“To Autumn” by John Keats, Read by DJB

You might be interested in seeing this poem by Keats in his original handwriting. I warn you; If you are a nerd like I am you might find yourself overcome with emotion and watery eyes. Click here and then click on the link at the bottom of the page for a photo of the original poem.

                           John Keats (1795-1821)
                                 TO AUTUMN.

                                            1.

    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.

                                            2.

    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, 
        Drows’d 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 cyder-press, with patient look, 
            Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

                                            3.

    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 red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; 
           And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
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2 Replies to ““To Autumn” by John Keats, Read by DJB”

  1. I have just come across your blog on wordpress, having my own across the way at http://www.nowrigglingoutofwriting.wordpress.com. I searched for other blogs relating to John Keats (about whom I occasionally post on my blog, being a long time advocate of his wonderful way with words..). Just wanted to say I love your reading. I am British and used to hearing it read it plummy actorish tones. Yours seemd new and very real. Thanks!

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  2. Thank you so much! What a delightful compliment. New and real are kind of what I am going for. I want to honor tradition (I don’t like when people make rhymed meter sound like prose; I think it misses the music as well as the point), but I also strongly believe that poetry, even the good ole classics like this can be meaningful and even moving to a modern ear.

    I did worry over my pronunciation of “granary.” I think I said it more like “grainary.” Thanks for commenting. I took a little visit to your blog today. If the gin bottle on your shelf is a little low, it wasn’t me.

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