POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM #57 – “TO AUTUMN”

This offering of the POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM is from William Preston. In Bill’s words:

Although my favorite poem is Frost’s “Stopping By Woods”, I selected 
Keats’s “To Autumn.” To my mind, it’s the perfect marriage of sounds and 
sense, with vivid imagery. My favorite season is autumn, and this poem 
praises it, describing its abundance, harvest, melody, and its 
fleeting beauty by using intense imagery. The rhyming melds so well with 
the images that I forget about it. Mainly, though, I love it for its 
sounds, especially the first line, “Season of mists and mellow 
fruitfulness,” which fairly whispers the reader into the poem.

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.

8 thoughts on “POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM #57 – “TO AUTUMN”

  1. Lovely, isn’t it?

    “Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too…”

    *sigh*

    Thank you, William and Walt.

  2. Frost’s “Stopping By Woods” is one of my favorites, also. I hadn’t read this one by Keats before but I have to agree with Marie, that line is gorgeous.

  3. Wow! Such an intricate rhyme scheme, and easy to see why it’s one of your favorites. You are equally as adept, and mirror the word weaving. Stunning selection. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you, I had forgotten this poem…Back in the 90s I met Lorna Goodison, a poet from Jamaica. She was delightful.. She told me to read the letters of Keats and also his poetry… it has been awhile, but I do remember liking this one very much. Thank you Walt and William…

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