To Autumn Questions and Answers
by John Keats

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Does the end of "Ode to Autumn" provide any resolution?

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As the other, excellent answer to this question suggests, John Keats' "To Autumn" ends with a description of the cyclical nature of life and the seasons. However, Keats also provides resolution in this final stanza by asserting that even autumn, a season of endings, has a touching beauty all it's own. Indeed, in addressing autumn in this final stanza, Keats says "thou hast thy music too" (24), and he backs up this claim by subsequently describing a scene of great beauty:

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. (25-33)

Though the natural beauty here is somewhat melancholy, it's beautiful nonetheless. Keats describes a sunset with immense virtuosity, and then illustrates a peaceful, bucolic scene populated by lambs, crickets, and singing birds. As such, the poem asserts that there is beauty even in the ending of a season and a year. More specifically, Keats is asserting the importance of endings by presenting autumn in a dignified fashion. In this way, he turns a classically melancholy season into something positive and gives resolution to the poem.   

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mpays55 | Student

     John Keats’ poem “To Autumn” represents the progression and ending of the season. The resolution revealed in the final stanza is one of endings and the cyclical nature of life. This is suggested by the progression of the day paralleled with the progression of the season. The first stanza represents the morning as well as the fruitful abundance of the season, as revealed in the “maturing sun” (line 2) and “to swell the gourd” (line 7). This creates the sensation of maturing growth. The second stanza represents the afternoon and the collection of the harvest, as revealed in the exhausted laborer “sitting careless on a granary floor,” (line 14).

   The final stanza then reveals the resolution to the day as well as the labor of the harvest which occurs in the fall. The oncoming night is suggested by the “the soft-dying day” (line 25) and the “rosy hue” (line 26) of the sunset. There is a sensation of emptiness, as the stanza is absent of the ripening fruit and flowers of the previous stanzas. The “full-grown lambs” (line 30) are all that is left to harvest. Yet, it is not complete with the dying of the day and the silence of the end of the harvest. The poem creates the resolution that the seasons and life continue on, despite the end of the season. The birds of the final two lines are generally seen in winter, suggesting the cyclical nature of the seasons and life. As autumn ends, winter begins.