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Emily Dickinson, Poem 328

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Analysis of Dickinson’s Poem #328

Few poets capture the beauty and essence of nature and sports. As a Robin gracefully flies through the sky, so, too, does Emily Dickinson write her verse. In poem 328, “A Bird came down the walk--,” Emily Dickinson magically connects the innocence of a Robin and the grace of a rower. Crew, although wholly elegant itself, becomes but a fraction of the beauty Dickinson writes of the Robin in flight.
The initial encounter with the Robin in the first stanza not only describes the bird with words but also with the meter. The iambic triameter is a very choppy, short phrased meter which accents the rhythmic walk of the Robin. A Robin hops with a very short and consistent step, much like that of the meter Dickinson uses. The line “He bit an Angleworm in halves” (328/3) uses a visual cue to describe the method by which the Robin eats worms.
Dickinson allows the reader to minimize oneself and enter fully into the natural world. By writing “And he ate the fellow raw/ And then he drank a Dew/ from a convenient Grass” (328/4-6), Dickinson brings the reader into the smaller world of the birds. The word “convenient” when talking about the grass means that the intention was to illustrate how opportune the dew on grass is to birds, because they are so small.
Sometimes nature acts as if governed by a code of conduct: “And then hopped sidewise to the Wall/ To let a Beetle pass—” (328/7-8). The Robin yielded to what is often times a source of its life. Beetles are part of the Robin’s diet, but since it had already had its fill of worm, the Robin and beetle had no conflict between each other.
Instead of equality, nature strives for balance. Animals eat their fill, drink their thirst, and live in their space. No two animals have the same conditions, but each interacts with perfect harmony in the system. The system is what becomes important, and Dickinson captures this balance w...

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