Nature with all it’s glorious sights and sounds is as beautiful as poetry. Discuss how Keats conveys this idea through his poem.
John Keats wrote the poem, ‘On The Grasshopper and The Cricket’. This poem was written as a means to describe the eternal beauty of nature. He is showing the cyclical process of nature-winter and summer. He is also trying to emphasize on the inevitable end of nature and how his role as a poet is to immortalize this beauty, to make sure it lives on in literature.
“The poetry of earth is never dead”- meaning true beauty never dies. The metaphor is used to show that the sights and sounds of nature are as sublime as poetry. Already, Keats is conveying his idea of the glory of nature and poetry. “when all the birds are faint with the hot sun,” this image is used to show summer. “And hide in the cooling trees, a voice will run; From hedge to hedge about new- mown mead”, here Keats introduces the grasshopper, as a creature of summer, and the disembodied sound of it moving from hedge to hedge. “In summer luxury,- he has never done”, as all things in summer, the grasshopper has an insatiable appetite for fun and merrymaking, and when he is tired, he goes and rests in the shade. Again, showing the two sides of nature-the heat, which is full of energy and the shade, a place of relaxation.
The first eight lines is the octave. This is where Keats states the idea of the immortalization of nature through poetry. These lines are all about the season of summer. The grasshopper is used as a symbol of summer. The disembodied sound he makes encompasses the whole mood of the summer heat.
... Once again Shakespeare shows humankind faults, and nature's perfection. Shakespeare uses the summer season as a natural element in order to ... from fair sometimes declines, by chance or nature's changing course untrimmed; But the eternal summer shall not fade, nor lose possession ... . 7-10) In the beginning nature is superior than humans because unlike human being summer keeps coming back. Once his loved ...
“The poetry of Earth is ceasing never:” this is an echo of the the first line, written, to bring us back to the reality of how all beautiful things are doomed for destruction, but the poet, Keats, is saving the beauty from such destruction by writing this poem using sensory words and themes and melody. “On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills” The winter brings silence and cold, but people go home to the warmth. The “shrills” is an address to the cricket. “The cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,” The only sound that can be heard, in winter, is the high-pitched noise of the cricket. “And seems to one in drowsiness half lost, The grasshopper’s song among some grassy hills.” Keats is trying to say that if someone is half-asleep, when they hear the cricket’s song, they mistake it for the grasshopper’s, thus reminding them of summer. Keats uses the word ‘seems’ to bring memory and imagination into play. This transports the listener from the dead of winter to the heat of summer. Hence, the cricket’s song blends with the grasshopper’s song, finally blending in the two seasons, summer and winter, and creating a tune where there is silence. Even the creature of winter seeks warmth. This shows the companionship of the seasons. Again, emphasizing the cyclical process of nature, through a few words.
The last six lines is the sestet. This is where Keats develops on his idea of the beauty and glory of nature and how poetry is the key to remembering it. In these lines, he brings in the feeling of winter. The cricket is used to symbolize winter. The shrill from the stove comprises the feeling of comfort and warmth in cold. Keats is slowly merging both the seasons. The cheerful summer and somber winter.
Keats uses simple but descriptive language, which emphasizes the cycle of
nature. He uses metaphors to build up the sense of finality. There is repetition. The literary allusion to one of Aesops Fables- ‘The Ant and the Cricket’. This poem is a petrachon sonnet, meaning it follows the abba cdecde rhyme scheme. The main imagery is the liveliness and the relaxation the seasons bring. Each season is a flip side of the other. Keats has succeeded in conveying his idea through this poem. To accomplish this, he had to understand the seasons, whether the happy one or the somber one, each season being a counterpart to the other.
... The year revolves around many seasons, namely- summer, rainy, autumn, winter and spring. Each season brings about a certain change in our lives and leaves ... once again under the care of Mother Nature. Spring time is also called exam season by many of the students as this ... . My! What did we do which made Mother Nature punish us with this season? I believe it must have been something dreadful ...
To me, the theme of the poem brought out the realization that without poetry and literature, we would not know things that have passed before
our time. When something dies, the only remembrance we have is in memory. But nature, something so vast and beautiful cannot just be remembered in memory, it has to be expressed magnificently, only then can the true essence of nature be captured. So, the glory of nature can still exist through poetry even if it has been destroyed. We must never forget how glorious nature is nor how sublime poetry is, as together they create something beautiful.