Monday, October 03, 2005

The Hummingbird:
by Emily Dickenson (The New Modern American and British Poetry)

A rule of evanescence
With a revolving wheel;
A resonance of emerald,
A rush of cochineal;

And every blossom on the bush
Adjusts its tumbled head-
The mail form Tunis, probably,
An easy mornings ride!

This poem has so many aspects despite its small size. Emily Dickenson knows her biology well, at least when it comes to hummingbirds. in the frirst stanza of the poem the author uses much imagery to describe the physical characteristics of a hummingbird, or "The Hummingbird" she was probably watching as she wrote this poem. She starts out with the word evanescence, which means to dissapear like vapor. This image draws a picture of the spped of a hummingbird, and how right as you see one it almost vanishes before your eyes. In the next line the author states that the hummingbird has a "revolving wheel". This goes back to the biology because hummingbirds fly in a figure eight style. Their wings are moving in circular patterns at such high spped that it almost seems as if they are just flapping really fast. The last two lines of the stanza give just another image of the spped of this bird as she states a "resonance of emerald", the hummingbirds bright green color, and a "rush of cochineal", the bright red throaght of the hummingbird. The first stanza is merely a physical description, its the second stanza that gets more in depth as the author uses a sort of extended metaphor to compare a hummingbird to a mailman. Stating that every flower adjusts its head and that the mail, which the hummingbird delivers from Tunis (A city near the mediteranean), is an easy package to deliver. This is a lot to talk about, but in short terms, Emily is refering to the fact that as hummnigbirds gather nectar they also leave pollen form other flowers laying around which the plants use to cross pollinate. the metaphor of the humingbird to a mailman is acurate as the hummigbird delivers pollen all the way form Tunis! And also, to once again show an image of the speed a hummingbird poseses, the author ends all this saying that it was an easy ride for this bird! Amazing. The author uses all the right words in all the right places to create a great picture in the heads of readers the awsome power of such a small creature.


2 Comments:

Blogger MValentine said...

I like how Michael carefully compared all of the poem to biological facts about the hummingbird. This careful analysis shows Emily Dickensons careful analyzation of the hummingbird to be quite brilliant. For Emily Dickenson to fit all of these tiny details into this small poem really show how much detail and imagry you can write into two short stanzas. I also like the descriptive word choices that were used by Emily Dickenson because they are seldom used they bring their own new meaning to the poem.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Paul Adams said...

Your spelling is appalling, and I still don't get the part about Tunis.

5:20 PM  

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