Friday 23 May 2014

Ode to Autumn - John Keats

We have been enjoying the most glorious of autumns in Sydney this year. 

The warm, sunny days, stunning sunsets and balmy nights have everyone extolling the virtues of autumn.

A trip to Mudgee last weekend reminded me of my favourite autumnal phrase from John Keats 

"season of mists and mellow fruitfulness..." 

I was first introduced to this poem at a teaching conference many years ago.

It was autumn and the lecturers obvious passion for this poem shone through every word & phrase 
until I had goosebumps on my arms and the hairs on the back of my neck were shivering in pleasure.

I have never forgotten that day, or this poem or how it made me feel.

Ode To Autumn - John Keats

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-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed 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'erbrimmed 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-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed 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 cider-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 redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

This post is part of Alphabe-Thursday


  1. Gorgeous - I think this is my favourite season: such a relief after the heat of summer.

  2. Greetings from Spain to Oz!

    A favorite poem of mine too - matched with superb images.

    Many thanks for visiting and yes, it was an alium!

  3. Lovely post, Brona! Autumn has to be the most beautiful season.

  4. Anonymous24/5/14

    "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness..." Those words are so evocative. This is such a lovely poem. Thank you for reminding me of it. We don't talk about poetry enough.

    1. That's exactly what I thought! So I'm glad you enjoyed this post too :-)

  5. Anonymous24/5/14

    Beautiful colors. It is spring in the US. Thank you reminding all of us of the beauty of autumn. It is my favorite season :)

  6. Anonymous24/5/14

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful post! What a lovely time.

  7. lovely photos and i love those words of Keats!

  8. A wonderful poem and story to go with it! I just posted a poem of John Milton's about May (and spring) on my blog. It was funny to see an autumn poem until I realized that we are in different hemispheres! I definitely need to read more of Keats!

  9. We also are having a record spell of gorgeous autumn weather in Melbourne, best May since 1972. Your lovely photos are a reminder that we are being especially lucky this year, it is a great time of year.
    Wren x

  10. Autumn is by far my favourite time of year. I love the long, cool and sunny days, and the changing foliage. Over here I am deep in planting, though, as spring moves closer to summer and the promise of long days and balmy nights. The poem was beautiful - a first reading for me.

  11. Such a very beautiful poem and the photos are stunning.

  12. Beautiful post. Great interpretation of Letter A.
    Have a Happy Memorial Day and a great week.

  13. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!" what a fabulous phrase!
    Your photos are lovely!

  14. Keats is such an amazing writer!

    And this is such an amazing link for the letter "A"!

    Love your pictures!

    Thank you for sharing them.



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