ODE TO AUTUMN

Autumn colours

As we slowly slide into Autumn with the first frost of the new season stealing upon us last night I awakened to the sweet crisp chill air. 

This brought to mind a poet whose work I relished as young; snuggled into bed I would read his words aloud, enraptured by their beauty, their cadence; his verse so rich and full in sound and meaning.

Below is a poem by John Keats that captures this season so well. Take a minute or two to read aloud, revelling in his exquisite eloquent Romantic poetry.

Ode To Autumn

1.

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.

2.

  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.

3.

  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.

Autumn red

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32 thoughts on “ODE TO AUTUMN

  1. Anonymous says:

    This poem seems to convey everything good about autumn and is very uplifting. What other poems have we missed as a result of him dying so young.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Mike

    • Annika Perry says:

      It does give such a wonderful feel for Autumn, it’s as if you can taste it, feel it, smell the fragrances. Even though Keats died early he still (thankfully) left a comprehensive volume of work behind.

    • Annika Perry says:

      I really like that Jacqui -‘through eyes I didn’t know I had’. I know what you mean, an awakening, epiphany of the world around you. I remember reading ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and looking at the title not be too excited but then drawn in by the language, imagery, the story. A real lyrical gut-punching poem.

    • Annika Perry says:

      I’d never read any Shelley so just looked at ‘To a Skylark’. What bold creative conviction, amazing languag right from the the start of ‘Hail to the, blithe Spirit!’ You’re right, they are of their own time. Lovely to read your comment.

  2. Peter R says:

    Truly a beautiful poem. I quote the first line every Autumn, much to the frustration of my wife. Stunning pictures as well. Autumn is here; there was a light coating of ice on the car early yesterday morning.

    • Annika Perry says:

      It is a beautiful poem and good for you to remember the lines – I’m sure your wife loves it really! Autumn with crisp morning chill and the sun shining is just perfect. Long may it be so…rain stay away!

  3. Julie Holmes, author says:

    What a grand way to welcome autumn! I’ve never delved into poetry, though Robert Frost is one of the very few poets I’ve read, but there’s a lyrical quality about that poem that encourages an awe for the season. Thanks for sharing!

    • Annika Perry says:

      It is rather awe-inspiring isn’t it? I remembered it as I was walking early this morning and struck by the beauty around me. These mighty verses say it all. So glad you enjoyed it,not the easiest of poems. I enjoyed poetry as young and since then dip in and out. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment,

  4. Mirja says:

    So you read John Keats with such understanding already as a girl. No wonder you ended up writing . The Poem is just such a wonderful hymn to Autumn, one of our fantastic seasons.
    Thank you for this ray of light this morning.

    I find it difficult to imagine to be without seasons, it is like our life.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank Mirja. I do love the seasons, in the autumn I wait impatiently for the beauty of the leaves on the trees and hope it is a good year for them – it seems to be so dependant on different factors. So glad you liked the poem, it is uplifting to read I find.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Exactly, but the charm in any season falls off as soon as the cold drizzle sets in, which it seems to happen whether summer, spring, winter or autumn. Today was perfect and think that’s why this poem came to mind.

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