On the Grasshopper and the Cricket
By John Keats
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The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's-he takes the lead
In summer luxury,-he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
Background
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English romantic poet in the early 1800’s
Keats wanted the world to see the flaw of the
scientific rationalisation of nature
Struck by tuberculosis like his mother and died at
an early age of 25
During his time his poems were not appreciated by
the critics
The poem is a clear allusion to the tale of the ant
and the grasshopper
Stanza 1
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The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown
mead;
Stanza 1 establishes the setting
for the poem
Stanza 2
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That is the Grasshopper's-he takes the lead
In summer luxury,-he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
Part 2 introduces the grasshopper
and establishes an easy going mood
Stanza 3
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The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there
shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
Nature is shown in its full force
Morale
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Through the grasshopper and the cricket John
Keats shows the repercussions of ones actions
It also teaches that nature is a force which
one must take into account
Throughout the poem nature can be seen to
be compared to God and its actions should
not be rationalised
Themes
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The eternity of nature
The poetry and beauty of nature
Religion and belief into a higher power
Reward and punishment
The flow of life
Essay Questions
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Comment on the way the author empowers
nature
Explain how the author appeals to the senses
to convey his beliefs
Explain how the author contrasts the lives of
the cricket and grasshopper
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