The Gentian weaves her fringes —
The Maple’s loom is red —
My departing blossoms
Obviate parade.

A brief, but patient illness —
An hour to prepare,
And one below this morning
Is where the angels are —
It was a short procession,
The Bobolink was there —
An aged Bee addressed us —
And then we knelt in prayer —
We trust that she was willing —
We ask that we may be.
Summer — Sister — Seraph!
Let us go with thee!

In the name of the Bee —
And of the Butterfly —
And of the Breeze — Amen!

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

2 Comments

  1. frumpo says:

    Fall is a picture of dying.

  2. Jim says:

    This poem is Emily’s requiem for a dead friend. It’s pretty clear:

    In the name of the Bee —
    And of the Butterfly —
    And of the Breeze — Amen!

    Is obviously her answer to:

    In the name of the father–
    And the Son–
    And the Holy Ghost –Amen!

    It is her “nature religion” and the religion of the future.

    A brief, but patient illness —
    An hour to prepare,
    And one below this morning
    Is where the angels are —

    The departed one had but “an hour” to prepare for death. She was patient with her illness and she now lies below the earth: “below this morning.”
    “where the angels are–”

    But later, Emily says
    And then we knelt in prayer —
    We trust that she was willing —
    We ask that we may be.
    Summer — Sister — Seraph!
    Let us go with thee!

    I think “Summer” is the defining word. It identifies “Seraph” and “Sister” with itself. “Sister” is the beloved human being, “Seraph” is the angel
    of Biblical tradition and “Summer” is the world that she and all of us know to be true one: the natural world.

    We trust that she was willing —
    We ask that we may be.

    We trust that she was willing to “go with Summer” and “We ask that we may be” as well.

    By the way: the formatting of my comments is not the way I wanted it! It is very difficult to read. Please try anyway! Thanks, Jim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.