Student Question

In the poem "Grass," what is personified?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

While I normally caution multiple choice questions to be answered with course text and instructor notes, I feel pretty safe on this one. Sandburg's "Grass" is known for its personification of the grass as the speaker of the poem.  One of his most somber poems, "Grass" is so meaningful because the voice of the grass, of nature, is heard.  It is this condition that allows for the magnitude and depth of the poem's experience to be heard.  The grass as the speaker of the poem helps to convey the experience of death and the passage of time.  Consider the first stanza of the poem and is repeated:  "I am the grass. I cover all."  This is direct in who is speaking.  The grass is what commands to "pile the bodies high" and "shovel them under and let me work."  This personification is what makes grass, and in a large sense the natural world, encompass human experience.  In making the grass speak through personification, Sandburg's poem acquires a meaning and significance that enhances the poem's feel. The personification of the grass speaking is one of the most defining aspects of the poem.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial