The Human Seasons Summary

Hi Everyone!! This article will share The Human Seasons Summary.

The poem ‘The Human Seasons’ is written by John Keats. It is a sonnet having one stanza with fourteen lines and presents the different stages of life rendered as the four seasons of the year. Below is mentioned its summary. I have also shared Street Cries Stanza Wise Summary in my previous post so, make sure to check this post as well.

The Human Seasons Summary

Couplet – 1

“Four Seasons fill………………………. in the mind of man.”

This poem presents the different stages of life and for Keats, the passage of the year is a ‘measure’ which can be filled with four ‘Seasons’. The four seasons represent the ‘the mind of man’.

Couplet – 2

“He has his lusty Spring………………. with an easy span.”

In this couplet, the poet explains that man has a different outlook for every ‘season’ of life. Here, Spring is described as the first stage of the year which is very short and happy and is compared to the first period of our lives: childhood. The period from birth till childhood is a period when everything is beautiful and “lusty” and for every child, it is almost the beginning of a bright and shiny future. Childhood period is featured by physical stamina, innocence, tremendous appetite for fun and play and a strong urge for the outdoors and we all miss our childhood days.

During the spring season which is the childhood of man’s life, we are healthy and our minds are fresh and everything seems possible. During the childhood period, we are carefree and free of thoughts and we take in all the beauty with an easy span with no compulsion or force. Keats has personified Spring as “lusty” to draw a parallel between the youthful state of mind and Spring.

Couplet – 3

“He has his Summer……………………. youthful thought he loves”.

The second stage of human life which is youth is compared to the summer season which is marked by pleasantness, blooming vegetation and is the season of fertility and immense harvest. Similarly, Youth is marked by the end of Childhood innocence and this stanza shows us how Spring and Summer relate to each other. Youth is a glorious age of our life and is the beginning of self-consciousness and high spirits of relationships. We decide which path to take in life and make plans to settle down.  

This couplet suggests that the times of our life do not simply pass, each season is related to the previous one and the progression is gradual. Our mind is reflective and it connects past and present. As we enter from childhood to adulthood, we are no longer lusty but we can recall the sweet memories of our childhood.

The Human Seasons Summary

Couplet – 4

“To ruminate, and by………………………….heaven: quiet coves.”

Here, Keats mentions ‘ruminate thoughts’ which means that we are able to think about what we have done in our childhood as our mind is reflective. These thoughts can be reflected on with more clarity and chewed just like a ruminant or cow who can chew and re-chew its cud. Through these thoughts, man can be totally happy and gains a sense of enlightenment that is “nearest unto heaven.” While growing nearer to heaven, he enters the “quiet coves” of Autumn.

Couplet – 5 & 6

“His soul has in its Autumn……………………….as a threshold brook.”

The third stage of human life which is Middle age is compared to Autumn season which suggests some emotional closure and resignation into one’s own thoughts. The line soul in its Autumn and ‘furleth close’ its ‘wings’ suggests the ability to harness powers of higher imagination and aligns with the wiser years of later adulthood. As we enter the autumn season, we learn the truth of life and understand the right things. A man at this stage is no longer interested to participate in every activity or thought around him. Keats used the phrase ‘threshold brook’ which implies abstract things and says that the man at this stage is contented to allow things to pass by thereby attaining complete composure of mind.

Couplet – 7

“He has his Winter…………………………………forego his mortal nature.”

The last stage of man’s life which is Old age is compared to the Winter season. It reminds us of the ‘mortal nature’ of man. The phrase ‘pale misfeature’ suggests that at this stage, the man’s physical appearance becomes pale which means physical strength begins to fall, the energy which he used to have is no longer there and he doesn’t look that fresh. At this stage, people become mentally prepared to leave the world that is for death. Death is inevitable and is everyone’s destiny. So, as Winter season closes the year similarly, old age closes our life on earth to eternal rest.

So, this was The Human Seasons Summary.