By William Stafford
The title “The Day Millicent Found the World” is about the day a young girl named Millicent discovered the world around her. The title is significant as well as symbolic. The title gives the poem a deeper meaning and gives the readers deeper insight into what they should expect. In this poem, the author, I believe is an older male and a transcendentalist. The tone of the poem suggests this because a woman would be hysterical about Millicent’s adventure and may present it more of “a lost but thankfully found child” manner. The tone of the poem also reveals Stafford’s connection with nature.
The poems’ setting is early in the morning in a forest behind Millicent’s house. Because of the form of writing you can assume the poem was written in the transcendentalist era which was throughout the 19th century (mostly early 19th century).
In this poem a young girl explores the forests near her home and discovers “she is part of the world and that would follow her wherever she went”. There was no conflict but an event did occur. Millicent found the world. The author speaks in an omniscient narrative. In my opinion, the character’s main point of importance is discovering the world around her and her importance to the system of life.
The tone of the speaker is very serene but at the same time he uses very intense scenery and personification in describing Millicent’s surroundings. He has a deep connection to nature and sees beauty in everything.
The poet uses calm words which are free of aggression demonstrating Millicent’s calmness. The figures of speech used are assonance and alliteration which seem to be shown a lot throughout the poem.
The poem seems to be organized in a freeform style. It consists of two stanzas made up of eleven lines and the third stanza seven lines. The poem has no special rhyme scheme. The syntax seems to be in an organized fashion. The poem is grammatically correct.
The theme is that we are all connected to the world and nature. The theme is stated “never before had she let herself realize that she was part of the world and that it would follow her wherever she went. She was part of its breath.” The poet is basically trying to communicate that we are nature; we are trees, the sea, all nature and that will follow us forever.
I felt this poem was interesting but I didn’t really like it. In some ways I can relate because I feel sensitivity towards nature but I don’t have a steadfast connection to it.
I cannot think of a direct allusion but this poem is somewhat similar to the film Avatar (2009). In avatar the navi people of Pandora had tentacles inside of their ponytails which they used as a connection between the nature systems.