A Narrow Fellow In The Grass By Emily Dickinson

979 words - 4 pages

A Narrow Fellow in the Grass by Emily Dickinson


The poem, “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass,” by Emily Dickinson is a collaboration of fear and intrigue. The poem is presented through a young boy as he makes his way through cool and damp grassland during the afternoon. The issue the young boy must deal with is the unwelcome encounter with a snake. From the first glimpse of the slithering snake the tone of the poem is set: an uneasiness mood followed by persistent fear. The combination of external conflict and dexterous imagery create the atmosphere of this poem.

A Narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides —
You may have met Him – did you not
His notice sudden is

The Grass divides as with a Comb
A spotted shaft is seen –
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on –

He likes a Boggy Acre
A Floor too cool for corn –
Yet when a Boy, and Barefoot –
I more than once at Noon
Have passed, I thought, a Whip lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone –

Several of Nature’s People
I know, and they know me –
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality –

But never met this Fellow
Attended, or alone
Without tighter breathing
And Zero at the Bone –

The young boy in the poem is faced with the external conflict of his fear of snakes. This conflict never seems to be resolved by the end of the poem, and it is highly unlikely that it will ever be resolved in the future. As it is presented in the last two stanzas that the boy is never comfortable with snakes no matter whom he may be with, protection or not. He will continue to be fear stricken when faced with snakes under any circumstance. Although this is not an implausible problem the young boy faces, many people share this same dilemma. Dickinson created a poem in which many people could relate to by putting her thoughts and emotions down on paper.
In reading this poem one cannot help but absorb the imagery portrayed by the use of descriptive language. Dickinson does an amazing job of using the senses to feel the sensation as if you were there standing beside the boy on that particular day. Through imagery the poem’s mood, understanding and emotions are created. The dominant sensuous appeal of the poem is definitively fear. Whether Emily Dickinson had a fear of snakes, which she portrayed through the boy, the reader will never know but this poem does generate a sense of uneasiness for the reader. Dickinson uses many physical senses to create the ambiance of the poem and through this the poem becomes meaningful to the reader.
The most used sense in this particular poem is...

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