A Day Summary

In the poem, an innocent speaker describes the sunrise and sunset from his/her view. The speaker describes the sunrise stating that during the sunrise the sunrays appear as a ribbon strip, the steeples (tall towers) glow in amethyst (purple-like colour) and the news run like a squirrel. The hills untie their bonnets and the bobolinks become active. And, the speaker points to the sun and softly says to himself/herself that this might be the sun.

But, the next part of the poem moves from innocence to experience as the poet seems that he is unknown regarding how the sun sets. Nevertheless, the speaker describes that the boys and the girls climbing the stile appeared to be yellow and the stile seemed to be in purple till the boys and the girls climbed from one side to the other side. Similarly, a dominie (pastor) dressed in grey colour gently puts the evening bars and he leads the flocks away together with him.

A Day Excercise Exercise Solution

Understanding the Text

Answer the following questions.

a.How does the poet describe the morning sun in the first stanza?

Ans.: The poet in the poem states that sunrays as a ribbon appeared, the steeples (tall towers) glowed in amethyst (purple-like colour) and the news ran like a squirrel. In this way, the poet describes the morning sun in the first stanza.

b.What does the line ‘The news like squirrels ran’ mean? 

Ans.: In my opinion, the line ‘the news like squirrels ran’ means that in the morning, all people got themselves in the work actively with the sunrise as the squirrel runs in the morning. It might also mean that the news in the morning spreads actively with the circulation of a newspaper or with the gossip of the people.

c.What do you understand by the line “The hills untied their bonnets’? 

Ans.: Again the meaning of the line “The hills untied their bonnets’ is implicit. The line means that the hills before sunrise are covered with the hats of clouds and mist, however with the sunrise, the hills unties their ribbons clouds, i.e. the clouds and mist starts disappearing.

d.Is the speaker watching the morning sun? Why? Why not? 

Ans.: Yes, the speaker is watching the morning sun. We know this since the first and second stanza solely describes the speaker watching the morning sun.

e.How does the sun set ?

Ans: Though the speaker in the poem states that she doesn’t know how the sun sets, even she describes some glimpses during the sunset. She states that there appears a purple stile which little boys and girls were climbing it and the dominie (pastor) gently puts the evening bars when the sun sets.

Reference to the context

a.What, according to the speaker, is a day? 

Ans: According to the speaker, a day is a duration of time from the sunrise to the sunset and different activities occur during this time. However, this poem greatly makes the use of imagery, i.e. the surmise and the sunset in the poem refer to the birth and the death in our life respectively and the day refers to our life that we live from our birth till to our death.

b.What purpose does the hyphen in the first line serve in the poem ? 

Ans. The main use of the hyphen ‘-‘ in general is to glue or join the words or parts of words. Here in the poem too, the hyphen has been used to join or relate the words and actions to be specific. The speaker in the poem first tells the reader that she is describing the sunrise and she uses a hyphen to link the circumstances that describe the sunrise. Hence, the hyphen in the poem serves the purpose of relating the words as well as meanings in the poem.

C.What makes this poem lyrical and sonorous ? Discuss.

Ans.: The poem ‘A Day’ by Emily Dickinson’ seems to be a free verse poem as the poem itself has no definite rhyme scheme. In addition to this, several lines in the poem are punctuated with dashes, a writing style specific to Emily Dickinson. However, the second and fourth lines rhyme with one another in all stanzas of the poem except the first stanza. In addition to this, the words and description of the scenario in the poem too is enthralling and soothing. This all makes this poem lyrical and sonorous.

d.Who are the target audience of the speaker? Why ? 

Ans.: At surface level, one can think that Emily Dickinson, the poet has written this poem for children or young people since the poem features a child persona, whose innocence and confident tone reveals the beauty of a sunrise and seems a little bit doubtful of a sunset. However, exploring the deeper meaning, the poem makes the use of brilliant imageries and symbols and the connotative meaning of sunrise and sunset come to be birth and death. And this shows that the poem is in fact intended for a grown-up or highly knowledgeable people. 

e.The poem seems to describe a day for children. How would the adult people respond to this poem? Discuss this poem with your parents/guardians and write the answer based on their responses. 

Ans.: Though the poem describes a day for children, the poem in fact is intended for adult people. At the surface level, the poem seems to be written for children or young people since the poem features a child persona, whose innocence and confident tone reveals the beauty of a sunrise and sunset. However, if we explore the deeper meaning of the poem, we come to know that the poem makes the use of brilliant imageries and symbols and the sunrise and sunset in the poem actually mean birth and death, which only old people can understand children. Hence, the children and adult readers perceive the poem differently based on their knowledge, experiences and analysis levels.

Reference beyond the text

a.Observe your surroundings of one fine morning and write a poem based on your own experience. 



There rises a ball of fire

Golden and bright

Runs away the hours of darkness

Just with its one sight

Birds start chirping

There rings a temple bell

Blossoms a bud into a full rose

With full of pleasant smell

Joining hands in hands

Children come out to play

Grown-up folks for earning the bread

Leave their homes and move away.

b.Write a personal essay on A Day in the School. 

A Day in the School

A school is a place of learning for a child. It is a training ground for him. Here he forms new associates, comes in contact with boys of different temperaments and forms new ideas and habits.

It is here that he prepares himself for the stage of life. So, the right type of educational school is of great importance for him.

I was enrolled in a school at the age of five. It was a primary school. The memory of my first day in school is still fresh in my mind. It was a small school with eight rooms. There were ten teachers including the physical instructor. The headmaster’s office was separate. The school had a compound with lush green lawns and flowers bedded. My father took me to the headmaster’s office and got me admitted to the school. He gave me a packet of toffees to be distributed among my classmates.

My class teacher was very gentle. He encouraged me and treated me kindly. I felt a bit nervous in the new environment. The boys looked at me with wonder and smiled. I had with me an English primer and got my first lesson in the alphabet.

The bell for interval rang. The boys rushed out of the classrooms. Some of them gathered rounded me. They laughed at me and made fun of me. A few sympathized with me and befriended me. I had a novel experience.

The last bell went at three in the afternoon. All the boys felt very happy. I also took my bag and hurried back to my home.