It sifts from Leaden Sieves —
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road —

It makes an Even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain —
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again —

It reaches to the Fence —
It wraps it Rail by Rail
Till it is lost in Fleeces —
It deals Celestial Vail

To Stump, and Stack — and Stem —
A Summer’s empty Room —
Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
Recordless, but for them–

It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen —
Then stills its Artisans — like Ghosts —
Denying they have been —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem It sifts from Leaden Sieves


  1. frumpo says:

    A description of snow. Compare Snowbound by Whittier, third stanza.

  2. Pix says:

    UMM there is a deeper meaning than a snowstorm you idiots!

  3. Richy Adelai says:

    It’s not obvious, but it’s about more than just snow. If you look at it closely, it’s Mother Nature getting married. Or at least, her in her wedding gown.

    Stanzas 1 and 2 are about putting on her makeup, hiding any and all blemishes. Stanza 3-5 are about the dress itself, veil and petticoats and everything else one would need.

  4. Natasha says:

    I don’t think this is showing nature as powerful, so much as beatiful

  5. sakina says:

    well I just wanted to say that though it was a little bit difficult to find out what the poem is about but it’s a really deep metaphor that personificates nature and that shows its power

  6. JZ says:

    Some of the other interpretations are ludicrous (like this one: “an extended meaphor that personifies the word “it” as a skilled cosmetican and seamtress, who are beautifying an aging woman.”)

    In many cases Emily is describing a scene, and in this poem she is describing several settings that are affected by snowfall = “it”

    snowflakes are like powder on the trees in the wood…
    it smoothes out a bumpy road…
    it blankets the jagged edges of a mountain and it blankets the plain…
    wraps around each rail on the fence…
    wraps around each wrist of posts, looking like white ankle muffs a queen might wear…

    of course “it” is snow: this poem is a series of personifications of snow and its effects.

  7. Becky says:

    this poem does have a deeper meaning. There is an extended meaphor that personifies the word “it” as a skilled cosmetican and seamtress, who are beautifying an aging woman.

  8. Carrie says:

    I really don’t understand this poem! i have to write a paper on and i was wondering if anyone had any helpful information.

  9. Samantha says:

    I love this poem. There isn’t really anyvery deep meaning to it,and what we usually look for in Dickinson’s poetry is a deep meaning. This poem is about a snowstorm.

  10. Melissa says:

    This poem is hard to understand

  11. tessler says:

    i am not sure but from my understanding this poem puts nature as the equalizer of all mankind. nothing can hide from it and it does not differentiate between any man.

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