“To a Waterfowl” by William Cullen Bryant
1. In lines 1-2, 7, and 21, Bryant is describing dusk and a night time setting. He uses words such as “crimson sky”, “glow of the heavens”, and “dark night is near” to set the scene. 2. The questions in stanzas 1 and 3 are addressing the fowler, or the hunter. 3. The “fowlers eye” might refer to the hunters gun and the fowler, hunter, may be preparing to shot a bird. 4. The “Power” mentioned in line 14 may be referring to either God or Mother Nature. This “Power” whatever it is, teaches the bird its way on the pathless coast. 5. Far, cold, thin, weary, welcome, dark. These adjectives are conveying a foreboding and depressing attitude. 6. The words summer, sheltered, and nest provide a feeling of safety and comfort, quite contrary to the mood set in stanza 5. 7. Stanza 6 describes the bird coming to a resting place at the end of his journey. This can symbolize an eternal resting place, such as heaven, where one is sheltered and safe. 8. Some elements of romanticism reflected in this poem are the beauty of nature and idealism. 9. In the poem, the use of “the fowler’s eye” is better than using the fowler’s arm because an eye watches and observes where an arm has no capability of sight. Overall, the word eye implies that the fowler is watching something. 10. In my opinion, the theme of this poem is that there is a guiding being that oversees all things and teaches us how to go through life. 11. In stanza 6, the initial sound, “soon” is repeated 3 times. This alliteration makes it clear that one will find rest very soon. 12. ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GHGH, IJIJ, KLKL, MNMN, OPOP.
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