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Analysis

There’s more to a poem than meets the eye.

Heaven

When Shelley uses this word, we're not sure that he literally means a place where God lives with a lot of angels. Christian spirituality definitely isn't a major focus of this poem. At the same tim...

Clouds

Are you picking up on a general "things in the sky" theme here? Yeah, us too. So much of the imagery in this poem has to do with the sky, and that makes sense, because this is all about a bird. Hec...

The Silver Sphere

This reference is a little tricky, but based on the context, it's pretty clear that the "silver sphere" is an allusion to the planet Venus. Venus is visible as a bright object in the heavens, and i...

Rain Imagery

The rain, like the cloud, comes up over and over again in this poem. It's a really important recurring image. Just like "Heaven" and the "silver sphere," it's associated with the sky and the things...

The Maiden

This is the second of a whole string of stanzas that focus on a single simile and really dig into it. In this case, the bird's song is compared to a "high-born maiden" in a tower. Ever seen Sleepin...

The Glow-Worm

We love this weird little detour. Most of the images so far have been about the sky and heaven and love. Now, all of a sudden we get a single simile between the skylark and a bug. Granted, it's a p...

The Rose

One last single simile in this little series. Comparing anything with a rose is a serious poetic cliché, and that was true even back when Shelley was writing. Still, we think he does a pretty good...

The Crystal Stream

We have one last metaphor for you to check out here. It's not a huge deal, but it's definitely part of the wordplay in this poem. The song of the bird isn't really a crystal stream. The speaker is...
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