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On The Grasshopper and the Cricket:  I want a simple summary.

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nnnn | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:28 AM via web

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On The Grasshopper and the Cricket:  I want a simple summary.

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lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:03 PM (Answer #1)

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John Keats' Sonnet "On the Grasshopper and the Cricket" was written on December 30th 1816. The message of this poem is foregrounded in these two lines:

"The poetry of earth is never dead" which is the opening line of the octave and the poem; and "The poetry of earth is ceasing never"which is the first line of the sestet. Keats asserts emphatically that no matter what the season, whether it is the peak of scorching summer or the bitterly cold winter season the music and 'poetry' of Mother Nature will be omnipresent and add vitality to the environment.

The octave and the sestet compare and contrast a  hot summer day and a bitterly cold and lonely winter evening. It's so hot that the usually chirpy and active birds have taken shelter amongst the shady trees and the whole countryside seems to be quiet, but just then one can hear the ever active grasshopper chirping away merrily in the hedges.

Similarly when one is cosily sheltered in the comfort of his home in front of a warm stove from the cold frosty winter and is beginning to feel lonely, the silence is shattered by the shrill chirpings of the cricket which adds meaning to the lonely winter evening without filling it up by reminding him of the music of the grasshopper in the summer months.

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