Advertisements

Blog Archives

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘The Brain is wider than the Sky’

A close reading of a classic Dickinson poem

‘The brain is wider than the sky’: the mind and all that it can take in – and imagine – is far greater than even the vast sky above us. This is the starting point of one of Emily Dickinson’s great meditations on the power of human imagination and comprehension. Before we attempt an analysis, though, here’s a reminder of the poem.

The Brain — is wider than the Sky —
For — put them side by side —
The one the other will contain
With ease — and You — beside —

The Brain is deeper than the sea —
For — hold them — Blue to Blue —
The one the other will absorb —
As Sponges — Buckets — do — Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

A Short Analysis of Robert Browning’s ‘Home-Thoughts, from Abroad’

A reading of a classic poem about England

‘Oh, to be in England’: the opening line of Robert Browning’s poem praising England while abroad has become more famous than the poem’s actual title, ‘Home-Thoughts, from Abroad’. Before we proceed to an analysis of the poem’s language and meaning, here’s a reminder of it.

Home-Thoughts, from Abroad

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now! Read the rest of this entry

A Summary and Analysis of ‘The Frog Prince’

An introduction to a classic fairy tale

Beware of amphibians who can speak in verse. That seems to be the moral of ‘The Frog Prince’, though we’re not sure about that. ‘The Frog Prince’ is perhaps, of all the classic fairy tales, the one that most succinctly encapsulates the notion of ‘fairy tales’, ‘the fairy-tale ending’, and the spirit of transformation and ‘living happily ever after’ which pervades so many of the best-loved fairy tales. But what is the meaning of ‘The Frog Prince’, and what are the story’s origins? Before we offer an analysis of the story’s key features, it might be worth summarising its content:

A young princess is playing with a golden ball by a woodland spring one day, throwing the ball in the air and catching it. Once when she throws the ball up, though, she fails to catch it and it falls into the spring. She looks into the water but it’s so deep that she cannot see the bottom of the spring, and so cannot retrieve her ball. She’s so fond of her little ball that she sighs and says she would give all her fine clothes and possessions if she could get it back. Read the rest of this entry