Syntax in A Little Bird I Am

Syntax Examples in A Little Bird I Am:

Text of the Poem 2

"A little bird I am..."   (Text of the Poem)

When word order is inverted from a typically normal structure, as it is here, it is known as hyperbaton. Alcott’s use of this particular device in the opening line of the poem not only emphasizes the speaker’s “I am,” but it also subtly indicates an inversion in how the text is presented and how it should be read. This means that readers should consider much of the poem as satirical, or mocking.

"Him..."   (Text of the Poem)

The speaker’s captor is simply identified with this capitalized, masculine pronoun. Western cultures and Judeo-Christian religious systems have typically used a capitalized, masculine pronoun to refer to God. This could suggest then that the speaker exists in a cage because God has willed it. However, since the speaker has identified herself as a “little bird,” the capitalized pronoun could emphasize the power that her male captor has over her. In either reading, the idea conveyed still suggests that the little bird, or woman, was put into a cage by someone with more power than her, emphasizing her lack of agency in this situation.