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The poem moves from the early stages of autumn to the coming of winter. It includes detailed descriptions of different aspects of the season which is seen as beautiful and full of natural wonder. Keats composed this poem after a countryside walk and was excited and moved by what he saw. He has clearly captured the sights, sounds and smells that he experienced here.

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I had a nice day last Monday. The first Monday in Aug.

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The countryside here is so beautiful; many people who have their business in L. It gave me a great deal of pleasure to hear that you had renewed your acquaintance with the Tersteeg family. I had long been hoping that you would, for your sake. I was glad he wrote to me. A day or two ago I had a visit from a brother of Iterson who lives here, 10 and so had the first opportunity of speaking Dutch since May.


We live a long way from each other, which I very much regret. And now I bid you good-day, I wish you well. Many regards to everyone in the Poten. The eve of Saint Mark Cherubim and golden mice. Autumn Source status: Original manuscript. Location: Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv.

Thomas McFarland, on the other hand, in cautioned against overemphasizing the "political, social, or historical readings" of the poem, which distract from its "consummate surface and bloom". Like others of Keats's odes written in , the structure is that of an odal hymn , having three clearly defined sections corresponding to the Classical divisions of strophe , antistrophe , and epode.

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". 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.

Some of the language of "To Autumn" resembles phrases found in earlier poems with similarities to Endymion , Sleep and Poetry , and Calidore.

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  • 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".

    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. Critical and scholarly praise has been unanimous in declaring "To Autumn" one of the most perfect poems in the English language.

    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 , 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.

    An anonymous critic in the July 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.

    A Letter To Autumn

    The following ode to Autumn is no unfavourable specimen. 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". At the turn of the 20th century, a 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. Harold Bloom, in , described "To Autumn" as "the most perfect shorter poem in the English language. 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. In , Andrew Motion summarised the critical view on "To Autumn": "it has often been called Keats's 'most Abrams explained, " 'To Autumn' was the last work of artistic consequence that Keats completed [ Agnes" and Hyperion as Keats's greatest achievement, together elevating Keats "high in the ranks of the supreme makers of world literature".

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    McFarland p. Elizabeth; Thomas, H. The Review of English Studies. How cornfield which inspired poem by Keats is now, two centuries afterward, a multi-storey car park". Mail Online. Retrieved McFarland pp.

    A Love Letter To Autumn

    Abrams, M. In The Persistence of Poetry. Robert Ryan and Ronald Sharp. Amherst: University of Mass. Press, Lectures and Essays in Criticism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press John Keats.

    Keats' Poems and Letters

    The Stylistic Development of Keats. New York: Humanities Press , Originally published Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , Keats, Narrative and Audience.

    A Love Letter To Autumn

    Romanticism and Colonial Disease. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press , John Keats: the poems. Macmillan, The Visionary Company. Ithaca: Cornell University Press , Originally published ; revised and enlarged edition In Keats's Odes. Jack Stillinger. Englewood, NJ: Prentice-Hall , , pp. England in Chicago: University of Chicago Press , John Keats: His Life and Poetry. London: Macmillan , In Challenge of Keats.