John Keats: To Autumn
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,
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.
I chose this poem for several reasons. Autumn is my favourite season of the year and — though it may not feel that way right now — it is fast approaching, Keats is among my favourite poets so I believe I should showcase another of his poems, and finally the Poetry Foundation has a helpful poem guide for this particular poem. Even though we are still in the middle of summer, I believe it is helpful to reach out to what you desire. For the most part, that is just the progression of time at this point. When the leaves start falling from the trees, we know that things are changing.
To many people the year 2020 has already felt more than long enough and while the pandemic still holds us in its grasp at this point in time, we can rest assured that this will hopefully change soon. The WHO lists 26 candidate vaccines, currently in clinical evaluation, many more a step behind and some vaccines may be available as early as September 2020, whereas it may be more reasonable to expect having to wait until next year. That way you cannot be disappointed if earlier promises fall through.
The point is that we should focus on the things that are beautiful, that we will beat this pandemic and to realise that every day we’re one step closer to normalcy. When summer turns to autumn, try to remember this and let us try to appreciate it for what it is and what it has to offer.