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Emily Dickinson - Nature -- sometimes sears a Sapling

Nature -- sometimes sears a Sapling --
Sometimes -- scalps a Tree --
Her Green People recollect it
When they do not die --

Fainter Leaves -- to Further Seasons --
Dumbly testify --
We -- who have the Souls --
Die oftener -- Not so vitally --

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Added: Jan 9 2004 | Viewed: 505 times | Comments and analysis of Nature -- sometimes sears a Sapling by Emily Dickinson Comments (2)

Nature -- sometimes sears a Sapling - Comments and Information

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 314. Nature -- sometimes sears a Sapling
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: Published/Written in 1955
Poem of the Day: Oct 25 2002

Comment 2 of 2, added on July 13th, 2010 at 2:29 PM.

Nature recycles; our souls are not recycled. I like Chris's interpretation.

frumpo from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on May 13th, 2009 at 4:50 PM.

Nature – Sometimes Sears a Sapling portrays the significance of the soul in humans by comparing their deaths to the deaths of things in nature, particularly trees. There is a contrast made throughout the whole poem between the way trees die and the way humans die:
“Nature-sometimes sears a Sapling-
Sometimes-scalps a Tree-
Her Green People recollect it
When they do not die-

Fainter Leaves-to Further Seasons-
Dumbly testify-
We-who have the Souls-
Die oftener-Not so vitally-”

The first stanza displays the way most trees die. The might get burned or chopped down, but when they do whatever remains of them, either a burned trunk or just a stump, will grow again and have renewed life. The second stanza makes the contrast. The last two lines compare the way humans die to the image of the dying and reviving tree created in the first. “We who have the Souls – Die oftener – Not so vitally –” means that people, who unlike trees have an immortal soul, die more often than do trees, and when someone dies, they do not come back to life. Dickinson is using the fact that people do not come back to life as proof that there must be a Heaven for the soul to have everlasting life in.


Chris Kline

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