A Bird came down the Walk

emily dickinson“A Bird came down the Walk” is a short poem by Emily Dickinson that tells of the poet’s encounter with a worm-eating bird.  It was first published in 1891 in the second collection of Dickinson’s poems.



A Bird came down the Walk
by Emily Dickinson

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit a Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, plashless as they swim.

Emily Dickinson was a prolific private poet, however, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime and the work that was published while she was alive was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time.  Her poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation.

Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality.

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