I like to see it lap the Miles
by Emily Dickinson
Lines 8-12 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
And then a Quarry pare
To fit its Ribs
And crawl between
- Now the train "crawls" through a narrow tunnel or passage in the mountainous terrain.
- Some of the words here are a bit strange, so we'll help you out.
- "Pare" is a word you've probably heard before. Ever used a "paring knife" to "pare" (cut) up a piece of fruit?
- "Quarry" is a place where stone is cut from the ground.
- "Ribs" seems to be a metaphor for the train tracks—can't you picture the resemblance?
- "Paring" a "quarry" makes it sound as though the thing slices through rock as effortlessly as a knife through an apple.
- Of course, it probably wasn't quite that easy to cut away the rocks for the train. But you get the idea.
Complaining all the while
In horrid — hooting stanza —
- The mystery creature whines horribly as it moves through the rock, making a loud ruckus.
- What did we tell you about the personification in this poem? By describing it as "complaining," the speaker gives the train even more personality.
- Check out the use of the word "stanza." It makes us think of stanzas of poetry, which have a rhythmic quality. It seems like the horrible sounds coming from this thing are rhythmic, too.
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