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We are Seven Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Wordsworth Type: Poetry Views: 5798

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--------A Simple Child,

That lightly draws its breath,

And feels its life in every limb,

What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:

She was eight years old, she said;

Her hair was thick with many a curl

That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad:

Her eyes were fair, and very fair;

--Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little Maid,

How many may you be?"

"How many? Seven in all," she said

And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."

She answered, "Seven are we;

And two of us at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the church-yard lie,

My sister and my brother;

And, in the church-yard cottage, I

Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea,

Yet ye are seven!--I pray you tell,

Sweet Maid, how this may be."

Then did the little Maid reply,

"Seven boys and girls are we;

Two of us in the church-yard lie,

Beneath the church-yard tree."

"You run about, my little Maid,

Your limbs they are alive;

If two are in the church-yard laid,

Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"

The little Maid replied,

"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,

And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit,

My kerchief there I hem;

And there upon the ground I sit,

And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, Sir,

When it is light and fair,

I take my little porringer,

And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane;

In bed she moaning lay,

Till God released her of her pain;

And then she went away.

"So in the church-yard she was laid;

And, when the grass was dry,

Together round her grave we played,

My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow,

And I could run and slide,

My brother John was forced to go,

And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I,

"If they two are in heaven?"

Quick was the little Maid's reply,

"O Master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead!

Their spirits are in heaven!"

'Twas throwing words away; for still

The little Maid would have her will,

And said, "Nay, we are seven!"


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

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I do not think this shows the little girl's lack of understanding of death. It shows that she understands more than the older man. She has accepted that her siblings they are gone forever but she has been conditioned too not seeing siblings for quite a while. Thus it could represent suggestion for a change in thinking for the generations to come seeing as death causes too much grief. One should not grieve too such harmful extents as most do and instead should celebrate the experiences they had with the person during their time on earth.

| Posted on 2014-04-02 | by a guest

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They were nor seven -as the girl believed - neither five as the Lyrical I tried to convince her. They were eight! She said that two of them lived in Conway, two of them went to sea, two of them are dead and she lives with her brother in the Church-yard cottage. So, we have, including her, 2+2+2+2 = 8. Some could say that she and her brother are the ones who lives in Conway, but then they would be 6... So, none of them were right. Interesting, isn\'t it?

| Posted on 2013-01-20 | by a guest

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She is obviously not denying the fact that her brother and sister died since she states how that happens, but she knows that they are with her in soul and spirit and teaches all that if you keep someone alive in your heart, that they will always be alive until you meet them again in the afterlife.... a person is only dead to you if you forget them in your life.

| Posted on 2012-09-30 | by a guest

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She is obviously not denying the fact that her brother and sister died since she states how that happens, but she knows that they are with her in soul and spirit and teaches all that if you keep someone alive in your heart, that they will always be alive until you meet them again in the afterlife.... a person is only dead to you if you forget them in your life.

| Posted on 2012-09-30 | by a guest

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This is one of my favorite poems because somehow it relates to me when I lost a family member!!! She is not in denial she is simple loyal to them and although their gone still counts them because they will always exist in her memory and heart and because she know God relese them from the pain she is somehow thanksful and happy they are not suffering anymore. she overcomes their absence and tries to live happy but still remembers them all the time.

| Posted on 2012-05-15 | by a guest

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child is innocent and they view life as simply living and exploring the environment around them.

| Posted on 2012-05-07 | by a guest

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I believe the little girl is does not fully understand what death is. She has experienced the absence of her siblings, but because of her innocence she cannot grasp the concept of them being dead. This is why she continues to sing and knit at their graves. This poem could have been summed up in the last two stanzas, but I admire Wordsworth for capturing the quizzical nature of man in repeatedly asking the little girl “how many are you”. Her child essence lets her embrace the change and continue through life.

| Posted on 2012-05-01 | by a guest

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The poem shows the innocence of the young girl, she denies the death of her brother and sister and i think it is not wrong, we always feel our loved ones around us whether they are really with us or not, physical touch dies away but it is the memory of the person which always remains the same, maturity shows us the bitter realities of life so it is highly profitable to be immature like the \"simple girl\". Death exists but it does not exist

| Posted on 2012-04-22 | by a guest

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the poem is very critic and boring with not much bringism of enthusiasm and is overall a negative view or story. BORING

| Posted on 2012-04-10 | by a guest

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I actually thought that the fact that she still refers to all 7 siblings as though they were alive demonstrated a greater understanding in knowing that though a person has passed away physically they are always your family. Genetically they would still be related and is therefore still a sibling.

| Posted on 2011-12-10 | by a guest

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I adore this site and have used it many times to aid me in my studies. It\'s a shame some people feel they need to waste time and spam it... Anyway,
I feel this poem is a metaphor for the simplicity and purity of a childs life and love for their family. The repetition of \'we are seven\' shows her inability to regard her siblings as gone! Her love and adoration of them continues even though she knows they are dead. She is well aware that they are dead and buried; \'the first that dies was little Jane... My brother John was forced to go, And he lies by her side\' and so it is not that she will not accept their death, but more the idea that they are no longer a part of her family.
This poem highlights the never ending and limitless love and purity of a childs life.

| Posted on 2011-06-12 | by a guest

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The speaker asks an innocent little girl about how many people make up her family. She replies \"We are seven,\" despite two being deceased, two being at port in Conway, and two at sea. The speaker thinks that the girl is in a state of denial and tries to convince her that she cannot count the ones not present. However, the girl\'s perception of death differs from the speaker. Perhaps the girl knows more about death than the speaker. She has not become incapacitated by grief and doesn\'t cast the deceased out of her life.

| Posted on 2011-05-04 | by a guest

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Firstly i would like to say sorry for my spelling as i am dyslexic so now thats out of the way... i persinally think that this poem is deliberitly missleading. It seems that with wordsworths repitition of \"We are seven\" leads most people down the road of thinking that this is another poem from the romantics about the child psyce. However, i believe that here Wordsworth is commenting on the lower classes and the frequent deaths that occur within them. I believe \"lightly draws its breath\" could be representing the child as being weak, and frail an on the verge of death itself. This could mean that wordsworth instead of asking \"What would she know of death\" as ignorance is actuelly him being sarcastic because she is so used to death that she has accepted it at a younge age.

| Posted on 2011-02-03 | by a guest

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first, i want to say that guys, your spelling is really devastating. you should work on improving your skill of writing. secondly, i believe that the poem itself is a very confusing one.
the girl insists on replying that she has seven siblings. you know it is impossible to convince her the opposite because that\'s the way children are, stubborned and it is difficult to change what they beleive in. it is like a little child who adores candies and you come to tell him that candies are bad for your teeth, how much will he be convinced do you think????

| Posted on 2010-11-21 | by a guest

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its an amazing poem which reflects a childs optimistic view on the things of the world>

| Posted on 2010-08-12 | by a guest

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Does anyone else think that this poem would make an awesome song?
Anywaay, death is irrelevant other than the fact that without it we percieve to have no life, bu can anyway say if that is really true or not? No, because they are gone, not "dead" just moved on to some new life anywhere in their minds. Who are we to say what is a life and what is death? We have no clue what we see, but we absolutely see what we know, but what do we know? We know what other people exactly like us tell us to know. We call the ocean blue because way back when someone decided that was right, and so what I am saying is that LITERATURE IS LITERALLY LIFE! Think about it, without literature we cannot communicate and without communication, there is no life.

| Posted on 2010-06-18 | by a guest

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is spelling considered...that said...never mind i can't take this site seriously...I mean really...STAR TREK???? you do realize that Wordsworth had been dead for over a hundred years before that came out right...and therefore NONE of his poems could be BASED ON STAR TREK???

| Posted on 2010-03-15 | by a guest

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The little girl seems to know more about grief than the man asking the questions.It seems that at the beginning she is in a state of denial concerning her sisters' death because she dances around her grave. This also shows here true love for her family and unwillingness to let them go from her life. Her dancing around the grave at last lets her to still feel her sister's presence. Towards the end she is asked how is their still seven if your brother and sister died? This seems to be because she doesen't want to let the fact of her brother and sister dying really stick with her. She is again somewhat in a state of denial and claims they are still there with here. She could just be speaking of their spirits still being alive with her. Perhaps, she sees death differently than the questioning man. Maybe she doesent let the grieving of death tae control of her and finds positive things in it like pretending they are still there in some form. However, many people would call this being in a state of denial. Who are they to say that though?

| Posted on 2010-02-15 | by a guest

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i like this poem very much.we read it in the class.i told everyone about it and they told the teacher to bring it.so she did.this poem shows the thinking of a
child about death.it shows that children think very differently of death from adults.

| Posted on 2009-12-16 | by a guest

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I like this poem very much. It shows us that everybody see things from their own point of view, specially children. the fact that she was thinking differently does not mean she was wrong. the little girl show us that all kids see life in a pure way, they understand what death means, but they do not fear it the way grownups do.

| Posted on 2009-07-08 | by a guest

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"Nay, we are seven!"
the heay stresses of the last line shows how the young girl is loyal to her viewpoint without being intimidated and complying to te adults knowledge. The poem shows the power of childhood to destruct nad liberate.
Its not that she is not aware of the meaning of death "Till God released her of her pain" she uses mature terminology for death.

| Posted on 2009-06-09 | by a guest

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This poem epitomises the romanticism attitude of the late 18th century. It was written after he had encountered a young girl on his travels. The narrator is shown to have a rational viewpoint as time and time again he attempts to make her realise that her siblings are dead. However he is met with frustration as the little girl openly rejects rationality and belives in immortality.

| Posted on 2009-04-29 | by a guest

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I see, this poem is based on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. At the end of the film when speaking of Spock who died only hours before, Carol Marcus says "He's not really gone, as long as we remember him."

| Posted on 2009-03-22 | by a guest

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Having said that....I think it is insightful and moving that you can connect the wonderous world of Sesame Street to a nineteenth-century British Poet. I think Wordsworth would want to ride Snuffleupagus. He would shout to the heavens, "Gads! What glorious freedom. From your furry snout to your googly eyes, I am inspired to rethink my concept of the universe. Instead of going to Tintern Abbey for solace and comfort, I will return to the streets of Sesame and relish the experience of the letter and number of the day." By the way, today's letter and number happen to be the same....how can this be?

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by ApolloMcKnight

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Oh wow sir, you have that certain episode recorded by a video cassette recording device? That is most excellent! I would love to purchase said type from you for a generous amount of 80 dollars!
Also, this poem makes me excited in many ways, I love the sensualism of it all and it makes me happy!

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

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You guys need to get some work done. This type of analysis can be useful for your overall project, but messing around in a computer lab does not benefit anyone.

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by ApolloMcKnight

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I thought the last three posts were very insiteful. If i had children like that I would give them lots of
of cookiies and cake. I love you guys want to be my bff. Anys that first quote mad eme think. and later today i will live like i have never lived before. Peace and ill be finding where you live.
Micheal Jackson

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

.: :.

You guys need to get some work done. This type of analysis can be useful for your overall project, but messing around in a computer lab does not benefit anyone.

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by ApolloMcKnight

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yeh bra i remebur tat epasode, i got it on tape.
jermoe tyrel davis peace

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

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It liek i alwasy say "sometimes you find things." It reminds me of of a tme on sesme strt where count chocula and carot monster went out and bought a pickle an chese and they founded a bunny why was thwe bunny mad. but in tghe end i thin kwe all lrnd wat we shoul du when we eatr choclate chakes and bark. and teh rooster and stew l;ived forever and ever

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

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hell yeah gurrl, yals no wut i mean, C the way i C it is that al peple gona dy and are life gona be shrt.

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

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Dang son son, that jerome dude's post wuzdeep...muh vue on dis poem is differnt nah knah what i mean? that post wuz dank...mad me reeliz dat lil gurl was up dere figurin dat her bro's and sis's be still livin in a way knah what i mean? dat junks be deep as hell. fo sho.
Shayquana Boleefta Davidson

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

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it was gud, i lked it, it mad me thank of muh lif, and whi im hurr. i thout it was vry put well togethur, it mad me :D peace
jerome tyrel davis

| Posted on 2008-12-12 | by a guest

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Does how we perceive death matter? Death is only temporary, our physical body dies but our memories live on inside our loved ones. This talks about the transcience of life and death, with a tinge of innocence in the fact that children view things differently without the corrupting effects of knowledge. In this case, the memory acts as a metaphor for the other 6 living companions.

| Posted on 2008-09-07 | by a guest

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