On The Grasshopper and The Cricket By John Keats

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“The poetry of earth is never dead” by John Keats (On the Grasshopper and Cricket). The poem of autumn embodies Keats’s experience of his life that is fading away, he places emphasis on this in the exoticness of life of the seasons and their unwanted death.

‘On the Grasshopper and the Cricket’ is a poem about the poetry of the earth. This reveals the hymns found in the natural world, these various sounds came from the insects, beasts or birds.

Nature communicates to us through the voices of nature and emphasises on the beauty of language. This is the language of earth describing the physical world and its natural beauty. Keats uses pastoral images and emotional response to express what he had experienced or imagined would be in the natural world. The poem includes a rare relationship of beauty and nature during its worst and best.

It is a symbol of hope and a motif of tenacity and beauty. Keats tries to show that hope never dies just like the poetry of earth.

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Highlighting that no matter how hard the trials and tribulations of life are, they are easily overcome. There is beauty in the most severe temperatures, as well as there is hope in the gloomiest of times. This is a romantic poem, in which each line echoes with the sounds of nature. This poem is a source of the beautiful sounds of nature: the cricket, the voice of the grasshopper and the song of the birds. It also emphasises on the two extreme weathers, an extreme hot and extreme cold, this is summer and winter, seen as intolerable entities.

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The poetry of earth is affiliated to the poetic desire of Keats himself.

When Keats conveys the immortality of poetry, he reflects it in his deepest and most personal feelings. Summer and winter can be seen as Keats’s critics against his low aristocratic blood and youthful days. Keats states in the poem that the poetry of earth will persist through the most severe conditions. “The poetry of earth” is an example of imagery as the sounds of the voice of the earth. “When the frost has wrought a silence” , emphasises on frost personified as a person who brings about silence in his wake. The central idea is the tenacity of the grasshopper and the cricket to provide joy and entertainment through their songs which are the poetry of Earth.

Keats uses his language skills to execute the Romantic principles in this poem as it is an ode which emphasises on the natural language of the Earth itself. Nature is seen as a well-regarded, esteemed symbol. The first line is an assertion that the poetry of earth is never dead, followed by Keats explaining why it isn’t. Keats refers to birds, the sun, hedges, trees, grassy hills, meadows and frost; all of sources nature. He uses the grasshopper and cricket as the symbols of summer and winter which can be viewed as two parallel entities who bear the natural world. The grasshopper and cricket are also symbols of hope, that linger on with their daily routines when other animals are unable to. They offer everybody with hope that no matter how tricky the situation is, it can be easily overcome. They decline to give up despite the extreme temperatures.

Even when the birds swoon due to the extreme heat or all the animals hibernate to their respected homes or nests,or escape from the cold; the grasshopper and the cricket keep the poetry of earth alive. This emphasises on tenacity and dedication to carry out one’s desire and goal. The theme of beauty is used everywhere in Keats poems. He uses the beauty of language to convey the beauty of nature through numerous imageries of the earth. He finds beauty in the cool shade given by the trees and the hot summer, as well as the beauty of winter in which the frost spins a silence upon the earth. He talks about the warmth in the voice of the cricket that makes up for the shock of the cold. The beauty of nature remains in its poise. This poem is a clear, open door to Keats’s heart. He had faith in the immortality of poetry, beauty and perseverance of life.

“His sleeping Autumn, cheeks flushed and hair awry” personifies the sensual fruitfulness of the early part of the season. “To Autumn” written 1819 is one of the last of Keats odes. It also indicated the end of his poetic career. In the last stanza he speaks about mourning over time and moments that have gone by; full of metaphor, desiring to hear spring’s songs again. There are symbols of gratification and the likelihood of near completion. ‘‘Fruit with ripeness to the core’’ (Line 6, Ode to Autumn). It assures us that the season of fall, has songs to sing, not as sweet and melodious as spring but as calming. Keats found in nature boundless foundations of poetic motivation and he defined the natural world with accuracy and care. Perceiving fundamentals of nature permitted Keats, Shelley, Coleridge and Wordsworth to create lengthy reflections and considerate odes about features of the human experience.

The first stanza of the Ode to Autumn is mainly visual. Keats is aware that sight is our most distinguished sensory experience, he dwells on sensation; the warmth of the day, the ‘clammy’ cells. The alliteration of ‘winnowing wind’ creates a intensely onomatopoeic outcome allowing the reader to see and feel the wind in the second stanza. It moves us back into the visual experience of autumn, but also involves our sense of smell with the ‘fume’ of poppies.

In the third stanza Keats bursts with acoustic imagery as the countryside he depicts is full of sound, beginning with the wailful choirs and mourning gnats, contributes to a sense of autumnal loss that can’t be communicated through visual imagery. He uses sensual language to explain how he is feeling and what he is imagines which gives the odes a sensual feeling of being alive. His choice of words is hugely important for making autumn a sensual ode. Keats wrote about nature as a basis of protection, shelter and beauty from pressures and tensions of life in the city.

He loved nature for the sensuous attractiveness: colours, scents and calming sounds of flowing water. For Keats the world of nature is the closest we can come to an ideal world, a sort of Eden, and the only real environment that can approach the ideal forms created by the human imagination. In the Ode to Autumn he reflects on the cycle of life and the interconnectedness of maturity, death and rebirth as one season gives a way to another. The poem is full of the feeling of nature’s generosity.

The imagery stresses the astonishing variety of nature the profusion of crops, flowers, the clouds, the lambs, the clouds of gnat etc. Nature provides a feast for all the senses; the taste of the fruit and honey; the sounds of animals and insects; the effects of autumnal weather. By connecting nature and the circle of life he created his most famous poems in connection to death. He wrote the poem “Ode to Autumn” in personal grief reflected in the imagery. Despite the gloominess he had love for life represented in the imaginative style and beauty.

Keats captures the beauty of dying using vocabulary that indicates the delicate and romantic ideal that Keats thought death to have been. He combines and contrasts death and life and sees the pleasure in something unlikeable. The author welcomes the end of autumn as he sees something beautiful in the end as well as acknowledges that life and death are in harmony (Line 9).

Updated: Feb 27, 2024
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On The Grasshopper and The Cricket By John Keats. (2024, Feb 27). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/on-the-grasshopper-and-the-cricket-by-john-keats-essay

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