Study Guide

Apparently with no surprise Setting

By Emily Dickinson

Setting

Happy Field Turned Sad

This poem takes us to a field of happy flowers. Maybe they have big stupid smiley faces or maybe they're just bright, colorful, and dancing in the wind. How nice. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh, nothing, just the frost, which happens to be a serial killer… of flowers. Our happy-go-lucky scene is cruelly interrupted by a glaze of ice that's hungry for flower blood. And one by one our jolly flowers have their heads lopped off, and suddenly they aren't so smiley anymore. It's kind of hard to smile when you don't have a head.

Even though the scene is getting a little depressing the sun still shines down on it all—no dark and stormy clouds here. These murders happen in broad daylight. What's even a little more twisted is that the flowers are still beautiful after they die. Their decapitated blooms lay about the grass still glittering with ice in morning sun. And somewhere way above it all—deep in the bottomless blue sky—God is looking down and saying, "Ahh, that went well."

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