A Bird came down the walk WRITTEN BY EMILY DICKINSON A Bird came down the walk Background • Dickinson liked to write about small moments in life. • She liked to write about moments between people and animals. Poem Stanza one • From the first line we have the animal world entering the human world. The bird is oblivious to the presence of Dickinson. She watches on as the bird eats a worm. The use of the word ‘fellow’ is suggested to show how impolite this act is but it is only used as an element of humour. Dickinson finds this both fascinating and playful. Stanza two Dickinson continues the observation and continues to run with the gentleman theme and gives the bird an element of grace. By mentioning ‘Dew’ Dickinson shows how closely she is watching the bird as if under a microscope seeing all the minute elements perfectly. Stanza three • There is a change in this stanza as the bird moves from one of grace and poise to one of caution as if it is watchful of possible threats. Even during this time of caution the bird manages to remain beautiful ‘Velvet Head’. Stanza four • In this stanza the word cautious refers to both speaker and bird.
While Dickinson tries to bridge the gap between man and animal the bird flying away shows that this will not happen. The bird’s flight is not shown as one of terror but rather with elegance as the bird retains its beauty. Stanza five • This beauteous flight continues into stanza five. This flight is shown to be graceful and noiseless. By showing it this way Dickinson shows that the bird is graceful and is a natural part of this world disturbing nothing. She emphasises this by comparing it to more of nature’s creations. Points to note • Expressing the beauty of nature • Positive poem • Use of imagery and punctuation key
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