Sunday Poetry – John Keats

There’s only one poem it could be today as autumn has finally arrived in Melbourne. The clocks went back last night & the air is hazy with the smoke from the Department of Sustainability & Environment’s (DSE) controlled burns in eastern Victoria. There’s not a lot of mellow fruitfulness yet but it’s early days. I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that it’s To Autumn by Keats. This is one of my favourite photos of Abby. She loved sleeping in the garden on a bed of autumn leaves.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
 Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
 Conspiring with him how to load and bless
 With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
 To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
 And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
 To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
 With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
 And still more, later flowers for the bees,
 Until they think warm days will never cease,
 For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
 Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
 Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
 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 thy hook
 Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
 And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
 Steady thy laden head across a brook;
 Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
 Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

 Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
 Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
 While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
 And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
 Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
 Among the river sallows, borne aloft
 Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
 And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
 Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
 The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
 And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Poetry – John Keats

  1. Thanks for sharing this poem! Very beautiful… above all the first line of the last stanza. Here in Austria we're yearning for spring to come at last. Winter is awfully persistent this year.


  2. Yes, it's warmer than normal here too. But we had some lovely crisp mornings last week but it's warmed up again. Oh well, maybe if we recite Keats every morning before breakfast, it will help!


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