The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket

by Yasunari Kawabata

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Can you summarize John Keats' "On the Grasshopper and Cricket?"

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This poem asserts the way in which "the poetry of earth" never ceases nor dies, as its song is carried on throughout the year by nature in its various guises. The title refers to the way in which the grasshopper and cricket are able to carry on this poetry even in the harshest or most inhospitable of weathers, when all other forms of nature are silent. The grasshopper is able to "take the lead / In summer luxury" in the heat of the summer when "birds are faint with teh hot sun." Likewise, in the depths of winter, when "the frost / Has wrought a silence" the cricket is able to sing out its poetry of earth from the stove. Both the cricket and the grasshopper therefore seem to operate as a pair, one taking over from the other, to ensure, as is repeated twice in this Romantic poem, that nature, or, "the poetry of earth" is never dead and there is always some example of the beauty of nature that characterises this form of poetry.

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