WILL THERE REALLY BE A 'MORNING'? Emily Dickinson: Summary & Analysis

"WILL THERE REALLY BE A 'MORNING'?" by Emily Dickinson reflects on the curiosity and wonder of a child contemplating the concept of morning and day. The poem explores the speaker's innocent and imaginative questions about the nature of morning, day, and their characteristics. Through playful imagery and questions, Dickinson captures the sense of awe and longing for understanding that children often experience as they seek to make sense of the world around them.

WILL THERE REALLY BE A 'MORNING'?

Will there really be a "Morning"?
Is there such a thing as "Day"?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?
Has it feet like Water lilies?
Has it feathers like a Bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?
Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
Oh some Wise Men from the skies!
Please to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called "Morning" lies!

Summary

"WILL THERE REALLY BE A 'MORNING'?" presents the innocent curiosity of a child as it contemplates the concept of morning and day. Through playful questions and imaginative imagery, the poem captures the sense of wonder and longing for knowledge that often characterizes a child's exploration of the world. The speaker seeks to understand the nature and characteristics of morning and day, hoping for insights from scholars, sailors, or wise individuals who might explain their mysteries.

Critical Analysis

The poem begins with the speaker's questioning tone as they wonder if there really is such a thing as "Morning." This question reflects the child's curiosity about the fundamental concepts of time and the divisions of the day.

The subsequent lines continue with more questions that reflect the child's playful and imaginative exploration. The speaker wonders if "Morning" can be seen from mountains and if it possesses qualities like "Water lilies" or "feathers like a Bird." These inquiries show the child's attempt to understand morning through familiar and relatable images.

The lines "Is it brought from famous countries / Of which I have never heard?" introduce a sense of mystery and intrigue. The child envisions morning as a precious and exotic concept, potentially originating from distant and unknown lands.

The poem concludes with an appeal to scholars, sailors, and wise individuals, expressing the child's desire for understanding. The use of the word "Pilgrim" conveys the speaker's sense of journey and discovery, mirroring the process of exploring and seeking knowledge.

Themes

  • Curiosity and Wonder: The poem highlights the curiosity and wonder that often characterize a child's perception of the world. The speaker's playful questions and imaginative contemplations capture the sense of awe and longing for understanding.
  • Exploration and Knowledge: The poem reflects the child's desire to explore and gain knowledge about the nature of morning and day. The speaker seeks insights from scholars, sailors, and wise individuals, emphasizing the importance of learning and discovery.
  • Nature and Imagination: The poem uses imagery from nature, such as mountains, water lilies, and birds, to evoke the child's imaginative exploration of the concept of morning. These images serve as relatable metaphors for understanding morning's qualities.

Attitudes/Feelings

  • Curiosity: The poem conveys an attitude of innocent curiosity as the speaker poses questions about morning and day. The child-like wonder and longing for knowledge are palpable throughout the poem.
  • Longing for Understanding: The poem expresses the speaker's yearning to comprehend the mysteries of morning and day. The appeal to scholars, sailors, and wise individuals reflects the desire for insights and explanations.

Literary Devices

  • Questions: The poem is structured as a series of questions, reflecting the child's inquisitive nature and exploratory mindset. These questions serve to evoke curiosity and engage the reader in the speaker's contemplation.
  • Imagery: The poem uses vivid imagery of mountains, water lilies, birds, and famous countries to create a sensory-rich depiction of the child's imaginative exploration of morning and day.

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