The poem “Beclouded,” by Emily Dickinson, makes very good use of the personification.
The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.
A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.
In the above poem, the following things are given human qualities:
- The clouds:
- A flake of snow.
- The wind.
The clouds are mean suggests that the clouds intentionally bring about bad weather, as if to spite someone.
A traveling flake of snow “debates where to go.” Have you ever been undecided about which of two places you should go? You probably found yourself walking ten paces in one direction and then ten paces in the opposite direction. In this poem, the flake of snow is blown back and forth between a barn and a rut. However, the poet uses fun and imaginative language in saying that the flake of snow, which was being tossed about by the wind, was debating whether to go across a barn or through a rut.
On a windy day, if someone puts up a blockade against the wind, you will hear the wind rushing against it. People are likely to react negatively to the wind when it blows their things down or even their hair out of place! The poet uses imaginative language to suggest that the sound of the wind complained about being treated badly. Perhaps someone closed a window on “him”?
Nature like us is sometimes caught without her diadem. Diadem means crown, and crown signifies glory. When the clouds are mean, when a flake of snow doesn’t know where to go and when the wind is treated badly, that’s not the most glorious situations for nature!
The opposite of “glorious” may be “undignified.” In this poem, nature is depicted in very no-so-glorious, or undignified situations. And that happens to us humans too!