Study Guide

Twelfth Song of Thunder Summary

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Twelfth Song of Thunder Summary

“Twelfth Song of Thunder” is divided into two stanzas. The first stanza focuses on the “voice of thunder.” This voice comes from above, from the clouds, and it’s a voice that, according to the speaker, beautifies the land (and, if it’s too close, scares us to death). This stanza also emphasizes how the voice of thunder is a repeated sound—it occurs again and again.

The second stanza is all about the “voice of the grasshopper.” The voice of the grasshopper is contrasted with the voice of thunder. It’s an itty-bitty, wee voice, coming from below, from the “plants” in the ground. But, the speaker suggests that, just like the voice of thunder, this voice also beautifies the land. Both the big voices and the little voices of nature, in other words, have a role to play. They all add to the beauty of nature, and they all help sustain us. As in the first stanza, there’s also a lot of repetition in this second section of the poem. Just as the voice of thunder repeats again and again, so does the voice of the grasshopper: cheep, cheep.

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