A Drink of Water Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Drink of Water.
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Lines 1-4:

While certain specifics of the sonnet's situation are never revealed—the identity of the woman, for instance, and the precise nature of her relationship with the speaker—the first lines' implications establish nearly all we need to know in the poem. The verb "came" in line 1 suggests two important possibilities. First, since it is in the past tense, we infer that the action described no longer takes place—she no longer comes to the well. Combined with the images of old age and decrepitude that follow in the first quatrain —"old bat," "staggering," "whooping cough," "slow diminuendo"—this past-tense description suggests that the old woman has died. Second, the use of "came" instead of "went" implies that the speaker is already at the well when the woman arrives. From this, it is possible that the speaker owns the well and allows the woman to draw from...

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This section contains 861 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Drink of Water Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
A Drink of Water from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.