Sunday, October 10, 2021

Summary of A Day by Emily Dickinson | Poem | Class XII English Note

Summary of A Day by Emily Dickinson | Poem | Class XII English Note

A Day (I’ll tell you how the Sun rose) By Emily Dickinson

The poem “A Day (I’ll tell you how the Sun rose)”, composed by Emily Dickinson, is told through the perspective of an innocent child. The child in his innocence expresses his views on sunrise and sunset. The whole poem symbolises the transition from life to death.


The poem begins with the speaker declaring how the sun rises. The sunrays are presented as a series of ribbons in the air. With the sunlight, the steeples of the churches are covered with a deep violet colour like amethyst. The word 'steeple' is a spiritual word. It suggests physical height and spiritual depth. The news of sunrise spreads like squirrels’ run. In fact, nature awakens as quickly as a squirrel runs. This beautiful image conveys the message that once the sun rises, everything happens quickly.


The tone in the first stanza is merry and full of promise. It continues in the second stanza in which the hills are personified when they untie their bonnets. As the sun rises, the mist which is the metaphorical bonnet, over the hills evaporates. This inspires the bobolinks to begin their morning song.


The speaker attributes everything that has happened, to the rising of the sun. She asserts that it is the sun that causes the ribbons in the air, the steeples to swim, the squirrels to run, the hills to untie their bonnets and the bobolinks to sing. All these events show the speaker’s innocence regarding his view of the world. She only sees the beauty of life. The sun amazingly brings the morning to life. It is a message that signifies birth; the beginning.


As the poem progresses, the speaker becomes less confident to describe the mysterious sunset. There appears a purple stile. The yellow boys and girls climb the purple stile. The purple stile refers to a boundary, suggesting the horizon, that boundary between land and sky. As the sun sinks towards the horizon, the sunlight enters the atmosphere at a lower angle and the clouds appear yellow, pink and purple. The yellow playful clouds remind the poet of children climbing over a stile.


When the day ends, the yellow boys and girls are led away by a dominie. Literally, the dominie could be a clergyman or a schoolmaster who gently puts up the evening bars and takes the children home to safety. Figuratively, it is darkness that brings an end to day (death). The evening bars symbolize a sense of security. This gives the reader hope.


The poem has a very exceptional broken rhyming meter. The use of metaphors is obvious and spiritual. Emily Dickinson's insight to nature and life is original. Her works are descriptive and show the power of her imagination. This is truly a very beautiful poem that deals with the themes of life and death.

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