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Taylor, Edward. "Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold".

Summary and Analysis

A poem of detailed natural observation, at the same time a devotional poem.

The speaker watches a wasp which is warming her stiffened limbs in the breath of Sol (i.e. the personified Sun). After rubbing her legs and body to warm herself, she flies towards the sun as if she desired to warm herself in its fire.

The wasp is described in amazing detail. The speaker sees the surface of her body as covered with satin, he sees her wings as her petticoat. The appearance of the wasp and her behaviour strikes the speaker as if she were a thinking creature, but he realizes she is not.

The speaker pleads God to clear his sight, so that he would be able to see His divinity. He wishes to see the sparks of His divinity also in this little wasp and her actions.


  • Author

    Taylor, Edward. (c. 1642 - 1729).
  • Full Title

    "Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold".
  • Form


Works Cited

Taylor, Edward. "Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold". In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.


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