The Sky is Low, the Clouds are Mean
Does a large, dark, and mysterious group of clouds have a “mean” streak?
Or do you regard a tree that pops and cracks in the wind as “angry”?
On the other hand, perhaps you feel as though a clear, blue sky is “joyful”?
In this poem by Emily Dickinson, she personifies most every line. Here it is, see what you think:
The Sky is Low, The Clouds are Mean
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.
Emily Dickinson gives soul to the clouds. They are humanlike and they are mean.
And the flake of snow is ambivalent, debating with itself about which direction to go.
She gives a gender to the wind, “… complains all day, how some one treated him.”
And Nature is a “she.”
Furthermore, Dickinson writes that sometimes Nature is caught without her diadem. Without her crown or dignity. Same as us, Nature can also have bad days.
And by the same token, sometimes people complain. Moreover, sometimes people act nasty towards each other, giving up their dignity altogether.
the sky is low
We can all interpret this poem differently. I think Dickinson is saying that we are not going to be nice each and every day. Equally, she emphasizes the importance of Nature in life, by personifying their elements.
Comparatively, perhaps she is saying that Nature receives all sorts of complaints from us when we find them without their “diadem.”
the sky is low
Often, Emily Dickinson uses Nature in her poetry. She describes Nature in so many ways and as a metaphor to describe her surroundings and thoughts.
For more on Emily Dickinson and her life, Wikipedia is full of information and references.