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What is the central idea of the poem "Ode To Autumn" by John Keats?      

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Joel Seligmann eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In 1918, this is what Keats wrote of the poem:

"How beautiful the season is now--How fine the air. A temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking, chaste weather--Dian skies--I never liked stubble-fields so much as now--Aye better than the chilly green of the spring. Somehow, a stubble-field looks warm--in the same way that some pictures look warm. This struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I composed upon it."

"Ode To Autumn" is no mystery it is what it is: a poem written in praise of autumn. Autumn in its fullness, autumn in its ripeness, autumn in its satisfying, still warm beauty.

One can certainly think of autumn as but an end to summer and the harbinger of the cold, desolate months of winter. But Keats sees autumn as a fruition, the bountiful result of the promise of rapid growth that began in the spring and went all the way through summer. Autumn, in the poem is summer matured, summer's result.

Listen to this line:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun

and this:

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn

Keats does not see autumn as a time of withering, a time of fall; he sees it as life at its height.

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summer-song | Student

Keats focuses on the position of Autumn, in the cycle of life. Particularly his acceptance of this stage (ie. approaching death) and goes on to describe its beauty. This beauty is enhanced by the use of synaesthesia (appeal to senses, eg touch, sight, smell, etc).  This ode is filled with such quotes, some examples are;

Sweet kernel (see the kernel and taste its sweetness

"...swallows twitter in the sky.."

You could say that autumn, the season of harvest; is metaphorically the time in a man's life to enjoy the fruits of his hard work in Summer. This can be seen with the quote "...swallows twitter in the sky.." as the image of birds symbolises freedom, while the verb twittering is used as a positive connotation; this highlights Keats's acceptance of his approaching death.

Hope this helps!! ^_^

subrataray | Student

The central idea of Keats' poem ,"Ode T Autumn" is ripeness and contentedness .The poet in this poem does not present any romantic longing .The inmates of autumn are satisfied with what they possess.Autumn herself is the character .Keats here uses personification and pathetic-fa lacy .

serene -tranquility ,and complete contentment of the being in the season rings from the beginning to the end .The first stanza is viewed as the Autumn's engagement in the season's work .The second stanza  is Autumn's observing the season ,-"sitting careless on a granary floor" .The 3rd stanza is Autumn's mitigation to her inmates  on their time-being frustration for the departing spring :"Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, Where are they?/ Think not of them , thou hast thy music too" .