Nature's Simple Tapestry: Finding Serenity in “The Grass so little has to do” - Emily Dickinson

American literature essay. Literary analysis of works and characters - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Nature's Simple Tapestry: Finding Serenity in “The Grass so little has to do”
Emily Dickinson

"The Grass so little has to do" by Emily Dickinson is a welcome diversion from the often confusing and chaotic world we live in. Dickinson creates a picture of tranquility found in the stillness of nature's tapestry, a tapestry woven with the threads of acceptance, self-sufficiency, and quiet satisfaction, through her vivid imagery and deceptively simple words.

Grass as an Entire Being Model:

Setting the scene is the poem's first line, "The Grass so little has to do." At first sight, this straightforward statement might not seem like much. Dickinson, though, gives it a deep significance. The grass, a representation of the fundamental simplicity of nature, provides an example of how to live a life devoid of pointless worries and fears. It exists effortlessly, devoid of any need for approval or acknowledgment. It is content in its silence, that's all.

Satisfaction and Acceptance:

The lyrics "It does not ask of Clover's dress / Or why the Buttercup is yellow —" by Dickinson reaffirm this acceptance concept. Unlike people, the grass doesn't focus on jealousy or comparisons. It finds beauty and meaning in its own distinct shape and accepts its position in the natural order. The tranquility of the poem is based on this acceptance of what is rather than wishing for what could be.

The Orchestra of the Invisible:

Dickinson goes on to encourage us to recognize the subtle beauty found in the natural world with her line, "It knows the Sun is on its way / And when the Dew is on the Grass —." The poem does not require big shows or dramatic declarations in order to enjoy the small pleasures in life, such as the coolness of the dew and the warmth of the sun. The grass finds its own rhythm and melody in the symphony of the invisible, existing in a perpetual state of awareness of its surrounds.

The Self-Sufficiency Tapestry:

But this knowledge does not mean that one becomes dependent. Dickinson informs us that "No Gardener respects —" the grass. It is self-sustaining and self-validating; it is not dependent on other factors. Its ties to the soil, its roots, are where it gets its power. This independence, this subdued assurance in its own existence, lends further weight to the poem's serene message.

A Teaching for the Fidgety Soul:

In the end, "The Grass so little has to do" is a kind reminder for the human spirit, which is frequently bogged down in the intricacies of its own creation. The poem asks us to take it slow, enjoy the small things in life, and find contentment in the solitary acceptance of our own existence. It reminds us that contentment in the fabric of our own life, like the grass, is the genuine source of tranquility, rather than striving or yearning.

Further Analysis Points:

The poem's feeling of peace and introspection is enhanced by its brief lines and straightforward language.
A whimsical touch is added, and the interconnectivity of nature is emphasized, through the use of personification, like in the case of the grass "knowing" the sun is about to rise.
The poem offers deep insights about how humans relate to nature and can be read through a variety of perspectives, including philosophical, spiritual, and environmental ones.