James Thomson: The Seasons

(2612 words)
  • Alan McKenzie (Purdue University)

James Thomson's The Seasons (1730) is one of the earliest, longest, and finest nature poems in the English language. Written in blank verse and, in its final form, some 5500 lines long, the poem celebrates and explores the variety of Nature, the increasing intelligence and warming sensibility of humans, and the power of God. Thomson treats each season in succession, describing the effects of changes in the solar system, weather, and landscape on the plants, crops, and inhabitants, human and otherwise, of various regions. He lingers over the rolling terrain of the Scottish border country where he grew up, and he paints the fertile, rural, agricultural landscape of England with an appreciative brush. Occasionally, to make a …

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McKenzie, Alan. "The Seasons". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 January 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7676, accessed 07 July 2015.]