The quote may also refer to the consumption of opium and drug-taking in general. This was quite common at the time, especially amongst poets. In the last lines of the second verse, we once again come across the issue of heavy workloads and drowsiness. In addition, the fruit of the season is mentioned again; this further reminds of the fullness of the season and the exact intensity of feeling involved in each line of the poem. By the end of the verse, the poet uses repetition to elaborate the feeling of drowsiness already established in the reader.
The third verse begins with two questions, perhaps directed at autumn itself. There is a feeling of lightness in the questions and does not wholly disturb the drowsiness of the previous verse. The questions ask as to the beauty of the other seasons. However, in the line that follows, John Keats dismisses the questions by stating that autumn herself has beauty also, and that we need not to think of the pleasantness and ‘songs of Spring’. All at once, the poem loses its positivity and we come across the use of negative imagery.
Having mentioned that autumn has self-beauty, the poet then remarks that it is barred from passing through the day by clouds, and:- ‘Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn,’ Before, in the first and second verses, we were presented with the idea of fruit ripening and Mother Earth maturing. Now, there is the sound of a ‘wailful choir’ as even the small insects ‘mourn’; and whether the light wind ‘lives or dies’ is not important as autumn is fading and so too, is all its pleasantness. This imagery is saddening in contrast to the happiness and fullness of life we read of previously.
We can detect the strong feelings the poet is experiencing through this imagery. The last two lines of the poem exhibit a traditional view of autumn, as opposed to the extravagant description she received beforehand. There is a rather morose sentiment as the swallows gather to fly south to the Mediterranean in the last line. Autumn has departed, and so too must the swallows and all pleasant ideas. Overall, there is a great display of strong and unwavering feelings as the poem develops. We almost gain the idea that the poem may be a possible description of the poet’s own life.
This is supported by the contrast between life and death in the poem and the immense concentration on the moment, (which is, of course, autumn in the poem). As the poem was written only two years before the death of John Keats, the idea is not absurd. There is an unusual awareness of nature and of sights, sounds and smells, in the poem. What is more, there is the structure of a life cycle apparent in the poem, in which the first verse describes birth, the second verse recites maturation, and the third and last verse echoes decline and death.
Nonetheless, the poem provides a positive view of autumn in general. These elements show the intensity of emotion expressed in each verse and provides a touching and poignant significance to the poem, of which is inspiring yet saddening, and that which can not be commonly found in all poems. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Keats section.