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Because this poem is exquisite, readers are often oblivious to the many images that Keats employs. Indeed, the poem is loved by many persons who might wonder if knowledge of the images could add anything to their appreciation. The fact remains, however, that Keats created the images as an integral part of the poem, and therefore to understand them is one way of following the processes of his thought and poetic art. The images throughout the poem suggest ripeness, harvest, rest, and beauty after labor. The trees are loaded with apples; the machinery (cider press, reaping hook) is that which is used at the time of harvest; the light is red and mellow—rosy—and is reflected in nearby plains of cut grain; and the sounds are those of twilight and night—not threatening but restful.
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