A Bird Came down the Walk by Emily Dickinson

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“A Bird came down the Walk,” was written in c. 1862 by Emily Dickinson, who was born in 1830 and died in 1886. This easy to understand and timeless poem provides readers with an understanding of the author’s appreciation for nature. Although the poem continues to be read over one hundred years after it was written, there is little sense of the time period within which it was composed. The title and first line, “A Bird came down the Walk,” describes a common familiar observation, but even more so, it demonstrates how its author’s creative ability and artistic use of words are able to transform this everyday event into a picture that results in an awareness of how the beauty in nature can be found in simple observations. In a step like narrative, the poet illustrates the direct relationship between nature and humans. The verse consists of five stanzas that can be broken up into two sections. In the first section, the bird is eating a worm, takes notice of a human in close proximity and essentially becomes frightened. These three stanzas can easily be swapped around because they, for all intents and purposes, describe three events that are able to occur in any order. Dickinson uses these first three stanzas to establish the tone; the tone is established from the poet’s literal description and her interpretive expression of the bird’s actions. The second section describes the narrator feeding the bird some crumbs, the bird’s response and its departure, which Dickinson uses to elaborately illustrate the bird’s immediate escape. The last two stanzas demonstrate the effect of human interaction on nature and more specifically, this little bird, so these stanzas must remain in the specific order they are presented. Whereas most ... ... middle of paper ... ...er readers. Dickinson’s use of literary devices and her creativity enables her to imaginatively describe the beauty and grace from a simple and familiar observation. It is through her use of tone, imagery, and sound that she exploits a keen sense of respect for at the very least the little bird, if not also nature itself. Dickinson recreates and expresses the magnificence and smoothness of the bird soaring across the sky. She uses tone to create the mood to emphasize the theme. She uses sound and imagery to not only tell the reader about the awesome flight of the bird, but to help the reader experience and connect to the little bird and nature in hope that they too will learn to respect nature. Works Cited Dickinson, Emily. “A Bird came down the Walk-.” C. 1862. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. Print.
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