Summary of Ode to Autumn | Ode to Autumn by John Keats


 Summary of Ode to Autumn | Ode to Autumn by John Keats

The poem "  Ode to Autumn " ranks among the finest poems by John Keats. The poem was written in September 1819 . Let us go through the summary of Keat's Ode to Autumn.

Ode to Autumn Summary by John Keats

Introduction of Ode to Autumn

In this poem treatment of the subject is perfectly objective or impersonal. Keat's is himself out of the picture, he only describes certain sights and sounds without expressing his personal reaction to them.

Here is the stanza wise summary of the poem.

Summary of Stanza 1 of Ode to Autumn

In this stanza the poet has described the beauty of autumn. Autumn is the season of mist. It is a season during which different kinds of fruits ripening and it seems that autumn activity cooperates with the sun in bringing about the maturity of the fruit. 

The autumn and the sun work together for the ripening of all kinds of fruits. The vines running round the edges of thatched roofs become loaded with grapes during autumn. Apple trees growing in the cottage gardens are covered with moss and are weighed down with fruits. All fruits are filled with sweetness in this season. The gourd grows bigger and the hazelnuts are filled with sweet karnel. 

Certain flowers also bloom in autumn. The bees suck the sweetness of these flowers and it seems that these flowers represents a continuation of summer. It was evident in the lines depicting that for the beesthe warm days of summer have not ended. The sticky cells of the honey comb are filled to overflowing with honey . The says that the autumn provide more flowers in case the bees may like to draw more sweetness from them.

Summary of Stanza 2 of Ode to Autumn

The second stanza describes the occupation of Autumn. Autumn is here personified as a winnower, as a reaper, as a gleaner, and as a cider- presser. 

Thus, autumn is here seen as a woman who performs the tasks of winnowing, reaping, gleaning and cider pressing. If anyone wants to see Autumn he may go into the fields and see the woman engaged in the winnowing operation, while the breeze ruffles their locks of hair. This is one of the picture of Autumn.

Secondly, we may see Autumn in the shape of a reaper, who is engaged in reaping corn but who in the course of her work is so overcome by the sleep-inducing smell of the poppies that she falls asleep, with the result that the next row of corn remains unreaped.

Thirdly, Autumn may be seen in the character of a gleaner who is walking alone steadily with the weight of grains upon her head, crossing a stream.

Finally, Autumn may be seen in the figure of a woman who is crushing the ripe apples in the wooden press to obtain beer juice from which cider is to be made. This woman sits by the cider press and watches patiently the apple juice flowing out of the press, drop by drop.

Summary of Stanza 3 of Ode to Autumn

In the third stanza, the poet describes the sounds of Autumn. Spring is distinguished by its songs. These sweet songs are not heard in Autumn. But there is no need to feel any regret on that account. Autumn has its own peculiar music. The sounds of Autumn are heard in the evening when the sun is setting, a soft glow irradiates the fields from which the crop has been reaped, leaving the stumps behind. The long- drawn-out- clouds in the sky look like a bars of a grate. At this time, the melanchony buzzing of the gnats is heard. The gnats fly about among the shurbs growing on the river-side . The gnats are carried upwards when the wind is strong, and they come downwards when the wind is feeble. In addition to the gnats singing in a melanchony chorus the bleating of full grown lambs is heard from the hills which bound the landscape. Then there is the chriting of the grasshoppers.

Next comes the high, bold and delicate singing of the redbreast which sings from a orchard. 

Finally, there is the twittering of the swallows which are gathering in large number to get ready for their winter migration.All these sounds are the music of Autumn.

The poet had a pagan conception of Nature. Thus, he has very brilliantly depicted the full grown beauty of Autumn, with all its charms, in his " Ode to Autumn".

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