Discuss ways in which Dickinson presents nature in “A Bird came down the Walk”.

Essay by Alibob97High School, 12th gradeA, June 2014

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Discuss ways in which Dickinson presents nature in "A Bird came down the Walk".

It is never made clear whether Dickinson's love for nature stems from her scientific education or from her love of God. Some believe that Dickinson felt closest to God when surrounded by his creations in the natural world, or at least preferred it to the oppressive "heft" of the church's "Cathedral tunes" in another of her poems ["A certain slant of light"].

Dickinson displays a longing to be one or in sync with nature as she offers the "Bird" a "Crumb", perhaps, as mentioned above, to bring herself closer to her religion, but found herself rejected, as the masculine "unrolled his feathers" and flew away as they "rowed him softer home". In spite of the disappointment she feels in being fled from, Dickinson still can't help but appreciate the bird's beauty and grace in flight as his wings "too silver for a seam" were "plashless" as they carried him away.

This distance from nature is something that Dickinson accepts from the beginning of the poem, as the only time the bird was fearless in her presence was when "he did not know" she "saw", perhaps stating that man and nature can never truly be in tandem, yet she still hopes in vain for this not to be true. This theme of grasping for something beyond reach is common in Dickinson's poetry, mainly in reference to God. An example of this is in "I heard a fly buzz", in which the protagonist is dying, and as they wait for a climactic appearance of "the King" to finally put Dickinson's godly doubts to rest, "there interposed a fly", shortly before the "windows" [eyes] fail and she "could not see to see" leaving them to die in...