Study Guide

Twelfth Song of Thunder Stanza 2

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Stanza 2

Lines 7-8

The voice that beautifies the land!
The voice below,

  • We get even more repetition in these lines. The refrain “The voice that beautifies the land!”, which began the poem, is repeated. This repetition, as we’ve mentioned, itself embodies the cyclical time that we’ll find in nature. 
  • But this time, the voice is coming from below, not above. So the speaker’s alerting us to the fact that we are listening to another voice here, not the voice of thunder. 
  • By referring to a different voice in this stanza, the speaker suggests that there is more than one voice that beautifies the land. It’s not just one voice that’s important in nature, all the voices are important.

Lines 9-10

The voice of the grasshopper
Among the plants

  • Here we’re down among the plants, with the grasshopper. While the first stanza of the poem focused on the awesome sound of thunder coming from the sky, these lines place us in a natural environment that contrasts with the one evoked in the first stanza. We’re no longer way up high. We’re down on the ground, hanging out with tiny bugs in the grass. 
  • By introducing the personified voice of the grasshopper along with the sound of thunder in this poem, the speaker essentially equates the two voices. They may be different, but they’re equal. 
  • Sure, we may think that the voice of thunder is much more awesome and intense and beautiful than the voice of some little, chirrupy grasshopper, but our speaker suggests that all the voices of nature are important—whether they’re booming and loud like the voice of thunder, or slight and chirrupy like the voice of a grasshopper.

Lines 11-12

Again and again it sounds,
The voice that beautifies the land

  • Here again, we get the familiar refrain: “The voice that beautifies the land.”
  • The repetition at this point works, as it did earlier in the poem, to give us a sense of the cycles of nature. These sounds—both the thunder’s and the grasshopper’s—are repeated, occurring over and over in nature. 
  • On another level, the voice of the grasshopper is given equal importance to the voice of thunder in the poem, since the speaker devotes just as much time to describing the grasshopper’s sounds. Like the voice of thunder, the grasshopper’s voice equally “beautifies” the land. 
  • By equating one voice with the other, the speaker also gives us a sense of the harmony that characterizes nature.
  • The voices of animals, the voices of the weather, the voices of little bugs, the voices of the wind and, well, everything else—they’re all working together to create beauty in nature. It’s one big, happy symphony.

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