Study Guide

Up-Hill Summary

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Up-Hill Summary

We've got two speakers in this poem: one asking questions, the other answering. Right from the start we get the feeling these questions have something to do with a trip. Our first batch has to do with a road—Is it uphill? How long will it take to travel? Both of these the second speaker answers: Yes, it's uphill and cancel your dinner reservations because this climb will take all day long. Then we move on to questions about what to do when it starts getting dark. According to our second speaker, there's an inn that you seriously cannot miss, but our first speaker seems to be nervous that, even with the inn, he or she will find some way to mess things up. He asks what kind of people he'll meet along the way, if any, and what to do when he gets to the inn (just in case you need a secret password or something). Once again, Speaker #2 has all the answers. Having established the presence of an inn at the end of this uphill climb, Speaker #1 then starts asking what the inn is like: Will there be beds? Is it comfortable? The poem ends with the second speaker's promise that there will be "beds for all who come" (although in practice, reservations are recommended).

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