Nature in Context vs. Nature out of Context
Nature has long been the focus of many an author's work, whether it is expressed through poetry, short stories, or any other type of literary creation. Authors have been given an endless supply of pictures and descriptions because of nature's infinite splendor that can be vividly reproduced through words. It is because of this fact that often a reader is faced with two different approaches to the way nature is portrayed. Some authors tend to look at nature from a more extensive perspective as in William Wordsworth's "I wandered Lonely as a Cloud." While some authors tend to focus more on individual aspects of nature and are able to captivate the reader with their intimate portrayals of nature that bring us right into their imaginations as shown in John Keats' poem, "To Autumn."
Keats once wrote that other authors describe what they see, while Keats describes what he imagines. The poem, "To Autumn," is certainly evidence of that because from the beginning it builds up the Autumn landscape and touches upon nature in a more concrete way than Wordsworth ever touched upon. Its full of excellent picture language like, "And fill all fruits with ripeness to the core, /To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells," which shows that he can also write about what he sees and feels in the same sentence. Then in the second stanza he starts to fill an already almost perfect picture with his imagination, by moving the background of the poem from the ripened fruit to the cider press, showing what beautiful things that Autumn can produce. He personifies Autumn, "Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; /Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, /Drows'd with the fume of poppies while they hook, /Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers," thus embodying her into the daily routines of harvesting. But the second line in this poem, "sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find," was particularly interesting to me for I relate to its feelings of optimism and accord. In a way it also seems that the second stanza is heavy with sleepiness, with the exception of the last four lines, as displayed in the above quote with words like the "winnowing wind", "Drows'd", and "sound asleep".
The four last lines of the second stanza, as I mentioned earlier, describes Autumn in pure action, "Steady thy laden head across a brook; /Or by a cider-press, with patient look," by bringing out the true active lifestyle of what nature truly is. Again, through his imagination Keats is able to embark upon what he is really seeing. The purpose of the poem becomes clear in the final stanza, and in the warmth of the second line, "Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they? /Think not of them, Thou hast thy music too," where Keats sheds light on the idea that that everything has a purpose. It would appear that Autumn, the season which robs us of the warmth of summer, where the leaves come tumbling from the trees, the...