'The morns are meeker than they were' by Emily Dickinson

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The morns are meeker than they were-
The nuts are getting brown-
The berry's cheek is plumper-
The Rose is out of town.The Maple wears a gayer scarf-
The field a scarlet gown-
Lest I should be old fashioned
I'll put a trinket on.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The morns are meeker than they were: A Deeper Look into Emily Dickinson's Poetry

Emily Dickinson is one of the most renowned American poets of all time, and her works have been studied and analyzed by literary critics and enthusiasts for years. Among her most famous poems is "The morns are meeker than they were," which stands out for its unique style and intricate meaning.

In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will take a closer look at this poem and explore its themes, literary devices, and significance in the context of Dickinson's body of work. So, hold on tight, and let's dive into the world of Emily Dickinson's poetry.

Background and Context

Before we delve into the poem itself, it is essential to understand the historical and cultural context in which it was written. Emily Dickinson lived in the mid-19th century, a time when the United States was undergoing significant social and political changes. The country was grappling with issues such as slavery, the women's rights movement, and the Civil War.

In this environment, Dickinson found solace in writing poetry, which she saw as a way to express her innermost thoughts and feelings. However, she was a recluse and published very few of her works during her lifetime. Only after her death did her poetry gain recognition and become widely celebrated.

Now, let's turn our attention to the poem itself.

The morns are meeker than they were: The Poem

The morns are meeker than they were— The nuts are getting brown— The berry's cheek is plumper— The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf— The field a scarlet gown— Lest I should be old-fashioned I'll put a trinket on.

At first glance, "The morns are meeker than they were" appears to be a simple poem that describes the changing of the seasons. However, upon closer inspection, we realize that there is much more to it than meets the eye.

Form and Style

One of the things that make Emily Dickinson's poetry unique is her style. She often used slant rhyme, irregular meter, and unconventional punctuations to create a sense of musicality and rhythm in her poems.

In "The morns are meeker than they were," Dickinson employs a simple ABCB rhyme scheme, with every other line rhyming. The meter is iambic tetrameter, with four stressed syllables followed by four unstressed ones in each line. This gives the poem a sing-song quality that is reminiscent of a children's nursery rhyme.

However, the simplicity of the form belies the complexity of the poem's meaning. Dickinson uses subtle shifts in tone and imagery to convey her message, which we will explore in the next section.

Themes and Interpretation

At its core, "The morns are meeker than they were" is a poem about change and the passage of time. Dickinson uses the changing of the seasons as a metaphor for the transience of life and the inevitability of aging.

The first stanza of the poem describes the signs of autumn: the meeker mornings, the browning nuts, the plumper berries, and the absence of roses. These images suggest a sense of loss and melancholy, as the warmth and vibrancy of summer give way to the cold and barrenness of winter.

However, in the second stanza, Dickinson shifts the tone of the poem, describing the beauty and vibrancy of the fall foliage. The maple tree wears a gayer scarf, and the field is dressed in a scarlet gown, suggesting a celebration of life and vitality in the midst of death and decay.

The final line of the poem, "Lest I should be old-fashioned, I'll put a trinket on," is perhaps the most enigmatic. On the surface, it appears to be a lighthearted reference to fashion and trends. However, it can also be interpreted as a plea for immortality, a desire to leave a mark on the world that will outlast the passing of time.

Overall, the poem suggests that life is fleeting and ephemeral, but that there is beauty and meaning to be found in the midst of change and decay. The juxtaposition of melancholy and celebration, of loss and vitality, creates a sense of tension and complexity that is characteristic of Dickinson's poetry.

Literary Devices

In "The morns are meeker than they were," Dickinson employs several literary devices to convey her message. One of the most prominent is metaphor, which she uses to compare the changing of the seasons to the passage of time.

She also uses personification to give life to the natural world, describing the maple tree's "gayer scarf" and the field's "scarlet gown." These images create a sense of movement and vibrancy in the poem, even as they suggest the inevitability of aging and decay.

