Simplicity is Power: An Analysis of the Poem "When Autumn Came" by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Essay by luigico889College, UndergraduateA, December 2005

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Being in a country where there are only two seasons, we can only rely on images of winter, spring, or autumn on postcards, movies or television shows. Through these aids, we see the beauty these seasons bring, maybe to the point that we envy those people experiencing it first hand. Spring and autumn, the seasons between summer and winter, are seasons when most noticeable transformation takes place. The most obvious one is the change of temperature, swinging from extreme coldness to extreme heat or vice versa. Spring is perceived as a season of life - the season when flowers start to bloom, birds start to tweet - while autumn or fall is seen as a season of decay - leaves turns to gold, trees become bare. However, autumn is never seen as a "decaying" season in postcards. In fact, "autumn is beauty" for photographers. The magic of combining the colors gold, red, orange and yellow creates a dazzling effect to the image of autumn.

Autumn is deprived from its "decay" theme and is given life by people through seeing this season as a season of beauty. However, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, a Pakistani writer, brings back the reality, that autumn is indeed a season, not of beauty, but of decay and grief. His choice of words (choosing words with negative connotations) makes his piece a very successful narration of what autumn really is.

"This is the way that autumn came to the trees," is how Faiz starts the poem. This line already gives away the time the narration takes place - the end of autumn or the start of winter - through the shift of tenses, from present to past ("is" to "came"). In fact, the shift in the verb tenses throughout the play guides the readers on how the...