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To Melancholy

To Melancholy

by Charlotte Smith

The Wind

Symbol Analysis

The wind is usually refreshing, right? It cools you down when you're too warm, or maybe it just sends some fresh air your way. Not so much in this poem. The wind is almost like a character in the poem—it sighs and it whimpers and it moans. In other words, it seems to agree with the speaker's melancholy mood…

  • Lines 3-4: The wind is personified when the speaker says that it "sighs" and "breathes," since those are things only a person does. Calling those sighs "hollow" is a metaphor, since a sigh isn't solid, so how can it be hollow?
  • Line 11: More personification! The wind can't literally feel sad—the speaker just imagines that the wind agrees with her own melancholy mood. And guess what? There's a super-fancy literary term for when you think that your own mood is reflected in the world around you: it's called a pathetic fallacy. And that's something we all do—when we're cheerful, we tend to think the world around us is happy, too. And when we're bummed out, we tend to think the wind is sighing, the mist is ghost-like… you get the picture.

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