Finally, Dickinson uses irony to great effect in the final line of the poem. The reference to fashion and trends, which at first appears to be a lighthearted aside, takes on a deeper, more poignant meaning in the context of the poem as a whole.


In addition to its literary merits, "The morns are meeker than they were" is significant in the context of Emily Dickinson's body of work. It is a representative example of her unique style and the themes that characterize her poetry.

Moreover, the poem speaks to universal human experiences, such as the fear of aging and the desire for immortality. Its message of finding beauty and meaning in the midst of change and decay is a timeless one that resonates with readers even today.


In conclusion, "The morns are meeker than they were" is a deceptively simple yet complex poem that reflects the themes and style that are characteristic of Emily Dickinson's poetry. Its use of metaphor, personification, and irony creates a sense of tension and complexity that belies its sing-song quality.

Moreover, the poem speaks to universal human experiences and offers a message of hope and beauty in the midst of life's transience. It is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the essence of the human experience and to offer solace and meaning in the face of life's challenges.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Morns Are Meeker Than They Were: A Deep Dive into Emily Dickinson's Classic Poetry

Emily Dickinson, one of the most celebrated poets in American literature, is known for her unique style and unconventional approach to poetry. Her works often explore themes of death, nature, and spirituality, and are characterized by their use of slant rhyme, dashes, and unconventional capitalization. One of her most famous poems, "The Morns Are Meeker Than They Were," is a perfect example of her distinctive style and poetic genius.

At first glance, "The Morns Are Meeker Than They Were" appears to be a simple poem about the changing seasons. The poem begins with the line "The morns are meeker than they were," which suggests a shift in the weather from the harshness of winter to the gentleness of spring. However, as one delves deeper into the poem, it becomes clear that there is much more going on beneath the surface.

The second line of the poem, "The nuts are getting brown," is a reference to the changing color of the trees as they shed their leaves in preparation for winter. This line is followed by "The berry's cheek is plumper," which refers to the ripening of fruit in the fall. These two lines suggest a cyclical nature to the poem, with the changing of the seasons being a recurring theme throughout.

The third line of the poem, "The rose is out of town," is a bit more enigmatic. It could be interpreted as a reference to the fading of summer and the disappearance of the rose, which is often associated with the season. Alternatively, it could be seen as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of beauty and the transience of life.

The fourth line of the poem, "Lest I should be old-fashioned," is a bit of a departure from the previous three lines. It suggests a fear of being left behind or out of touch with the changing times. This line could be seen as a reflection of Dickinson's own struggles with modernity and her reluctance to conform to societal norms.

The final two lines of the poem, "I'll put a trinket on," and "And stir the country up," are perhaps the most puzzling. The first line suggests a desire to adorn oneself with something small and insignificant, while the second line seems to suggest a desire to disrupt the status quo. Taken together, these lines could be seen as a call to action, a plea to embrace change and challenge the established order.

So what does it all mean? At its core, "The Morns Are Meeker Than They Were" is a meditation on the passage of time and the inevitability of change. The poem suggests that while the seasons may come and go, life goes on, and we must adapt to the changing world around us. It also suggests that there is beauty in the transience of life, and that we should embrace it rather than fear it.

In terms of Dickinson's style, "The Morns Are Meeker Than They Were" is a perfect example of her use of slant rhyme and unconventional capitalization. The poem is full of half-rhymes and near-rhymes, such as "brown" and "town," which give the poem a musical quality. Dickinson's use of dashes also adds to the poem's unique rhythm and flow.

In conclusion, "The Morns Are Meeker Than They Were" is a classic example of Emily Dickinson's poetic genius. It is a poem that rewards careful reading and analysis, revealing deeper layers of meaning with each reading. It is a poem that speaks to the human experience of change and the passage of time, and it is a poem that continues to resonate with readers today.

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