Can someone explain to me in detail what does the poem "On the Grasshopper & the Cricket" by John Keats mean?

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On the Grasshopper and the Cricket by John Keats The poetry of the earth is never dead; When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will more
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  • TK answered 5 years ago
Keats considers animal and insect sounds as comparable to the poetry men write. The poetry of earth would include bird songs and the grasshopper's rubbings in summertime. (One would also hear the buzzing of bees, the bleating of lambs, the mooing of cows, neighs from a horse, dogs yapping, cats mewing, a running brook, the rush of wind, the rustle of leaves, et cetera.)

But come wintertime many of these sounds become less pronounced, especially the sounds of insects like the grasshopper. The cricket is nocturnal, and the male cricket spends much of the evening calling out to female crickets. It is his mating call, but a poet might consider it a song of love which, in turn, might make a poet longing for summer confuse the sound of the cricket for a grasshopper.

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Thanks the information you provided was very helpful, but I was looking for more of a breakdown because I suck in English literature.
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Other Answers (1)

  • anonymac answered 5 years ago
    I agree with the previous contributor.

    It might also help you to know that this is a sonnet. The rhyme scheme abbaabba cdecde makes it a Petrarchan sonnet.

    Sonnets have 14 lines, and are generally split into two sections, one of eight lines (the octet) followed by one of six (the sestet).

    It is normal to set out the theme of the poem in the first eight lines, and then to contrast the theme in the last six lines.

    Keats follows this convention: the summer call of the grasshopper is contained in the first eight lines, and the winter song of the cricket is in the last six.
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