The poem "Pied Beauty" begins by praising God for all the colorful and diverse things in nature. The speaker is thankful for everything with dots, circles, different colors, etc. He seems to be fond of nature and "the great outdoors." Many of the images in the poem made me think of camping out, or a picnic. For example, fresh fire-coal, chestnut falls, finches, skies of two colors, cows, etc. But the poem does not only speak of natures' diversity. It also makes reference to manmade things. For example, man's trades, tackle, and trim are also varied. The landscape plotted and pieced. The poem goes on to thank God for more things. Everything that is different, everything that is changing, everything that has dots, etc. At the end of the poem, the speaker says, "He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change." I had trouble with this line, because I did not know what the speaker meant by this. But after researching, and asking around, I came to the conclusion that it means that God, who creates change, is unchanging himself. While the beauty of the earth lies in its change, and it's diversity the beauty of God is unchanging and timeless. So there is a bit of irony at the end.
This poem seems to have no setting. However, it uses a lot of images that made me think of being outdoors, camping, on a picnic, or looking up at the sky. The poem also has a joyful tone. It also has a little religious insight. It is almost like a prayer, in that the poem gives praise to God, and celebrates his creations.
There is much alliteration in this poem. In the second line, the "C" sound is repeated where the speaker says "of couple-color as a brinded cow." In the fourth line, the "F" sound is repeated. This line reads, "Fresh fire-coal chestnut falls; finches wings." I think this use of alliteration helps to emphasize the freshness of nature. The "F" combined with the "sh" sounds made me think of fresh things, like fruits, and even the word "fresh" itself. There is more alliteration in the fifth and sixth lines where the poem reads:
"Landscape plotted and pieced - fold, fallow and plow;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim."
There is a repetition of the "p" sound and of the "t" sound. I think the effect that this use of alliteration produces is that it emphasizes the diversity in nature. The diversity of all those different consonant sounds repeated corresponds to the diversity in nature. This poem has some end rhyme, but it does not follow a set pattern. The number of syllables per line also does not follow a set pattern. The first line, for example, has 9 syllables. The second and third lines have 12 syllables, the fourth line 10 syllables, and the fifth line 11 syllables. I think this lack of pattern also helps emphasize the diversity and lack of pattern in nature.
My initial response to this poem was negative. I did not know the meanings to many of the words (like dappled, brinded, stipple, and more). The poem does not have a plot, or a setting, so I thought it would be very difficult to interpret. The poem seemed like a long description, or a long prayer. However, after I looked up the words in a dictionary, I began to understand what the speaker was talking about. I still did not like the poem, but at least I could understand it. Now, after researching the poem, and analyzing it, I like it more than I did at the beginning. Now I can appreciate the use of alliteration in the poem, and I understand the feeling that the author wants to express in the poem. I can also relate a little to it. He is basically thanking God for the earth's diversity, flaws, and imperfections. Without them, the earth would be a very boring and dull place.