A Bird came down the Walk— by Emily Dickinson

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Are there any poetic devices in "A Bird came down the Walk," like similes, metaphors, and personification?

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In "A Bird came down the Walk—" Dickinson uses a number of literary devices. She uses personification, for example, when she gives the bird some human characteristics. Notice in the first stanza how Dickinson's description of the bird makes him seem human. By describing the worm as a "fellow," Dickinson again uses personification. In the third stanza, the "beads" are also personified when Dickinson describes them as being "frightened."

There are also some metaphors in this poem. In the final six lines, for instance, Dickinson compares the bird's feathers to a set of oars and the sky to the ocean.

Finally, Dickinson uses alliteration in the first line of the second stanza ("Drank a dew") and again in the final stanza with the phrase "Oars divide the Ocean." By using alliteration, Dickinson emphasizes the beauty and grace of the bird by drawing our attention to these natural images. 

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Kathryn Draney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are many poetic devices in Emily Dickinson's "A Bird come down the Walk-" including metaphor, simile, personification, and alliteration.

Metaphor is present in the third stanza.

He stirred his Velvet Head.

This is a metaphor because the narrator compares the bird's head to velvet without the use of "like" or "as." This emphasizes the texture of the bird's head and creates an idea of softness.

Simile is present in the third stanza.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around-
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought-

This is a simile because the narrator compares the bird's eyes to beads. This is also personification because the beads are "frightened," and as we know, beads are inanimate objects and cannot be frightened.

Another simile extends through the fourth and fifth stanzas.

And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than Oars divide the Ocean

That simile compares the feathers to oars dividing the ocean. We can then imagine the motion of the wings and the slickness of the feathers.

Alliteration is also present throughout the poem. Alliteration is the repetition of the beginning sound of a word. 

Too silver for a seam-
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon

This quote contains two different moments of alliteration - in the first line with the letter "s" and in the second line with the letter "b."

Hope this helps!

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