The poem ‘A bird came down the walk’ shows how man and nature are interlinked and are unable to escape this permanent connection even though they may sometimes clash and not connect. Lines such as ‘then hopped sidewise to the wall’ show the curtsy and human like behaviour of nature and how nature is inevitably given human qualities.
In this poem we are shown the brutal and civilised side of nature, we see that nature is beautiful from a distance however as you get closer and see nature in depth you see the brutality of nature, however even after seeing and showing us the brutality Dickinson still continues to admire nature as something beautiful.
Her poem also shows how nature is very free and careless since nature doe not worry about anything, it is also shown to be unforgiving. Themes of nature are also present in ‘I heard a fly buzz’ and ‘because I could not stop for death’ Dickinson shows transcendentalist views in many of her poems.
Dickinson shows the clash of mankind by saying ‘he bit an angleworm in halves’ this quote shows how nature can be threatening to mankind since an angleworm is used as bait when fishing and since the bird is eating them it shows that it is disturbing mankind’s techniques of survival. The word ‘bit’ implies human characteristics and highlights a connection between mankind and nature, the word ‘bit’ is associated with eating which shows the inescapable interlink of man and nature.
The word ‘angleworm’ is capitalised showing its significance which highlights the birds unthoughtful act. This stanza has a ABCB rhyme scheme which sets the a motion in the stanza. Themes of nature are also highlighted in poem ‘712’ by the lines ‘Gazing Grain’ the word ‘Gazing’ gives nature human characteristics and the capital letter ‘G’ makes nature seem like something important and off great value and this again links to human quality since a persons name is always began with a capital letter.
Natures brutality is highlighted in the following line where it says ‘And ate the fellow raw’ this line is quite powerful as it shows that the bird is carefree and is unforgiving, this line shows the freedom in nature since the bird does not hesitate and simply does what it wills. The word ‘And’ at the beginning of the sentence is capitalised to show the significance of the birds act also it may show the speakers dismay or shock at the innocent looking birds act.
This line is quite strong as the word ‘raw’ stands out this is associated to something dangerous however it can also be seen as fragile since you may interpret it to be something naked. The word ‘raw’ shows the brutality of nature and that nature has a good and bad side just like mankind who may be evil or good again linking nature to mankind almost like a inescapable cycle.
This disturbance is also highlighted in the poem ‘I heard a fly buzz’ where Dickinson mentions ‘stillness’ in one line and in the following line she says ‘heaves of storm’ these lines show the contradictory behaviour of nature it also highlights how quickly nature can change its path from something peaceful and beautiful to something brutal and disturbing, which is linked to mankind since mankind also changes paths very easily from good to evil or vice versa showing the link between mankind and nature.
The word ‘stillness’ associates to death or peace which shows the calm and relaxed side of nature and how it can be in favour to mankind, however the word ‘storm’ associates to destruction or disaster which represents its brutality and how it can be harmful to mankind. Dickinson also highlights how mankind can disturb nature in their natural performance in the line ‘He stirred his Velvet Head’ this shows the bird being disturbed as he has now became cautious someone is around him or is watching him this may also reflect that he may feel his privacy is being invaded which again gives the bird human qualities.
The word ‘Velvet Head’ shows connotations of something regal and royal and also highlights a feminine side to the bird, this shows the connection of mankind and nature since the bird is well groomed and words such as velvet may represent some type of clothing which suggest the bird is dressed giving him human quality and characteristics showing the link between nature and mankind. The word ‘Velvet’ also highlights sexual connotations as you interpret it to be something quite sexy or soft and feminine, further down in the poem the word ‘seam’ is used also showing something sexual as a seam is usually referred to in context to clothes.
The capitalisation of the ‘Velvet Head’ again gives the bird importance and shows a status for him. In stanza three Dickinson uses words such as ‘rapid’, ‘hurried’ and ‘frightened’ this shows a change in pace in the poem as the poem was running fairly smoothly and then these words create tension and make the tone more panicked this shows the human like nature of the bird since he is given human characteristics and shows that the bird is frightened of the speaker.
The theme of disturbance is shown in the poem ‘I heard a fly buzz’ since throughout the poem we are being shown how nature is disturbing the death of the speaker, the speaker says ‘there interposed a fly-‘ which shows the disturbance the fly is causing to mankind since the speakers death is being interrupted. The word ‘interposed’ associates to annoyance or distraction showing that the fly is ever present and it is not prepared to leave showing the presence of nature around mankind all the time and vice versa.
The dash at the end of this line suggests that the sentence is unfinished and is maybe going to carry on, also shows the speakers attitude as maybe annoyed and not pleased. Dickinson highlights the arrogance of the bird showing the line ‘And he unrolled his feathers’ this is representative of the birds ignorance to what its done, it shows that the bird has naturally carried out a act of ”killing” and simply flown away, this line may also be interpreted as the bird having to move on in his life and how the bird has no set place and is on a constant journey.
The word unrolled highlights a sort of arrogance in the birds body language, since the word ‘unrolled’ is quite soft and nai?? ve suggesting he does not understand the significance of his actions and doesn’t realise his mistake, this shows the clash between man and nature since Dickinson is suggesting here that the bird has no morals and this is a natural act for him, whereas mankind would be very cautious and careful of their actions and would most of the time realise there mistake.
In this line there is no significant punctuation used. The poem highlights her attempt to get to nature and get to understand nature however the bird does not let her. Dickinson may represent nature as god or something more powerful then mankind and she may be implying that she is trying to understand god or this force however it is so powerful that she is failing.
Themes of god being represented in nature are also hinted in poem 465 in which Dickinson says ‘And then the windows failed’ this line implies that the barrier which was interfering in Dickinson death has failed. In this poem the fly may be interpreted as Satan as it is disturbing a command given by god, puritan values are also shown here as the fly fails to interrupt and death is successful showing that god holds the power. This shows how nature and mankind are interlinked since they can not escape each others realms.
Overall Dickinson repeatedly shows the connection between mankind and nature as inescapable, she repeatedly shows how powerful nature is and how nature and mankind effect each other; ‘Like one in danger, cautious,’ this shows the reader that Dickinson values nature and gives nature the same respect as she would to mankind we know this since Dickinson constantly gives nature human values and qualities. Dickinson clearly highlights her importance for nature by linking it to god and linking it to mankind, showing her transcendentalist views.