Nature — the Gentlest Mother is,
Impatient of no Child —
The feeblest — or the waywardest —
Her Admonition mild —
In Forest — and the Hill —
By Traveller — be heard —
Restraining Rampant Squirrel —
Or too impetuous Bird —
How fair Her Conversation —
A Summer Afternoon —
Her Household — Her Assembly —
And when the Sun go down —
Her Voice among the Aisles
Incite the timid prayer
Of the minutest Cricket —
The most unworthy Flower —
When all the Children sleep —
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light Her lamps —
Then bending from the Sky —
With infinite Affection —
And infiniter Care —
Her Golden finger on Her lip —
Wills Silence — Everywhere —
Emily Dickinson describes being locked in a closet as a child (not sure if that was literal) but they wanted her quiet. If they could only see what was going on in her mind! she says. Mother Nature lets her children be a little wild, although they do have to hide away when people are around. Not like her own mother, who was not nurturing. She says she always ran to her older brother for comfort when hurt. I think that’s why she never published. People were always trying to make her fit the norm. So she did find her comfort in Nature. It’s a wonderful example.
i am recently doing a paper about the capitalized person dexis in her poems. in this poem i actually think She represents those wemen who are exploited by men just like natue exploited by human beings.
thanxs a lot…….i was badly searcching 4 summary of this poem…finally,got it…
I respond to the post that suggests this as a veiled poem concerning sexuality. Though a gay man myself, I find no trace of that in this poem other than subsumed in the much larger project of describing life and death of all living things. Instead, it seems to me that it is what it is, a meditation on “Mother Nature”, feminine to be sure, but not sexual as much ss nurturing, and when the time comes, willing silence everywhere, which, it again seems to me has to do with sleep, both for the night, and the eventual sleep of all natural things, in death and decay. Aaron Copland set this as one of his Twelve Poems of Emily Dickenson, for soprano and piano, and is to be highly recommended as a beautiful reflection on this poem.
Although all these comments are great, but i have a different view of this poem. Dickinson is turning to nature to find the comfort and support she never found in her own mother. She’s saying that unlike a human mother, mother nature accepts all her children and comforts them.
This poem is unnearvingly prelapsarian coming from the usually gothic E.D. It is also interesting to note the way in which ‘mother nature’ is described like God: “incites the timid prayer” – another clear indication of her struggle with religious concepts; she describes ‘god’ in an essential rather than existential way, thereby contrasting the flow of nature with the mortality of living things or people. This leads to her use of words like Waywardest, feeblest, restraining and suffice, all seem quite restrictive and humble, and all symbolic of D’s belief that mundane chores are of infinite importance – because existentially speaking experience is all there is. The use of these words in conjunction with the superlative makes them almost oxymoronic, but hilight the awe with which everyday tasks should be viewed (see ample make this bed, make this bed with ‘awe’ for another good example).
I think she is comparing how nature moves at its own pace. There is no way to hurry it. What will be will be. Animals fight, kill but nature does not change it continues to do all it can to grow and survive. On the other hand society imposes all sorts of restraints on wildnest. There are norms and morals and yes, judgements. A certain way to be that moms are to nurture into there children. Nature can be wild but not domesticated
Mother Nature does not judge her children. To her they are all equally beautiful. We could learn a thing or two from her. Proceed with an open heart!
i am an undergrad student currently at the university of san francisco, USA, i have done a personal study on emily dickinson and absolutley love her poetry. nature the gentles mother is i feel is a fantastic way of viewing the way nature exists all around us. it includes some of the most beautiful lines,one student in my class described the image of a big lady swathed in a white nightgown bending over the earth and blowing out all the street lamps, leaving only the brightly shining stars to light the earth…an image i can now no longer get out of my head whenever i read the poem.
I think this poem is about how mother nature looks over our earth, and how she nurtures us with her poer.. just as suggestion
We were given this poem to do a project on. May I say it is definetly the bomb. WHOOHOO!