To Autumn Questions and Answers
by John Keats

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Which feminine image was used by Keats to describe the autumn in "To Autumn"?

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Keats personifies autumn in all three stanzas of the poem "To Autumn," but he does so in different ways. In the first stanza, he calls autumn the "close bosom-friend" of the sun. This description does not imply a gender, nor does Keats follow it up with a pronoun to indicate gender. Typically, one thinks of a bosom-friend,—or nowadays, we might say "bosom buddy"—as a friend of the same gender, and since the sun is personified as male, we might lean toward a male personification of autumn in the first stanza.

In the second stanza, autumn takes on feminine personification. In lines 2–3, the picture is of a person sitting on a granary floor with the wind winnowing the person's "soft-lifted" hair. While the gender isn't specified, the image of long, streaming hair brings a woman to mind....

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