Emily Dickinson - A Day by anamaulida


									The simplicity of Emily Dickinson's poem A Day is brought to life in
images of life's ordinary things. Through the eyes of an inquisitive
child, Emily takes the reader on a mental journey from the miracle of
sunrise to the mystery of sunset.She starts the poem with a declaration:
I'll tell you how the sun rose. Her knowledge and confidence of this
grandiosity is worthy to be shared. Her explanation is defined in the
metaphorical image that the sun rises a ribbon at a time. The colourful
stratus layers across the sky are portrayed as ribbons. A sense of vanity
is connoted, of which the morning sky is entitled, because - honestly -
everything in creation deserves some merit or worth.The morning sky is
the colour of amethyst because her next thought tells us that the
steeples swam in amethyst. The word 'steeple' is a spiritual word. It
suggests physical height and spiritual depth. The idea of the high
building 'swimming' against the amethyst background is caught in the
concept of movement. The early morning air is alive and moving, giving
the impression that the steeples are swaying in the wind.Once the natural
colors of sunrise and the morning wind have been described, the poet
impresses upon the reader how quickly nature reacts to these signs. She
says that the news of the risen sun like squirrels ran. In effect, nature
awakens as quickly as a squirrel runs. (The speed of a squirrel is much
debated, but many people will say that they run at an average of
approximately 16km per hour). The message this beautiful image conveys is
that once the sun rises, everything happens quickly. This in effect
symbolizes the frantic pace of the day that we have to contend with, from
the moment we wake up.The rhythm in the first stanza is quick and light.
The tone is merry and full of promise. It continues in the second stanza
where the hills personified untie their bonnets. As the sun rises and the
morning air starts to warm, the mist, which is the metaphorical bonnet,
over the hills evaporates. Then the bobolinks begin to sing. The bobolink
is a small American songbird. Something that is really special about dawn
is the dawn chorus. What else can birds do other than sing when they wake
up? And whatever the habitat may be, birds sing to it.At the end of the
second stanza Emily blames the sun for everything that has happened. She
says that it is the sun that caused the ribbons in the air, the steeples
to swim, the squirrels to run, the hills to untie their bonnets and the
birds to sing. The sun miraculously brings the morning to life. It is a
message that symbolizes birth; the beginning.The rhythm then starts to
change in her statement: But how he set I know not. The mood is dampened
in the mystery of sunset. There seemed a purple stile, which little
yellow boys and girls were climbing all the while, till when they reached
the other side, a dominie in gray put gently up the evening bars, and led
the flock away.As the sun sinks toward the horizon, sunlight enters the
atmosphere at a lower angle and depending on the concentration of
atmospheric particles in the path of the incoming sunlight, the clouds
appear yellow, pink and purple. The yellow clouds are the puffy cumulus
clouds. These playful clouds remind the poet of children clambering over
a stile. The purple stile is a band of stratus cloud lingering almost
parallel to the horizon.So, as the day ends, the children are led away by
a dominie. Literally, the dominie could be a cleric or a schoolmaster,
who, like a shepherd, takes the flock home to safety. Figuratively, it is
night - darkness - that brings an end to day (or life). The color gray
symbolizes mourning: the end of a lovely day; death. It also reminds the
reader of the fact that the poet does not know how the sun sets. The
colour enhances the mystery. Figuratively, people do not know what
happens after death. The evening bars represent a sense of security. This
gives the reader hope.The reference of the sun being masculine, like the
dominie, magnifies the Creator and gives the stanza a spiritual tone. It
is as if the poet wants the reader to meditate on the spiritual meaning
of sunset. If dawn is the beginning - birth - surely then sunset is the
end - death.The poem has a very unconventional broken rhyming meter. Her
use of metaphors is vivid and spiritual. Emily Dickinson's insight to
nature and life was original and profound. Her works are descriptive and
show the power of her imagination. This is truly a very beautiful poem
that, like so many of her other poems, deals with the themes of life,
death and immortality.

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