Does the end of "Ode to Autumn" provide any resolution?
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 mournAmong the river sallows, borne aloftOr sinking as the light wind lives or dies;And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble softThe 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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