Dickinson’s “A Bird Came Down”


A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,-
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.


 — Emily Dickinson 1830 – 1886



2 thoughts on “Dickinson’s “A Bird Came Down”

    • Let me try my best, especially the fact that even literary scholars find Dickenson’s poetry difficulty to understand – many call her the mystery woman. First of all, every poem has it’s internal reasoning and although I understood it from the beginning, I was also lost in the fourth stanza. In general terms, I think she is speaking of “contentment” or something to that effect.

      Liked by 1 person

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