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Dickinson relies mainly on metaphors as she refers to the snake as a "narrow fellow ...[that] rides [the grass]," a "spotted shaft," and "a whiplash unbraiding in the sun" as it sheds its skin. She uses a simile in "the grass divides as with a comb" to describe the action of the snake moving through the grass. "Nature's people," which refers to other animals, is an example of personification while "zero at the bone," her reaction to seeing the snake, is hyperbole because it exaggerates her fear of the creature. Notice that nowhere in the poem does she actually use the word snake.
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