(Article/content is below...)

High from the earth I heard a bird by Emily Dickinson


"High from the earth I heard a bird" is written by Emily Dickinson. In this poem, the poet speaks of a bird which is resting on a branch, singing and being joyous. Suddenly, other birds from the flock join him, yet he still seems happy. The poet then compares the bird to herself stating "contrast to our respites".

This poem is written as one long stanza that contains twenty lines. She has an imperfect rhyme scheme where Dickinson rhymes the second with fourth, the sixth with eigth, ten with twelve, and so on. The lines in between make no attempt at rhyming. Actually, the rhymes are so imperfect that they do nothing more than play eye candy to the reader. They are what most people would call "forced". Nonetheless, that isn't entirely true when digging deeper. The imperfect rhymes are done with a poetic purpose to keep the rhythm (and to stay true to her other poems).

Johnson number: 1723


High from the earth I heard a bird

High from the earth I heard a bird,
He trod upon the trees
As he esteemed them trifles,
And then he spied a breeze,
And situated softly
Upon a pile of wind
Which in a perturbation
Nature had left behind.
A joyous going fellow
I gathered from his talk
Which both of benediction
And badinage partook.
Without apparent burden
I subsequently learned
He was the faithful father
Of a dependent brood.
And this untoward transport
His remedy for care.
A contrast to our respites.
How different we are!

Next: "Hope" is the thing with feathers -
Recommended Content
Find out more information about this poem and read others like it.


Literary Movement
19th Century

Animal, Nature, Happiness

Last update: