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Upon A Wasp Chilled With Cold Analysis



Author: Poetry of Edward Taylor Type: Poetry Views: 1859

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The bear that breathes the northern blast

Did numb, torpedo-like, a wasp

Whose stiffened limbs encramped, lay bathing

In Sol's warm breath and shine as saving,

Which with her hands she chafes and stands

Rubbing her legs, shanks, thighs, and hands.

Her pretty toes, and fingers' ends

Nipped with this breath, she out extends

Unto the sun, in great desire

To warm her digits at that fire.

Doth hold her temples in this state

Where pulse doth beat, and head doth ache.

Doth turn, and stretch her body small,

Doth comb her velvet capital.

As if her little brain pan were

A volume of choice precepts clear.

As if her satin jacket hot

Contained apothecary's shop

Of nature's receipts, that prevails

To remedy all her sad ails,

As if her velvet helmet high

Did turret rationality.

She fans her wing up to the wind

As if her pettycoat were lined,

With reason's fleece, and hoists sails

And humming flies in thankful gales

Unto her dun curled palace hall

Her warm thanks offering for all.Lord, clear my misted sight that I

May hence view Thy divinity,

Some sparks whereof thou up dost hasp

Within this little downy wasp

In whose small corporation we

A school and a schoolmaster see,

Where we may learn, and easily find

A nimble spirit bravely mind

Her work in every limb: and lace

It up neat with a vital grace,

Acting each part though ne'er so small

Here of this fustian animal.

Till I enravished climb into

The Godhead on this ladder do,

Where all my pipes inspired upraise

An heavenly music furred with praise.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

The metaphor in the garden and a man's place in the universe also symbolizes the sun and the god's place in the world.

| Posted on 2014-09-27 | by a guest


.: :.

A devout Puritan and faithful writer, Edward Taylor authored over 7000 pages of poetry, not found until more than 200 years after his passing. Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold is just one of the many poems that portrays his full-hearted adoration for God. Wishing only that he “may learn, and easily find a nimble Spirit” within himself to improve his service to the “Godhead,” Taylor utilizes a variety of symbolism and poetic and rhetorical devices throughout the poem.
To introduce his main idea, he describes a small, simple wasp numbed by an icy “Northern blast” to symbolize the cold, sinfulness of both his and humanity’s hearts. Unable to warm herself, “she out extends [her hands] unto the Sun,” which can be construed as the Son of God, as if to pray and beg for “Sol’s warm breath.” Both fire, as of the Sun, and wind, as of its “breath,” are symbols of the Holy Spirit and are represented throughout the poem as such. While observing the wasp, he sees even further spiritual qualities: Imagining that “her petty coat” was “lined with…fleece,” Taylor connects the simple material of the “coat” with the Lamb (of God) from which the fleece came. The wasp, finally warmed, ascends to glorious flight in the “thankful gales” of the Spirit.
In addition to the symbolism of the “Godhead,” or Trinity, Edward Taylor applies a plethora of structural poetic devices to further deepen and convey Upon a Wasp’s meaning. In several instances, he uses broken/forced meter to illustrate the intended meaning of a line or of lines. For example, the wasp’s “stiffened limbs encramped, lay bathing,” is cramped into a single tetrameter to emphasize the awkward, “stiffened” pain in which the wasp is bound. Taylor also employs caesura in a similar way. In line two, he strategically placed caesura directly after the word “numb” to enhance the tone and signification of both the word itself and the sentence; thus the numbness of the wasp connects to the numbness of both humanity’s and Taylor’s hearts. Enjambment, a third device found prominently in Taylor’s poem, illustrates both the extension of ideas from line to line and actual idea within the lines. A strong use of enjambment, for example, appears in the second stanza as the wasp “out extends unto the Sun” her chilled extremities. The idea in the line extends just as “her digits.”
Other use of diction and alliteration, moreover, was included to convey critical points in Taylor’s poem. Demonstrating the pulsating pain “where heart doth beat and head doth ache,” short, single-syllable words imitate the referenced heartbeat. “The Bear that breathes the Northern blast” caused the wasp’s numbing pain, which Taylor emphasizes with a harsh “b” alliteration to describe the harsh, icy wind. Finally, Taylor stresses the idea that the wasp is insignificant in the overall scheme of his life, yet “in whose small Corporation” he finds the presence of God’s grace. This wasp, “acting each part though ne’er so small,” “inspired upraise [and] Heavenly music” within Taylor himself.
With this variety of writing techniques, Taylor shows that through “this downy little wasp,” he conceived that his “misted sight” must be cleared in order for him to “hence view [God’s] Divinity.” This wasp, fully able to appreciate the glorious gifts of God, became Edward Taylor’s “inspiration” in his search for awe of God’s grace. A cold-hearted sinner, he awaits the day when, like the wasp, he may bask in the glorious light of the wondrous spiritual Being.
Hope this helps! I just wrote this for an AP American Lit. project..please don\'t just copy/paste for /your/ English class.

| Posted on 2011-12-07 | by a guest


.: :.

A devout Puritan and faithful writer, Edward Taylor authored over 7000 pages of poetry, not found until more than 200 years after his passing. Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold is just one of the many poems that portrays his full-hearted adoration for God. Wishing only that he “may learn, and easily find a nimble Spirit” within himself to improve his service to the “Godhead,” Taylor utilizes a variety of symbolism and poetic and rhetorical devices throughout the poem.
To introduce his main idea, he describes a small, simple wasp numbed by an icy “Northern blast” to symbolize the cold, sinfulness of both his and humanity’s hearts. Unable to warm herself, “she out extends [her hands] unto the Sun,” which can be construed as the Son of God, as if to pray and beg for “Sol’s warm breath.” Both fire, as of the Sun, and wind, as of its “breath,” are symbols of the Holy Spirit and are represented throughout the poem as such. While observing the wasp, he sees even further spiritual qualities: Imagining that “her petty coat” was “lined with…fleece,” Taylor connects the simple material of the “coat” with the Lamb (of God) from which the fleece came. The wasp, finally warmed, ascends to glorious flight in the “thankful gales” of the Spirit.
In addition to the symbolism of the “Godhead,” or Trinity, Edward Taylor applies a plethora of structural poetic devices to further deepen and convey Upon a Wasp’s meaning. In several instances, he uses broken/forced meter to illustrate the intended meaning of a line or of lines. For example, the wasp’s “stiffened limbs encramped, lay bathing,” is cramped into a single tetrameter to emphasize the awkward, “stiffened” pain in which the wasp is bound. Taylor also employs caesura in a similar way. In line two, he strategically placed caesura directly after the word “numb” to enhance the tone and signification of both the word itself and the sentence; thus the numbness of the wasp connects to the numbness of both humanity’s and Taylor’s hearts. Enjambment, a third device found prominently in Taylor’s poem, illustrates both the extension of ideas from line to line and actual idea within the lines. A strong use of enjambment, for example, appears in the second stanza as the wasp “out extends unto the Sun” her chilled extremities. The idea in the line extends just as “her digits.”
Other use of diction and alliteration, moreover, was included to convey critical points in Taylor’s poem. Demonstrating the pulsating pain “where heart doth beat and head doth ache,” short, single-syllable words imitate the referenced heartbeat. “The Bear that breathes the Northern blast” caused the wasp’s numbing pain, which Taylor emphasizes with a harsh “b” alliteration to describe the harsh, icy wind. Finally, Taylor stresses the idea that the wasp is insignificant in the overall scheme of his life, yet “in whose small Corporation” he finds the presence of God’s grace. This wasp, “acting each part though ne’er so small,” “inspired upraise [and] Heavenly music” within Taylor himself.
With this variety of writing techniques, Taylor shows that through “this downy little wasp,” he conceived that his “misted sight” must be cleared in order for him to “hence view [God’s] Divinity.” This wasp, fully able to appreciate the glorious gifts of God, became Edward Taylor’s “inspiration” in his search for awe of God’s grace. A cold-hearted sinner, he awaits the day when, like the wasp, he may bask in the glorious light of the wondrous spiritual Being.
Hope this helps! I just wrote this for an AP American Lit. project..please don\'t just copy/paste for /your/ English class.

| Posted on 2011-12-07 | by a guest


.: :.

I think the wasp symbolizes a hippopotamus enduring ninja training. Everyone know that the rotund hippo is too clumsy to be a ninja, but the hippo wants to prove to himself and the unbelievers that he can succeed against all odds. This hippo demands support from his hippopotamus family and friends. With a small donation of $40.00 a month this hippo can pay his son, Thunder Thighs, through grad school so he can be the first professor in the Hippo community and educate the poor, ignorant hippos on the way of the world. With this newfound knowledge, the hippo race will rise up against the humans and proclaim Thunder Thighs as the new ruler of Earth. All Hail Thunder Thighs!
p.s. It\'s a hippopotamus world.

| Posted on 2011-09-27 | by a guest


.: :.

The wasp represents a women in the Puritan society who is uplifted by the \"sol\" or God\'s warmth/wrath.

| Posted on 2010-11-22 | by a guest


.: :.

there is the as if statement which says that the wasp (people) think that they have all of these qualities that the wasp thinks it has but they need god to clear their misted sight to see what is real.
clear my misted sight is saying that we want to see god\'s divinity. we also must realize that we aren\'t a big deal and what is really important is god, not the insignificant wasp

| Posted on 2010-09-30 | by a guest


.: The True Meaning :.

Taylor observes the wasp and sees how she is warmed by the sun and brought out of her numb, chilled state and into glorious flight. So also, Taylor longs tobask in the sunlight of God's grace and have his soul warmed and stirred into flights of praise for the goodness of God. The is the use of an emblem or conceit, an extended metaphor to illustrate an important theme. In this case, Taylor is saying that just as the wasp needs the sunlight to warm it from its frigid state, so we need God's grace to thaw our frozen hearts and warm us so that we may praise God as we should.

| Posted on 2005-08-02 | by Approved Guest




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