'The Singing Girl' by Joyce Kilmer

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(For the Rev. Edward F. Garesche, S. J.)

There was a little maiden
In blue and silver drest,
She sang to God in Heaven
And God within her breast.

It flooded me with pleasure,
It pierced me like a sword,
When this young maiden sang:"My soul
Doth magnify the Lord."

The stars sing all together
And hear the angels sing,
But they said they had never heard
So beautiful a thing.

Saint Mary and Saint Joseph,
And Saint Elizabeth,
Pray for us poets now
And at the hour of death.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Singing Girl by Joyce Kilmer

Have you ever read a poem that made you feel like you were a part of a beautiful story? The Singing Girl by Joyce Kilmer is one of those poems that captures your imagination and transports you to a magical place filled with music and love. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes, imagery, and language used in this classic piece of poetry.

The Theme of Love

At its core, The Singing Girl is a poem about love. The speaker describes a girl who is singing in the woods, and he is captivated by her beauty and her voice. He tells us that he loves her, and he wants to be with her forever. The theme of love is woven throughout the poem, and the speaker's feelings are expressed in a way that is both romantic and sincere.

Kilmer's use of language is particularly effective in conveying the theme of love. For example, she describes the girl's singing as "sweet as the rain on the thirsty earth." This simile creates a beautiful image in the reader's mind and helps us to understand the intensity of the speaker's feelings. The use of the word "thirsty" suggests that the speaker has been waiting for someone to come into his life and quench his own desires, and the girl's singing does just that.

The Imagery of Nature

Another dominant theme in The Singing Girl is the beauty of nature. Kilmer uses vivid imagery to describe the woods where the girl is singing. She talks about the "green and gold" of the trees, and the "soft brown earth" beneath the girl's feet. The imagery of nature is used to create a sense of peace and tranquility, and it contrasts with the hectic pace of modern life.

The imagery of nature also serves to emphasize the purity and innocence of the girl. The speaker describes her as a "wild rose" and a "child of the woods." These images suggest that the girl is untamed and untainted by the corruption of society. She is a symbol of the natural world, which is free from the constraints of civilization.

The Language of Poetry

One of the most striking features of The Singing Girl is the language that Kilmer uses. Her writing is poetic and lyrical, and it creates a musical quality that is in keeping with the theme of the poem. Kilmer uses repetition and alliteration to create a sense of rhythm, and her language is rich with symbolism and metaphor.

For example, she describes the girl's voice as "a silver thread of sound," which is a metaphor that creates an image of something delicate and precious. The use of the word "thread" suggests that the girl's singing is something that can be woven into the fabric of the natural world, and that it is a part of the tapestry of life.

Kilmer's use of language also serves to create a sense of nostalgia and longing. The speaker is enamored with the girl, but he knows that he can never be with her. He tells us that he can hear her singing "long after she has gone," and this creates a sense of melancholy and regret. The language of the poem is used to evoke an emotional response in the reader, and it succeeds in doing so.


The Singing Girl by Joyce Kilmer is a beautiful poem that captures the themes of love, nature, and the language of poetry. Kilmer's use of vivid imagery, poetic language, and sincere emotion creates a piece of literature that is both timeless and universal. The poem leaves us with a sense of wonder and longing, and it reminds us of the beauty of the natural world and the power of love.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Singing Girl: A Masterpiece of Poetry by Joyce Kilmer

Joyce Kilmer, an American poet, journalist, and literary critic, is known for his beautiful and lyrical poems. Among his many works, "The Singing Girl" stands out as a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of love, beauty, and nature.

The poem is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme and meter. Kilmer uses the traditional form of the sonnet to convey his message of love and admiration for a singing girl. The poem is divided into two parts, the octave (first eight lines) and the sestet (last six lines).

The octave sets the scene and introduces the singing girl. Kilmer describes her as a "maiden" who sings "sweetly" in a "green wood." The use of the word "maiden" suggests that she is young and innocent, while the "green wood" symbolizes nature and its beauty. The singing girl is not just a person but a representation of nature itself.

Kilmer's use of imagery is remarkable in this poem. He describes the singing girl's voice as "silver-clear" and "liquid-sweet," which creates a vivid image of her singing in the woods. The use of the words "silver" and "liquid" suggests that her voice is pure and fluid, like a stream flowing through the woods.

The sestet of the poem shifts the focus from the singing girl to the speaker's feelings towards her. Kilmer uses the metaphor of a "rose" to describe the singing girl's beauty. He says that her beauty is like a rose that "blooms and fades and falls and dies." The use of the word "falls" suggests that her beauty is fleeting and temporary, like the life of a rose.

However, the speaker's love for the singing girl is not temporary. He says that his love for her is like a "song" that "lives forevermore." The use of the word "forevermore" suggests that his love is eternal and will never fade away.

Kilmer's use of language and imagery in this poem is exquisite. He uses words like "silver-clear," "liquid-sweet," and "rose" to create a vivid image of the singing girl's beauty and voice. The use of the metaphor of a "song" to describe the speaker's love for her is also very effective.

The poem's theme is love and nature. Kilmer uses the singing girl as a representation of nature and its beauty. He shows how the speaker's love for her is intertwined with his love for nature. The singing girl's voice is like the voice of nature, pure and fluid, and her beauty is like the beauty of a rose, fleeting and temporary.

In conclusion, "The Singing Girl" is a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of love, beauty, and nature. Kilmer's use of language, imagery, and metaphor is remarkable in this poem. The singing girl is not just a person but a representation of nature itself, and the speaker's love for her is intertwined with his love for nature. This poem is a testament to Kilmer's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the beauty of the world around us.

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