John Keats

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.

Autumn’s Poetic Joy

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Summer is officially over in the UK.

Writing this blog and looking out of the poetry den window, the leaves and vines on the trees are beginning to lose their summer green and turn yellow. The lavender bushes are in their final bloom and bees are collecting the last remnants of pollen.

Autumn is a wonderful season, cushioning the warmth of summer into the cold of winter. It has influenced many poets and poems. Some of my favourite Autumn poems include, To Autumn by John Keats; Matsuo Basho’s Haiku – Autumn Moonlight and Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice.

In 2000 I spent three weeks in New England during The Fall. Driving through the woods and forests of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, shrouded in red, brown, yellow and gold is an experience still vivid in my memory. There is something magical about the energy in the autumn transformation that makes you want to pick up a pen and get musing.

Gold and brown leaves fall.
Shadows at dusk lengthen as
A winter sleep nears.

If you want to read more poetry about Autumn, then the site at Famous Poets and Poems has a good selection.

What inspires your poetry in the Autumn months? Do you have a favourite poem describing Autumn?

I would be pleased to read your thoughts.