Analysis Pages

Vocabulary in Spring

Vocabulary Examples in Spring:



"flight..."   ("Spring")

The word “flight” refers to the stairs but also carries a connotation of escape, a sense of something fleeting. The fleeting object is life itself, which contributes to its “nothing[ness].” Thus the narrator uses the two images in this line to render an account of her existential dilemma: life is both meaningless and evanescent.

"It is apparent that there is no death...."   ("Spring")

The word “apparent” is key. The narrator alludes to the common trope that Spring brings renewal, creating a notion that death is far away. The narrator deflates this perception, for it is an appearance and not the truth. Death is always present.

"crocus..."   ("Spring")

A crocus is a plant that flowers in the spring. It is a member of the iris family and generally takes on a yellow, purple, or white hue. The “spikes” she refers to are actually petals. She describes these pointed petals as “spikes” in order to suggest that, like every other beautiful thing that arrives in spring, there is something dangerous or sinister on closer examination.

"Of little leaves opening stickily. ..."   ("Spring")

Rather than discussing the beauty of blooming flowers, the narrator characterizes them as “sticky,” a word that has unpleasant connotations. This word adds to Millay’s humorous and contemptuous tone.

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