Autumn Song by Sarojini Naidu is a metaphorical poem in which the poet compares the season of autumn with the condition of her heart after losing a dream; probably someone she loved. Finally, she decides to move on.
The poem consists of two stanzas having five lines each. The rhyme scheme is XABBA XABBA. The poet uses a number of literary devices like Simile, Personification, Alliteration in the poem.
Autumn Song Summary
The poet begins the poem by comparing the joy of sorrowful autumn with sunset light on the cloud which is golden. Autumn is the season in which trees lose their greenery. However, the loss of green leaves leads to golden colour which again makes the trees beautiful.
The joy of autumn is similar to sun’s joy which appears after losing its sunshine during the time of sunset. Rather than its bright light, it appears to be golden and beautiful. These two lines suggest that the poet is trying to find joy in the loss of something.
In the third line, the poet says that during autumn, there is a golden storm of glittering sheaves. Glittering sheaves mean shining heaps/bundles of golden leaves which are fair and frail and fluttering i.e. they are pure golden, weak and flying here and there, thus producing a golden storm.
This wild wind blows in a cloud and it is what makes the clouds take away the joy of sunlight and make the leaves break from trees and break into small fragments that make the atmosphere golden.
The stanza is quite symbolic and has profound and deep meaning. The autumn here is the autumn of poet’s heart which has lost a dear one. There are clouds of sorrow on her heart. The fragments of weak leaves symbolise the pain of loss which blows like the wild wind on the heart.
However, in autumn, its leaves become weak and tear away leaving the naked tree whose voice cannot be heard in the storm. Like the alone and sorrowful tree, the heart of the poet is also weary and sad and alone because like the leaves of the tree, it has lost its dreams or a beloved.
In the final line, there is a complete shift from remorse and mourning to a sense of moving on or change. As the trees after losing their joy (leaves) move on and hope for next spring, the poet says that she should also move on because there is no sense in mourning for something which is no more.
Autumn Song Literary Devices
- Simile: “Like a joy on the heart”, “its dreams like the fluttering leaves”
- Personification: “heart of a sorrow”, “voice of the wind”, “heart is weary and sad and alone”.
- Alliteration: “Of fair and frail and fluttering”, “wild wind”, “why should I stay”, “golden storm of glittering”.