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Two Romantic poems concerning nature are "To Autumn" by John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley's "To a Skylark". These two poems celebrate different aspects of nature:

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Introduction

Navdeep Sahota Saturday, 22 January 2005 English Coursework 'Compare how nature is presented two Romantic poems' Poets of the Romantic Era tried to express their feelings of beauty, nature and decay through poems and other means of literature. Two Romantic poems concerning nature are "To Autumn" by John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley's "To a Skylark". These two poems celebrate different aspects of nature: as the title of the poem suggests "To Autumn" is about the season of autumn, whereas "To a Skylark" is about a skylark, a miniscule bird that is famous for its song. Percy Bysshe Shelley compares the skylark to many different beautiful things to show that the skylark is far more superior to them. The vivid use of imagery throughout the two poems attracts the reader's interest and conveys the writers' creativity. Both of the poems are packed with imagery which not only shows their uniqueness but also the intensity and sophistication of the poets. The first stanza in "To Autumn" concerns itself with extolling the beauty and floridity of autumn, appealing to the senses of sight and taste. The first line immediately arouses visual senses with "mists and mellow fruitfulness". Keats uses "mellow" to depict the colour of autumn, this is most likely to be the rustic colour of ripe fruits and leaves. The purpose of "fruitfulness" reminds us of the harvest. ...read more.

Middle

"To a Skylark" has a somewhat supernatural atmosphere throughout the poem and the diction used aids this eerie ambience. The first line of the poem is "Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!" and we can instantly see the supernatural characteristic of the poem. The speaker, addressing a skylark, says that it is a "blithe Spirit" rather than a bird, for its song comes from Heaven, and from its full heart pour "profuse strains of unpremeditated art." The skylark flies higher and higher, "like a cloud of fire" in the blue sky, singing as it flies. Shelley manipulates imagery well to show the actions of the skylark. Also, the skylark does all of this spontaneously, shown by the word "unpremeditated". The seventh stanza also shows particularly how spontaneous and free the skylark is of all cares, "like a Poet hidden In the light of thought, singing hymns unbidden". Shelley is likening the spontaneous flow of the skylark to his own creative flow that is to a certain extent spontaneous and is probably the closest he himself will get to the freeness of the skylark. Percy Shelley is in awe of the skylark and it is clearly visible at the beginning of the poem. The speaker says that no one knows what the skylark is, for it is unique: even "rainbow clouds" do not rain as brightly as the shower of melody that pours from the skylark. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem is grounded in the real world; the vivid, concrete imagery immerses the reader in the sights, feel, and sounds of autumn and its progression. With its depiction of the progression of autumn, the poem is an unqualified celebration of process. Keats totally accepts the natural world, with its mixture of ripening, fulfilment, dying, and death. Shelley however does bring fantasy into "To a Skylark" and the poem is told in a first-person narrative. The result is surprising by may be seen as controversial by some. He asks the skylark questions directly but then he answers them himself so is in turn asking rhetorical questions of which he reflects on and reaches conclusions to. In terms of the way nature is presented, "To Autumn" is more tangible since we can identify with most of the images presented whereas "To a Skylark" is based on opinion and the personal feelings and emotions of Percy Bysshe Shelley. John Keats used imagery to depict the different aspects of autumn but Shelley uses imagery to create a mystical environment. The poems have different sounds: "To a Skylark" is a poem of many questions and "To Autumn" has a number of words being emphasised to create a long period of time and giving a general feeling of abundance. The Romanticists wanted to express their opinions of beauty, nature and decay and certainly John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley have conveyed them strongly and use poetry to admirable effect; they have certainly been heard by the world. ...read more.

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