Study Guide

Twelfth Song of Thunder Beauty

By Anonymous

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The beauty of nature is an important motif in “Twelfth Song of Thunder.” The poem gives us a vision of how all of these aspects of nature—thunder and grasshoppers and plants and clouds—come together to form a beautiful landscape. It’s a song that dwells on nature’s beauty. Is it any wonder that the word “beautifies” is repeated four times in this short poem?

  • Line 1: The thunder’s voice “beautifies” the land. Presumably, the land is already pretty beautiful, but the sound of thunder makes it even more beautiful. These words are repeated again in line 6, emphasizing the idea that the land is “beautified” by the voice of thunder. 
  • Line 4: The evocation of “the dark cloud” here gives a sense of the awesome wonder of nature. Dark clouds might be associated with scary imagery, but they’re also beautiful. 
  • Line 7: In the second stanza of the poem, we again get the idea that the land is “beautified,” but this time thanks to the voice of the itty-bitty grasshopper (the speaker again repeats these words in line 12). As in the first stanza, these lines highlight the idea that beauty is an important part of nature—and voices like the grasshopper’s add to that beauty. 
  • Line 10: The reference to plants in this line again gives us a sense of the beauty of nature. Plants are beautiful, aren’t they? (Okay, so maybe not all of them are.)

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