Theartistic work of poetry encompasses the use of several literarydevices that are interwoven in the form, genre and theme of aparticular piece of poetic work. Poetics is one area where authorsuse multiple stylistic elements in conveying the message, to elicitemotions, create wild imagination to the audiences and enhancemultiple interpretations of their artistic work. Underlying, the richwork of any poetic work is the use of poetic formats, tone, language,themes, rhythms, allusion, imagery and figurative speech. Ideally, agood poetic work has a well-integrated use of literal elements toenhance the incantatory effect so desired by the author. In thisshort poem analysis essay, focus is directed on analyzing the theme,imagery and use of symbolic element in the poem ‘To autumn’ byJohn Keats.
Thespeaker has overly dwelled on the theme of seasons as epitomizedduring summer, spring and autumn. This is clear in the poem wherethe speaker uses imagery to depict the changes and effects suchseasons have on the environment. For instance in stanza one, thespeaker says, ‘…Andstill more, later flowers for the bees… Until they think warm dayswill never cease…’in this context, the speaker is referring to the delights of summerto the environment. While describing the changing conditions duringspring, the speaker writes, ‘ina wailful choir the small gnats mourn… And full-grown lambs loudbleat from hilly bourn….’The mourning of gnats and the bleating of lambs are symbolically usedto illustrate the dissatisfaction these animals have on the changingconditions of the seasons.
Theauthor has used imagery extensively throughout the poem ostensibly togive the reader a clear picture of what the speaker is referring to.In a way, the author has integrated personification to bring out theimagery effect in the poem. For instance, the speaker says in thefirst stanza, ‘Conspiringwith him how to load and bless,’in this case, the speaker uses the personification imagery ‘him’to refer to the sun. Similarly, imagery is used to describe thegeneral environment during autumn, in the second stanza the authorsays, ‘Drowsedwith the fume of poppies while thy hook,’ inthis way the speaker gives a vivid picture of the natural environmentduring autumn. Imagery is also humorously used in the third stanza,fifth line in which the speaker says, ‘Thenin a wailful choir the small gnats mourn,’describing the insects feeling during spring. Overall, imagery hasbeen used to give the audience an imaginative clear picture of thenature during spring and autumn.
Inthe poem, symbolism has been employed by the speaker to associatecertain aspects or things with changing conditions in the seasons.Throughout the poem, the author applies symbolism to attach moremeaning to his message and indicates his feelings towards thoseseasons. For instance, in the third stanza, the author depicts gnatsas ‘mourning’ while lambs as bleating and crickets sing softlydue to changing season. Ostensibly, the wailing of the gnats anddisheartening ‘music’ from the other animals is symbolic toprotesting against the change in weather and the general climaticcondition. For instance, ‘Whilebarred clouds bloom the soft-dying day… and touch the stubbleplains with rosy hue Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn.’Similarly, the author could have used the sounds and behaviors ofthese animals to signify their expectations of passing season tousher in a good season, this is indicated when the speaker says, ‘Andgathering swallows twitter in the skies.’
Inthe analysis of the poem ‘To autumn’ by John, it is evident thatthe author has used various literary and stylistic devices to makethe poem message more captivating, meaningful and setting the plotfor the poem them. In particular, imagery and symbolism are wellintegrated with the prosaic poem to enhance an incantatory effect.The use of imagery enhances the reader to have a more vivid pictureof the season the speaker is referring to. One can visualize howdifferent season affects the nature of the environment. In addition,the author has used symbolism to enhance the reader relate the poemmessage to visual objects used to describe the nature of changingenvironment. In this case, the sounds and behaviors of animals andinsects are used symbolicallyto indicate the aspect of changing environments and seasons.