John Keats and his Ode – To Autumn

Poetic Beats

Welcome this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 2nd of October 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

Autumn marches on in the UK and, in this edition, we look at one of the most iconic and anthologised of all Autumn poems, To Autumn, by John Keats. Despite dying at the early age of 25, Keats left us with some of the greatest poems in the English Language. Some academics consider this poem as the most perfect piece of poetry ever written.

For those of you who can’t access the recording, the text version of To Autumn is added after the sound bar.

To hear the recording, please press the arrow on the left of the sound bar below.

 

To Autumn

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.

16 Comments

Lovely, Davy. I think that you write very much like a painter, also.

Liked by 1 person

Top spoken article Davy, pitched bob on for poets & non poets alike.

Liked by 1 person

Splendid, Davy. Loved your concise and intelligent summary of the poetry of Keats, and, of course, your apt choice of poem.

Liked by 2 people

Perfect share for the season, Davy.

Liked by 1 person

Wow! That was lovely. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Keats and yes his artistic eye translated into words, is what first drew me to him. In college I always felt that I was way across “The Pond” when I read his poetry. However, I’ve never heard his poetry read aloud by anyone other than an American and our accents apparently do not do his poems justice. I truly felt like I was hearing this piece for the very first time. The inflections and lilt in your voice added to my vision of what Keats saw upon his walk. This totally made my day. Thank you!

Liked by 2 people

    Well Lesley,thank you for your wonderful comments and it has left me a little lost for words. I am glad that Poetic Beats is hitting the mark across The Pond and I thank you for your continued and valued support.

    Liked by 1 person

Keats poetry blinds me with its beauty. Mesmerisingly read Davy.

Liked by 1 person

A brilliant poem rightly told. Another fantastic job Davy!

Liked by 1 person

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