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Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

by Wallace Stevens

The Sky

Symbol Analysis

For many religions, the sky represents heaven, where God or the gods live. The protagonist of the poem often turns the sky into a symbol of heaven. By the last stanza, though, the sky becomes just another part of nature.

  • Lines 42-45: The poet imagines what the sky would look like if the earth becomes like paradise. He divides the sky into "a part of labor" and "a part of pain."
  • Line 78: The poet calls the sky in heaven "perfect," which is a use of metonymy, because the perfection of the sky stands for the perfection of heaven as a whole.
  • Line 97: The pagan men chant in a circle. It’s as if they are transferring the life from their blood to the sky. They are responsible for turning the sky into a paradise.
  • Line 117: At the end of the poem, the sky becomes a symbol of isolation, much like the image of the island earlier in the stanza. It’s big, dark, and blue, and it surrounds us on all sides.

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