pondelok, novembra 9

Keats's winter

Dnes som si uvedomila, že mám na fb stránke už 52 likeov (nič moc ale oveľa viac než som čakala a za každý jeden som vďačná) a potom som si uvedomila ako blog v poslednom čase (mesiacoch) zanedbávam. Nie bezdôvodne ale aj tak. Moja prokrastinácia dosiahala mamutích rozmerov hlavne s nárastom školskej aktivity a už len myšlienka na to čo mám robiť ma akosi núti otvoriť VLC player a pozerať svoj obľúbený sci-fi seriál. Celé hodiny.

Ale nebola som pisateľsky neaktívna, bolo tu trochu písania svojej knihy (som skoro hotová!!) a potom ... potom tu je moja prvá ... esej. Ak sa tak dá nazvať.
Ako sa ukázalo, odbor literatúra je o tom ako z obdivnej trojstrofovej básničky o soche alebo ročnom období spraviť niekoľko stranový rozbor na tému smrť/náboženstvo s prímesou autorovho života.

A ukázalo sa, že to dokážem.

Takže keďže sa aj moja domáca úloha dá považovať za umeleckú tvorbu, dovolím si pridať ju aj sem, pre zaujímavosť a potešenie. Och a je po anglicky ...

Keats's winter

Poem To autumn is a celebration of life but is strongly influenced by author's nearing death, metaphorical winter that is never straightforwardly mentioned.

The first thing we should take into consideration is genre. The poem is an ode and that's how we should see it. As a rejoicing of life, something happy. The poem starts with truly sensuous description of autumn. There is a vivid description of the most important part of this season, harvest: „To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees / And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;“ (5-6), as vision is the most crucial sense. Next we have a sweet taste of kernel and bees representing the sound. The author in fact goes as far as to personify the autumn, making her a woman bearing fruits of man's hard work.

The second stanza continues in the theme but is also diametrically different. Autumn is more solid and almost human: “Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find/Thee sitting careless on a granary floor” (13-14). Autumn is suddenly a real person with hair caressed by the wind, a head heavy with sleep and is patiently watching harvest.

But it is the third and last stanza that reveals the second motive, second meaning to the whole poem that gives new perspective and shows what was hidden before. Last stanza is almost sad and we progressed from trees heavy with plumb apples, we have animals. But they are not happy.

And, after reading the whole poem, one thing is quite apparent - there is no mention of winter. We have summer, as it precedes autumn and is more or less source of the harvest that comes later. We also have spring: “Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they? / Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—“ (23-24). But he quickly dismiss it as unimportant. Poem goes slowly but surely from the beginning of the autumn, to its end. It changes, mature, progress, same as the nature itself. But there is a missing link. And we have to ask: where is winter?

Poem has clearly two intertwined parts and two meanings. The first one is ode to autumn, a celebration of life cycle. But the second part belong to the author himself. We know that the poem was written after a particularly stimulating walk. Just nature and Keats. The part with nature, autumn in this case, is obvious.

Keats's part is more subtle but it stretches through the whole poem. To understand it we must attentively search in his life, for poets life is usually reflected in his poems and the stronger his experiences are, the more of himself he gives there. Keats in time of writing this was young but already dying of leukaemia. “Drows'd with the fume of poppies,” (17) is a line that for the first time clearly refers to him and his illness in particular, as he used poppy fumes to relieve himself of pain. It wouldn´t fit there otherwise. Poppy fumes are made and used by humans, not by the nature that the poem is about. So we must ask what he was thinking about on the walk. Consider his predicament. We must realize in which stage of his life he wrote it and finally, the answer emerges.

Keats likes autumn, adores it in fact, because autumn is a stage when all of our efforts come to fruition. He dismiss spring, his childhood as inconsequential. Probably because nothing of importance happened then. Summer he sees as the source of his work: “For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells” (11). But it is autumn that has the real impact, that literary brings fruit.

The author identify himself with autumn and in a way also with the nature. The time of the illness was the autumn of his life which was reaching the final stage, like the natural is in autumn reaching its peak. On one hand, we have the active, harvest part, symbolizing his work and on the other hand, there is the slow process of falling asleep, nature preparing for winter and Keats mentally preparing for death which is in the poem one and the same. At the end of second stanza, autumn and in it Keats, passively watches the time fly by: “Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.” (22), symbolizing the point when there is nothing to be done. Or probably in Keats case, he was so overcome with pain he could only sit and watch.

Progress of time in the ode can be also generalized. Humans and nature have different stages of life and everything has an end that is but a forerunner of reborn. And he knew this.

There is also a not so surprising note of struggle, expressed in contradictory lines. For example, there is a rich harvest but it was won, not simply given. There was work, planning involved: “Conspiring with him how to load and bless” (3). It is not an easy task for Keats to write or for farmers to reap: “Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,” (16). He has to intentionally keep himself awake, aware to do what needs to be done.

Through it all, the winter is nowhere to be found and yet we can clearly feel her approach. We simply know that winter is coming. The sun is maturing. Gnats mourn. The day is dying. Lambs that grown for months are soon to be killed: “And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;” (30). Winter is closing in and Keats is both accepting and resenting of the fact. I don't think he fears the death, he freely uses words “dying” and “dies”, he does not avoid it. And he accepts it as part of the cycle but he basically skims over it. Skips it. He doesn't want to think about winter that would bring his death. He rather focus on nature continuing as always and finding solace in it: “And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.” (33), as swallows are a symbol of repeating movement, of leaving and furthermore of a sure return. They twitter for winter is not an end for them. It's merely a change. Ode celebrates life and that is what Keats is trying to do. He tries to enjoy his life while it lasts.

Keats's poem is not about death that follows, but it may be his nearing death that makes poem so cheerful, so full of life. We rarely appreciate what we have, often we have to lose something in order to realize how lucky we were to have it in the first place. Keats knew he was going to die and it was the idea of death that let him see clearly, made him thankful, let him realize what an amazing world surrounds him. Made him make use of every single second. Keats's winter, the only season not mentioned, is reason this ode exist and is written in this way.

To autumn captures Keats's thoughts on life and death that is represented by missing winter in what he considered the fall of his life.

Tis' all, my fellows. Thus I shall bid you a good evening.


v hlave jednej začínajúcej ale nie úplne (dúfam) amatérskej spisovateľky. Toto bol môj blog o varení a čítaní - teraz sa tu chcem venovať svojej ďalšej vášni a tou je písanie.

Príspevky sú taký môj neformálny denník, kde sa môžem vyventilovať, podeliť o to čo robím (a malo by ma to aj dokopať každý deň k písaniu sa aspoň vyjadriť alebo ešte lepšie písať).

Zavediem vás do svojho myšlienkového procesu ohľadne stavania knihy, scén, postáv... pochválim sa čo som za deň stihla, prípadne pridám aj nejaký tip, ktorý niekomu bude pripadať očividný a niekomu možno aj nie.

Asi nemusím písať, že toto sú moje názory a skúsenosti a nemám na nič patent a bla, bla, bla.

Dúfam, že si tu každý spisovateľ nájde aspoň kúsok niečoho - či už je to spoločné trápenie, zaujímavá myšlienka, otázka alebo možno dokonca moje skromné rady.

Ďakujem za návštevu.