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How does the poet move from description through personification to the evocation of the...

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maidin | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 24, 2008 at 10:35 PM via web

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How does the poet move from description through personification to the evocation of the senses in "To Autumn"?

this question is taken from the poem ode to autumn by john keats

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 25, 2008 at 12:49 AM (Answer #1)

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In stanza one, Keats describes the season--the fertility of the land, the fruit vines, the trees, the ripeness of it all. The description is clear with words like "budding"--he effectively draws a picture for you with the words he chooses. In stanza two, Keats addresses "Autumn" directly.  She is "sitting careless on the granary floor" and having her hair "soft-lifted by a winnowing wind".  She is sleeping and watching and acting as a person might.  He gives the season qualities of human beings, and therefore personifies the time of year. Stanza three changes direction as he has a pep rally for the season of Autumn.  He gives many reasons why Autumn should be proud of her season and not thinking songs from Spring or Summer...rather, enjoy the time of the present and don't be too quick to wish it away.  It is full of its own beauty and wonder, so embrace it fully.  Enjoy the "art" that is Autumn--the music of the gnats, the painting of the sunset with its dying light and amber hues, the song of the lambs, crickets and swallows.  This stanza evokes feelings of satisfaction and pride, of appreciation for the beauty that is autumn.  The senses are all addressed--see the sights, hear the sounds, feel the temperature and the texture of the season, smell the scents, taste the harvest and enjoy life to the fullest.

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