TONE EXERCISE
Consider the tone of the following excerpt from a poem by John Keats:

"To Autumn"
I

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 mossed 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-brimmed their clammy cells.

The poem’s tone is luxuriant and contented. How might it change, however, if the last autumnal harvest had been poor and the speaker knew it would be hard to survive through the winter?

Try to rewrite this stanza with this hypothetical context of scarcity in mind. You might, for example, change "mellow" in the first line to “withering.” Write your responses in your notebook—this will be collated so that you can print or e-mail your work when you are finished.


 
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