Easter Wings

Easter Wings Literary Elements

Speaker or Narrator, and Point of View

Non-omniscient poetic voice

Form and Meter

The first stanza is written in iambic pentameter (five pairs of unstressed-stressed syllables), but quickly moves into a more unique structure. While continuing mostly to use iambs, the poem's opening line in pentameter (a total of 10 syllables) moves in the next line to tetrameter (8 syllables), then to one line in trimeter (6 syllables), one line in dimeter (4 syllables), and finally two lines written in monometer ( a mere 2 syllables). After this the stanza moves back out to a line in dimeter, a line in trimeter, a line in tetrameter, and finally back to pentameter. The second stanza follows the same pattern from pentameter to monometer and back. The rhyme scheme is AABBCCDDEEBBGGHH, with each letter representing a repeated rhyming sound. The rhyming words in the first half of the poem have open /o/ and /a/ sounds, while the second half of the poem has more rhyming words with /i/ and /e/. The first sounds are lower in pitch while the second are higher. The poem is mostly written in iambs with some significant exceptions. “Lord who” is a trochee (stressed-unstressed). The two stressed syllables in “fall further” make a spondee.

Metaphors and Similes

"Wealth and store"
This is a metaphor for spiritual riches.

"Most poore" and "most thinne"
These are metaphors for sin and its punishment.

Alliteration and Assonance

“Though foolishly,” “”lost,” “more and more,” “most poor”
assonance with /o/ sounds

“sing,” “sing,” thy victories”
alliteration and assonance with /s/ sounds, also known as sibilants

“fall further the flight”
alliteration of /f/

“Affliction shall advance the flight in me”
alliteration of /a/ sounds
assonance of /i/ sounds



Renaissance English verse; metaphysical poetry; devotional poetry



Supplicatory; regretful, humble; contrite; hopeful

Protagonist and Antagonist

Speaker vs. death and sin

Major Conflict

Both the speaker and humanity have been punished with a fall from grace for their sin. The poet seeks to redeem both himself and others by asking God’s assistance.





The title of the poem, and the use of wings as a symbol for spiritual development, is an allusion to Malachi 4:2: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

“Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store”
This is an allusion to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden .

“if I imp my wings on thine”
The description of God as a falcon, a bird of prey, is an allusion to Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

“And sing this day thy victories” and “And feel they victorie”
1 Corinthians 15 also uses “victory” to refer to Christ’s resurrection.

Angels' wings are described at several points in the Bible, most notably in Genesis 3:24, Exodus 37:7-9, I Kings 6:23-27, and Luke 1:78-79.

The narrative of both stanzas mirrors the life of Christ, particularly the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Christ is described as an angel in Revelations 10:1.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The speaker’s “flight” stands for the speaker’s spiritual progress and closeness to God