A Bird Came Down the Walk


 A Bird Came Down the Walk

A Bird came down the Walk –

He did not know I saw –

He bit an Angle Worm in halves

And ate the fellow, raw,

And then, he drank a Dew

From a convenient Grass –

And then hopped sideways to the Walk

To let a Beetle pass –

He glanced with rapid eyes –

That hurried all abroad,

They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,

He stirred his Velvet Head. –

Like one in danger, Cautious,

I offered him a Crumb,

And he unrolled his feathers,

And rowed him softer Home –

Than Oars divide the Ocean,

Too silver for a seam,

Or Butterflies, of Banks of Noon,

Leap splashless, as they swim.

Nature can be described as a source of joy and beauty, however without warning, it can easily become dangerous and threatening. Nature can be connected to humanity, with death and decay, or seen as a regenerative force. In Emily Dickinson’s poem A Bird Came Down the Walk, the bird reflects many human characteristics and appears to be very civilized in the way he interacts with his surroundings and other animals.  However, the bird behaves naturally in its wild habitat when he believes that there is no one watching. Emily also reveals the true beauty of the bird when it flies away. The reader can also see barbarous characteristics when the bird bites an angle worm in half and eats it “raw.” Emily continues this theme of nature being sophisticated and far more elegant by presenting the thoughts of the bird. When explicating the final stanzas, the bird “Drinks dew from a grass.” This action is closely resembled by people drinking from a glass. Emily Dickinson also describes the bird’s animal characteristics when she writes that his eyes were like “frightened beads”, as he he stirred his “Velvet head.” Although these are physical characteristics, beads and velvet are terms of civilization, wealth, and clothing.  Even the title sounds socialized as if the bird were walking down the street in a pair of boots.

This entry was posted in English III, Homework, Honors English III, Nature, Pleasure Reading, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Bird Came Down the Walk

  1. beans11 says:

    The third sentence in this post understands the depth of the poem and basis of Emily Dickinson’s inspiration.

  2. jillianhaywood says:

    The third sentence is one of the best in the post because it relates the ideas that Dickinson conveys in her poem to the insights on nature given in the first two sentences.

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