“Ode to Autumn” by John Keats

This is the analysis we did on the poem “Ode to Autumn” by John Keats during our Literature class. I worked together with Jose Tasca.

Compare the seasons Autumn and Spring. What do they symbolize?

The spring season is usually related to rebirth. In this season all plants and animals come out of their winter sleep and  back into the bright sunlight. For some it’s the perfect seasons, because you still have that enjoyable winter chill, but also begin to feel the sun warm on your body and can see flowers growing here and there.

Autumn is the opposite of this season, related to death. Here the leaves change colours, they can become red brown and orange. They fall off the trees where children play with them. Whereas spring is the sign that Winter has already ended, autumn arrives to say he summer is finally over.

Colorful plants and green leaves versus brilliant reds and browns and falling leaves ‘“an awakening from the cold, and the end of the hot summer heat. The eager anticipation of sunny days and breezy nights, and the stark reality of a vacation ended on a high note. These are usually the things that come to mind when you try to differentiate between the two seasons of spring and autumn.

Compare the poem “Ode to Autumn” to the poem “Ode on Melancholy”

Both Ode to Autumn and Ode to Melancholy are poems written by the British Romantic poet John Keats, where he explores deep feelings towards seasons and sensations, showing nature to be somewhat perfect at peak times. In ‘Ode on Melancholy’, beauty must die; joy bids adieu; pleasure turns to poison; “aching pleasure” is a Keatsian oxymoron showing melancholy will be experienced at times. Reference to the human world is significant because it helps emphasise the importance of the natural world.

Melancholy is personified many times, for example in in stanza three, using a  goddess to show the opposition of joy and sorrow. Beauty, Joy and Pleasure show Keats’ emotions and feelings. These are the positive aspects of life. He is explaining at times everyone will feel like this, and that you can’t be sad and emotional all the time but you also can’t be “Beautiful” and “Joyous” no matter how hard you try as this does not follow nature’s course.

‘Ode to Melancholy’ describes flowers, uses colour imagery and at points enforces its beauty, while in ‘Ode to Autumn’ emphasizes the bees and flowers and all ripeness this season brings nature, which brings out positive connotations. The season of autumn seems almost relaxed and at one with the poet. Within ‘Ode on Melancholy’ there are a lot of references to death as well as dark imagery at the start of the ode as melancholy is at its peak here. “Wakeful anguish of the soul” begins a turning point in life, showing joy can arise at any moment, not everything has to remain melancholic.

‘Ode to Autumn’ also refers to the idea of death, the death of autumn. “Soft dying day” shows the changes in seasons as winter arises. Showing nature does not last forever, perfection is sometimes lost. The idea of showing nature has to take its course in order for you to live. When the beautiful season of autumn comes to an end his mood turns to melancholy which associates well with ideas portrayed in ‘Ode on Melancholy. ‘ ‘Ode to Autumn’ concentrates supercicialy on one season only, but metaphorically also deals with the cycle of life, going throughout youth, the working age, and finally the third Age, as well as in “Ode on Melancholy which also focuses on nature’s cycle as a whole.



We chose this song, because although it does not relate to all the themes in the poem, we find that as the poem it talks about Mortality, Time, Man and the Natural World.

Write a short paragraph of what Autumn means to you. What do you like doing in Autumn? Do you remember a special day in Autumn?

For us Autumn symbolizes the end of Summer, the end of fun and vacations. Less time to spend on friends and the things we most enjoy  doing. It means going back to school, the day-to-day routine. The boring at of the year. However it also represents a beautiful time of the year, full of unique colours and charming sights. We like to wander around the city and explore its brand new seasons corners. With new colours and tastes in the differents neighbourhoods.

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