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In what ways does John Keats express the intensity of feeling in the poem 'To Autumn'?

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Sana Kanji Essay: To Autumn 25/10/03 1 Essay title: In what ways does John Keats express the intensity of feeling in the poem 'To Autumn'? The poem ' To Autumn', is, as its title suggests an ode to the season of autumn. The writer, John Keats, presents extremely intense feelings in this poem and we gain a full idea as to what the season may perhaps, mean to him. This essay will concentrate on these intense feelings that we, the reader, discover throughout the course of the poem, and will look at the various ways in which they are expressed. The first example of the importance of autumn to the poet is in the title itself, in which the season has been made into a noun ' To Autumn'. We further know from the title, as mentioned above, that the writer has dedicated this poem to autumn, and this also reflects the intensity of feeling being put across. The first line of the poem is very relaxed and provides a pleasant start to the poem. ...read more.


Further, the alliteration on the letter 'w' in the phrase 'winnowing wind' provides a soft sound and mood to the poem. This is useful to provide the right setting for the reader in the next few lines of the poem to follow. After a few lines, we come across a striking line:- 'Drowsed with the fume of poppies, . . .' Keats uses onomatopoeia in the form of the word 'fume' to really involve the reader into the poem and grasp our attention. Having read this line, we feel almost drowsy and drunk on the smell of the poppies. The line is also extraordinary, as we know that poppies have no smell, and hence, is quite striking in its self-contradiction. 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. ...read more.


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. ...read more.

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