Keats’s Ode to Autumn is an aptly seasonal classic by England’s best-loved Romantic poet. Keats’s poem conjures up the English countryside at its most typical. Looking at Constable’s The Hay Wain – which portrays the English countryside as Keats knew it – makes a good pre-reading activity. Keats composed “a picture in words”. His themes – ripeness, decay, the cycle of life and death – are also Constable’s. Both are Romantics. For Keats, poetry had to be as natural as “leaves to a tree”. Classicism and artificiality were over.
Reading Ode to Autumn
CECR : B2+, C1