For the poem "It Sifts from Leaden Sieves" by Emily Dickinson:
What is or are the themes of the poem?
How are rhyme and other metrical devices used in the poem? Do they support the poem's overall meaning?
Is the identity of the poem's narrator clear? How would you describe this person? What information, if any, does the author provide about him or her?
Does the narrator seem to have a certain opinion of or attitude about the poem's subject matter? How can you tell?
SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!
Literal Theme: The falling of snow in a distinct setting (here you'd want to give specific examples i.e. falls through the gray clouds)
Underlying Theme: There really isn't one; it's mainly an imagery poem. So, the use of strong adjectives and visual descriptions add to the overall meaning of a person sitting enjoying this event in nature.
Rhyme Scheme: Starts with ABCD (and continues from there with E and so on).
Lines: To do this count all the lines in the poem (this is easy to do, but Brainmass is very specific not to give all the answers; just count them up.
Stanzas: These are groupings of lines; hence the first stanza is four lines. Same as above . . . now count up how many groups of four there are.
Alliteration: This is the repetitive use of a sound: Alex always ate alone. Here, the vowel "A" is used repeatedly. This is alliteration. There is a strong use of alliteration, within this poem, in stanza 4
Narrator: You'd want to read over this poem yourself, but to me the speaker seems to be a man while outside watching it snow. Poetry is very personal, so make sure you read it over, before you agree with this part. As the narrator watches it snow, within the poem, he describes its overall effect on the setting during this particular winter season. The narrator's tone (the way the words are spoken) seems to be that of happiness and contentment. Again, read over the poem yourself to see if you feel this way. Remember, poetry is in the "eye of the beholder." The use of imagery within the poem shows the narrator's awe and contentment (i.e. It reaches to the Fence -
It wraps it Rail by Rail Till it is lost in Fleeces - It deals Celestial Vail). The use of "celestial" shows the narrator's almost spiritual regard for the snow.
Similes and Metaphors: These are comparisons of two things. A simile uses "like" or "as" to compare two things; while a metaphor does not use "like" or "as". A metaphor in the poem would be "leaden sieves". There is also the use of a simile in the final stanza. It's easy to find; just look for a comparison using "like" or "as".
It Sifts from Leaden Sieves
By Emily Dickinson
Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition (Harvard University Press, 1998).