What is the theme of "To Autumn"?
Ostensibly, Keats's "To Autumn" is a paean of praise to this most inspirational of seasons. But, as is always the case with Keats, there is considerably more to this than meets the eye—a richer, more complex vision lurking beneath the opulent pleasures of nature, bursting to shine forth.
A recurring theme in Keats's odes is the fragility and transience of the natural world. And we encounter it once again here. Keats delights in providing us with lush descriptions of this "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness," while at the same time recognizing that the season, like each one of us, must one day pass, no matter how beautiful it is. But this shouldn't cause worry; new life will emerge from the old in a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth:
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble softThe red-breast whistles from a garden-croftAnd gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
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