Study Guide

To a Waterfowl Calling Card

By William Cullen Bryant

Calling Card

Walks Through Nature

It seems like every other poem by William Cullen Bryant has something to do with taking a walk in the woods. If you've read our "In a Nutshell" section, you know that Bryant was inspired to write the poem while walking outdoors in rural Massachusetts. The walk through the nature is the occasion of many a Bryant poem.

Thus, in "Autumn Woods" the speaker says "I roam the woods that crown / The upland," whereas, in "A Walk at Sunset", the speaker says "Oh, let me, by the crystal valley-stream, / Wander amid the mild and mellow light." Then of course there are poems like "A Summer Ramble" or "My Autumn Walk." While Bryant doesn't always describe walking in such explicit terms, he often talks about standing in the middle of the woods, or on a hill. The implication is clear: to get to those places he must have had to hoof it through nature.

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