Lines 4-7 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
And then — prodigious step Around a Pile of Mountains —
- After its pit stop, the train goes onward, to step effortlessly around mountains – not just one, but a "pile."
- We have a great sense of just how massive this locomotive is so far; it's large enough to require tanks of food, and to skip around mountain ranges.
- Despite all the animal-like descriptions, this train is certainly no real animal…
And supercilious peer
In Shanties — by the sides of Roads —
- The train "superciliously" (that is, haughtily or condescendingly) looks into the ramshackle buildings by the roadside.
- Clearly, the speaker can't get enough of personification. The train isn't just a big iron thing—it actually has a personality.
- We think that by giving the train a snooty attitude, the speaker might be telling us that she's not totally sold on this new technology. What do you think?