John Keats once said about Lord Byron "He describes what he sees - I describe what I imagine, mine is the hardest task- To Autumn is evidence of his way of thinking, as the poem is a vivid, lyrical portrayal of the English autumn, as he imagined it. .
The poem celebrates autumn as a season of abundance, a season of reflection, a season of preparation for the winter, and a season worthy of admiration with comparison to what romantic poetry often focuses upon - the spring. The poem is rather literal in its meaning as it does not convey a deeper level of meaning that relates to the reader. The poem fails to "move- the reader in a philosophical, idealistic or moralistic way, and therefore bears no significant message to the reader. .
That is not to say that the poem lacks meaning or metaphorical significance, the poem was written to convey a sense of purpose to life and the worth of death. The poem achieves this by using descriptive and vivid expressions to describe the essence of autumn. .
The poem uses powerful language to achieve effect. It often makes use of imagery, exaggerated language and onomatopoeia to create an atmosphere of the English autumn, for the reader. Language such as this excerpt from the first stanza, .
And fill all fruits with ripeness to the core, .
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells .
This type of language, especially adjectives such as ripeness and plump, provide the reader with an excellent description of the landscape. Onomatopoeic effect and alliteration are used rather well in the following example, .
Thy hair soft lifted by the winnowing wind; .
This use of language creates a rather humble and peaceful atmosphere for the reader. It emphasises the harmony of autumn and this effect, which is used often throughout the poem, could also be a metaphor for the slow down of life during autumn, and the imminent death of the season. .
The poem follows the traditional framework of an ode.