I am studying "To Autumn" along with about 20 other poems for my GCSE exams and I am having a lot of problems with "To Autumn". I understand that the first paragraph is completely imagery and the second two paragraphs are Autumn, but in an essay do I just pick out images and write about them as there seems to be very little storyline? I'd be grateful if anyone could give me some advice! Can anyone help?
You are correct that there is very little story line here. Therefore, a more productive way to think about this might be to think of it as a reflection or meditation. Keats doesn't give us a narrator, and so doesn't anchor this in the personal. Instead, he moves us towards the universal. This is summer, we're told early on: it is richness, fruit, production. But after summer comes fall, and that is a time of harvest and beauty, but also reflection and sadness. That's why you look back towards spring. Since this is universal, this happens to people too: the songs of spring that are missing are the songs of childhood. This is a poem about autumn, but also about lost youth and the coming of death (winter).
check Approved by eNotes Editorial