Historical Context in Orchard
Imagism: Doolittle was involved with the 20th-century group of Imagists, who believed that poetry should be comprised of clear, vivid imagery. Her earlier poems are known for her attempts to escape Victorian femininity, to deny traditional ideals of femininity and introduce new ones. Her poems explored the fluidity of female identity which was often represented by nature.
Religion: Puritan ideology states that humans must resist earthly temptations. Since Doolittle was of Puritan descent, there are strong Puritan values exhibited in the poem. Her struggle and guilt that she employs when enjoying the natural beauty around her exhibits religious undertones, with words like “prostrate” and “offering.”