In "To Autumn" Keats accepts the passing of this most radiant of seasons with calm and equanimity. However beautiful the luscious bounties of nature on display may be, he knows that they will soon pass, for winter is on its way. Yet at the same time, the imminent prospect of seasonal change does not upset him in the slightest. For he knows, as do we all, that autumn will come round once more when the time is ripe. And then, yet again, the poetic eye will behold a scene of "mists and mellow fruitfulness."
As with many of Keats's poems, the description of nature in "To Autumn" is both resolutely earthly, and yet at the same time filled with a transcendence that hints at another world entirely. It is the interaction between these two different, yet complementary worlds, that provides the poem's thematic basis.
It is the very transcendence of autumn that explains why Keats accepts its imminent transition to the harshness of...
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