A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides —
You may have met Him — did you not
His notice sudden is —

The Grass divides as with a Comb —
A spotted shaft is seen —
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on —

He likes a Boggy Acre
A Floor too cool for Corn —
Yet when a Boy, and Barefoot —
I more than once at Noon
Have passed, I thought, a Whip lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone —

Several of Nature’s People
I know, and they know me —
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality —

But never met this Fellow
Attended, or alone
Without a tighter breathing
And Zero at the Bone —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem A narrow Fellow in the Grass


  1. G says:

    I dont beleive this poem is simply about a snake. It is not like Emily Dickinson to write a completely literal poem. Yes it is describing a snake but there has to be something else to it. Dickinson’s poems were all very deep in metaphor and allegory.

  2. Peter says:

    This poem was published in 1866 and probably composed in 1865 (according to the WWW). For those who would give it a “Freudian” interpretation, note that Sigmund Freud was born in 1856. I don’t quite believe that this poem is sexual. It is certainly not explicitly “Freudian”.

  3. Stefan Lynch says:

    I never knew, until reading this thread, about the Conspiracy Theory School of literary criticism.

  4. Ron says:

    the date this poem was written should have been included with the poem.

  5. Tom says:

    The poem is most definitly sexualy in it’s theme. The last two stanzas do show incredible fear, but the fear of some one who is sexually inexperinced and also at the same time filled with lust and passion.

  6. Anna says:

    I think all of you who assume this poem has a sexual meaning- are crazy! I think as teenagers- we tend to focus on sex more than almost anything else- so you can pretty much turn anything into something sexual! But come on! This poem is not “hiding” secret sexual innuendos- it’s easy to understand that what is being described here is a real snake- a boy trying to catch it- and her fear of snakes (hence the “but never met the Fellow attended, or alone without a tighter breathing”) can you breath when your scared?? Most likely, no!

  7. Pops says:

    we went over it in a college class and the teacher said it’s about masterbation

  8. Eric Hunley says:

    I don’t understand why yall are making this out to be a bad poem. I would like to see yall write poetry as beautiful as emily. D-bags!

  9. Kailey says:

    This poem is well written and an interesting description of nature. I have one question for thoses who say the poem has a sexual connatation, explain the 4th and 5th stanza in any other way than describing a snake. I can see what you mean in the 3rd stanza, but that conclusion is contradicted by the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th stanza if you analyze them all together, seeing them connected instead of them all carrying their own meaning.

  10. david says:

    why does the poet never actually gives a description of a snake?

    What is the diction in this poem?

    what are the rhyming the are noticeable?
    Please i need this by tonight sunday

  11. albany says:

    The first time i read this poem i thought snake,but as you read it again,especially when she says “more than once at noon” shes getting a nooner.you never meet him without tighter breathing,she is describing the excitment she feels with her man.i think this is definitley sexually suggestive.

  12. Deb says:

    This is definately sexual. Emily Dickinson did not title her poems; the publishers titled it “snake.” The title “snake” makes the reader miss the sexual symbols of the poem.

  13. Christa says:

    this poem is definately written in a sexual nature. if you don’t see that you have to be crazy. even if you don’t know about psychoanalytical reading and freudian theory you could still pick out tha this has many sexual connotations in it. If you notice, almost all of the words that could be construed as sexual w/o directly stating them are capitalized.

  14. Alan says:

    The poem is about a snake and her fear of them. Poetry does not always have to analyzed so deeply that you draw out things that are likely not there. If anything because of her learning about Transcendentalism, this could be an outlet of what she was learing about appreciating nature. Also, she may identify with the snake because of its reclusive nature and her desire to be reclusive. Don’t over analyze or be so asanine when analysizing poetry.

  15. Arielle says:

    I think this poem is talking about a snake and how she feels about nature. In many ways Emily Dickinson can relate to nature. The snake is sudden she says you might stop when you see it’s bone. Now the question that I ask myself is Emily Dickinson scared of nature.

  16. jess says:

    personally.. i found this poem to be quite contradicting.. she states a “narrow fellow in the grass” but if you read the poem with an open mind.. it has almost a sexual connotation to it.. anyone agree?

  17. M-dog says:

    I enjoyed the heart felt feeling of this poem….
    NOT SUCKERS this poem stinks like a fish in a suitcase!!!!!

  18. bob says:

    Well, you see, this is more of an explicit metaphor. This poem is also titled “A Snake” in some books. When it says “The grass divides as with a comb,” she is talking about how the body of a snake parts the grass. And later on it seems she is affraid of snakes (last stanza). Im sorry if this is not in depth enough, but its best if you do most of your own annalysis, then its easier to talk about.

  19. Bob says:

    She is talking about a snake.

  20. Denise says:

    I am not sure what animal she is speaking about. Please let me know what this poem is all about. This is a homework assignment. Thanks for your help.

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