Keats’s Ode to Autumn

800px-John_Keats_by_William_Hilton

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  • Why is autumn called “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…maturing sun”?

Ans: The plants and fruits which were born in spring attain maturity in autumn. The rays of the sun help the fruit ripen. The poet imagines that autumn and the sun act together to supply the vines with grapes.

  • “Until ten…clammy cells.” Explain the situation as imagined by the poet.

Ans: In autumn when the late flowers are still in bloom, the bees go on collecting honey in spite of the fact that during summer they had collected enough honey. They mistake autumn for summer and think that the summer will never while their cells are overflowed with honey.

  • How does the poet personify autumn in the poem?

Or, Any question on the second stanza.

Or, Imaginative power of the poet.

Ans: Keats here presented autumn in its four striking aspects of the seasonal activities. First, autumn is seen as the harvester, seated careless on the granary floor with the gentle breeze playing with her hair. Secondly, autumn is personified as a tired reaper who falls asleep drugged by the fragrance of poppy. Thirdly, autumn is imagined as a gleaner on her way home across a brook with load of corns on her head. Fourthly, autumn is seen as a cider-presser who, seated beside a vat, watches the apple-juice oozing out.

  • Why does the poet say “Where are the songs of Spring?”

Or, What makes the poet put this question?

Ans: In the final stanza of the poem the poet reaches the understanding that with the attainment of maturity of everything in nature, the resourcefulness in nature is on the verge of giving way to bareness and scarcity of the winter. So nature is visibly taking the shape towards the direction. This makes the poet mourn while comparing the vitality and vibrancy of spring with those of autumn.

  • Explain the expression “…barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day/And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue…”

Ans: The declining autumnal sun casts its glow on the clouds, which take a rosy flavour. When this glow of the setting sun is cast on the bare fields with stumps, everything looks rosy.

  • Why does the poet say “…thou hast thy music too…”? What constitutes the music of autumn?

Ans: In the final stanza of the poem the poet reaches the understanding that with the attainment of maturity of everything in nature, the resourcefulness in nature is on the verge of giving way to bareness and scarcity of the winter. But he is also conscious of the fact that autumn has its own beauty and music. The numerous sounds produced by the gnats, swallows, lambs, crickets and Robin Red Breast collectively produce the autumnal symphony.

  • What characterises the music of autumn? Or, Why does the autumnal music bear a melancholic overtone?

Ans: In the final stanza of the poem the poet reaches the understanding that with the attainment of maturity of everything in nature, the resourcefulness in nature is on the verge of giving way to bareness and scarcity of the winter. The insects and animals instinctively understand this and that is why the sounds made by them are marked by apprehension and sadness.

2 Comments

  1. Comprehensive/lucid reading.

  2. Udaseen

    Much helpful

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