On the Grasshopper and the Cricket Summary by John Keats

Introduction

On the Grasshopper and the Cricket is a beautiful sonnet written by Romantic Poet John Keats. As a Romantic Poem, On the Grasshopper and the Cricket is written in the praise of nature which is always happy thought it is hot summer or chilly winter.

The poet uses two important creatures in the poet which are normally considered as same yet they are different. They are the grasshopper and the cricket. They may look same but are different. One of the them sings in the summer (grasshopper) while the other sings in the winter.

The poem has been divided into two parts. The first part deals with the description of grasshopper and its activity during summer season. part is about cricket and its activity during the winter.

Poem

Part 1 (Lines 1-8)

The Poetry of earth is never dead...
............
......He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed

The poet says that the poetry (song) of earth (nature) is never dead. This line gives an insight into how Romantics saw earth and nature. For them, the earth sings. However, its singing and joy are not limited to spring season. According to the poet, it always keeps singing irrespective of seasons.

In the second line, the poet explains how. According to him, when it is hot sun (summer), and all the birds are faint (i.e. half dead of because heat and thirst) and hidden in trees to keep themselves cool, there is a voice (singing) which runs from hedge (boundary made up of small bushes and shrubs) to hedge about the new-mown (newly cut) mead (meadows).

In other words, when it is very hot of summer, no bird is seen singing as they are half dead and hidden in trees to save themselves from the sun, one can hear a voice which seems to be moving from one shrub to the other and also in the meadows in which grass has been recently cut down.

This little creature that produces that voice is Grasshopper. He takes the lead (i.e. he continues to keep the nature alive) in the luxury (here it probably means joy) of summer. He has never done with his delights (i.e. he is never tired of singing thought it may be burning outside) because when he gets tired with fun (singing and jumping), he goes under some pleasant weed (i.e. grass) to take rest.

Part 2 (Lines 9-14)

The poetry of earth is ceasing never:........
..............
........The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.

In the 9th line, the poet says that the poetry of earth is never ceasing (i.e. never comes to an end) because even on a lone (lonely) winter evening (during winter’s evening no one is outside), when the frost (small fragments of snow) has wrought (made or brought) a silence, one can hear shrills (voice) of the cricket’s song from the stove (which is used for cooking).

The cricket, in order to keep itself warm peeps into the kitchen and keeps the nature’s merry-making nature by keeping singing as the warmth keeps increasing and he feels comfortable.

And while it is singing, the person who is half-lost in drowsiness (i.e. slept) thinks that it is the grasshopper singing in some grassy hills. In other words, a romantic person feels as if he is in spring because of the cricket’s song.

In this way, the nature keeps itself alive, merry-making and singing.

Click here to read all the important questions and answers to this poem.