A Bird came down the Walk— by Emily Dickinson

Start Your Free Trial

Why has the poet called the grass convenient?

Expert Answers info

Steph Müller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write500 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Business, and Social Sciences

One can almost picture the poet, Emily Dickinson, sitting outside somewhere in a beautiful field as she wrote this poem about a bird. It describes one of those beautiful moments in nature that are so easy to overlook.

The grass is described as convenient due to the fact that the bird was evidently thirsty after eating the raw angle worm. This convenience was the same as when you get thirsty and there is a tap nearby from which you can drink water.

The bird was able to quench its thirst by drinking a dew drop, which would not have been there if it were not for the "convenient" grass. If the grass had not been there, the bird would have flown off in search of water, thereby putting an end to the poet's observation.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Bridgett Sumner, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Hofstra University


calendarEducator since 2016

write1,613 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

The speaker is observing a moment in nature; she watches, undetected, as a bird happens upon a worm, which he bites in half and eats. The bird then drinks the dew from "a convenient grass," meaning that just like happening across the worm, the bird happens across a well-placed stalk of grass that offers moisture for him to consume. Though the events seem random, to the speaker, it seems to suggest an object lesson about how Nature has its own order. Animals live their lives opportunistically and manage to thrive without planning each move the way a human being might.

The word "convenient" is a value placed on the stalk of grass by the speaker; this is not necessarily how the bird would think of it.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial