An ode is a type of lyric poetry. Odes are elaborately structured poems praising or glorifying an event or individual, describing nature intellectually as well as emotionally. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. Different forms such as the homostrophic ode and the irregular ode also enter.

This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1819.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ode to a Nightingale</span> Poem by John Keats

"Ode to a Nightingale" is a poem by John Keats written either in the garden of the Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, London or, according to Keats' friend Charles Armitage Brown, under a plum tree in the garden of Keats' house at Wentworth Place, also in Hampstead. According to Brown, a nightingale had built its nest near the house that he shared with Keats in the spring of 1819. Inspired by the bird's song, Keats composed the poem in one day. It soon became one of his 1819 odes and was first published in Annals of the Fine Arts the following July. The poem is one of the most frequently anthologized in the English language.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ode on a Grecian Urn</span> 1819 poem by John Keats

"Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a poem written by the English Romantic poet John Keats in May 1819, first published anonymously in Annals of the Fine Arts for 1819.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ode on Indolence</span> 1819 poem by John Keats

The "Ode on Indolence" is one of five odes composed by English poet John Keats in the spring of 1819. The others were "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode on Melancholy", "Ode to a Nightingale" and "Ode to Psyche". The poem describes the state of indolence, a word which is synonymous with "avoidance" or "laziness". The work was written during a time when Keats was presumably more than usually occupied with his material prospects. After finishing the spring poems, Keats wrote in June 1819 that its composition brought him more pleasure than anything else he had written that year. Unlike the other odes he wrote that year, "Ode on Indolence" was not published until 1848, 27 years after his death.

"Lamia" is a narrative poem written by the English poet John Keats, which first appeared in the volume Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems, published in July 1820. The poem was written in 1819, during the famously productive period that produced his 1819 odes. It was composed soon after his La belle dame sans merci and his odes on Melancholy, on Indolence, on a Grecian Urn and to a Nightingale and just before To Autumn.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ode on Melancholy</span>

"Ode on Melancholy" is one of five odes composed by English poet John Keats in the spring of 1819, along with "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode on Indolence", and "Ode to Psyche". The narrative of the poem describes the poet's perception of melancholy through a lyric discourse between the poet and the reader, along with the introduction to Ancient Grecian characters and ideals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ode to Psyche</span> 1819 poem written by John Keats

"Ode to Psyche" is a poem by John Keats written in spring 1819. The poem is the first of his 1819 odes, which include "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale". "Ode to Psyche" is an experiment in the ode genre, and Keats's attempt at an expanded version of the sonnet format that describes a dramatic scene. The poem serves as an important departure from Keats's early poems, which frequently describe an escape into the pleasant realms of one's imagination. Keats uses the imagination to show the narrator's intent to resurrect Psyche and reincarnate himself into Eros (love). Keats attempts this by dedicating an "untrodden region" of his mind to the worship of the neglected goddess.

Helen Hennessy Vendler is an American literary critic and is Porter University Professor Emerita at Harvard University.

The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, sometimes subtitled as A Vision instead of a dream, is an epic poem written by the English Romantic John Keats. Keats composed The Fall of Hyperion by reworking, expanding, and personally narrating lines from his earlier fragmented epic poem Hyperion.

Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature.

Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ode: Intimations of Immortality</span> Poem by William Wordsworth

"Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" is a poem by William Wordsworth, completed in 1804 and published in Poems, in Two Volumes (1807). The poem was completed in two parts, with the first four stanzas written among a series of poems composed in 1802 about childhood. The first part of the poem was completed on 27 March 1802 and a copy was provided to Wordsworth's friend and fellow poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who responded with his own poem, "Dejection: An Ode", in April. The fourth stanza of the ode ends with a question, and Wordsworth was finally able to answer it with seven additional stanzas completed in early 1804. It was first printed as "Ode" in 1807, and it was not until 1815 that it was edited and reworked to the version that is currently known, "Ode: Intimations of Immortality".

"Anecdote of the Jar" is a poem from Wallace Stevens's first book of poetry, Harmonium. First published in 1919, it is in the public domain.

<i>The Well Wrought Urn</i> 1947 essay collection by Cleanth Brooks

The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry is a 1947 collection of essays by Cleanth Brooks. It is considered a seminal text in the New Critical school of literary criticism. The title contains an allusion to the fourth stanza of John Donne's poem, "The Canonization", which is the primary subject of the first chapter of the book.

The Choral Symphony is a work by Gustav Holst for soprano soloist, chorus, and orchestra in a setting of verses by John Keats. Written in 1923–24, it was premiered in Leeds Town Hall on October 7, 1925, conducted by Albert Coates with Dorothy Silk as soloist. The same performers gave the work's second performance three weeks later in Queen's Hall, London. The work is sometimes known as the First Choral Symphony, although a planned 'second Choral Symphony' never progressed beyond some uncompleted sketches.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Keats's 1819 odes</span> Poems

In 1819, John Keats composed six odes, which are among his most famous and well-regarded poems. Keats wrote the first five poems, "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode on Indolence", "Ode on Melancholy", "Ode to a Nightingale", and "Ode to Psyche" in quick succession during the spring, and he composed "To Autumn" in September. While the exact order in which Keats composed the poems is unknown, some critics contend that they form a thematic whole if arranged in sequence. As a whole, the odes represent Keats's attempt to create a new type of short lyrical poem, which influenced later generations.

The Calendar of Nature is a series of articles by Leigh Hunt about aspects of various months and seasons published throughout 1819 in the Examiner. It is also included in his Literary Pocket-Book and published on its own as The Months. The work places emphasis on the season of autumn as a time for justice and prosperity, and influenced John Keats's poem "To Autumn". The emphasis on both works is on a temperate landscape and the positive political aspects of living in such a place. The work also stresses the sickness that is connected to a temperate landscape, which is related to the physical problems that Keats was suffering from at the time.