To Autumn Questions and Answers
by John Keats

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Please can you explain to me the last two stanzas in Keats' "To Autumn"? like a paraphrase. thank you

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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You have a really good answer here already, so I'll just add a few more details.

This poem is an ode, a tribute, like a toast to this season of harvest--"To Autumn."  We expect to hear positive things after hearing that title, and we do.

The imagery in stanza one is of ripeness, of a world ready for harvest:  "fruitfulness," "maturing," "load and bless," "swell," "plump," and "o'er-brimm'd."  Hard to miss this picture of creation as a ripened field ready to harvest.

Stanza two imagery is full of harvest language:  "store," "a granary floor," "winnowing," "a half-reap'd furrow," "hook," "swath,"  "gleaner," "cyder-press," and "oozings."  Clearly this picture is one of a harvest either in progress or completed. These images are still full of life, rather than depicting death or emptiness.

Finally, the third stanza asks us not to think of spring (a time of newness and rebirth) as being better than autumn--traditionally a time before winter and the death/hibernation of all creation, including man.     

"Where are the songs of spring?  Ay, where are they? 
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too."

This is also a beautiful time.  Note the stubble in the harvested field reflecting the glow of a setting sun; the river swallows who perform as a "wailful choir" as they dip and swoop with the breeze; and the lambs and crickets and robins making their familiar sounds.

This poem is a tribute to autumn, rarely seen--in poetry, anyway--as a time of beauty.  While it is a time of reaping what has been sown, metaphorically fall is a precursor to impending...

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lindseywarren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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