In â€śUpon a Wasp Chilled with Coldâ€ť Edward Taylor personifies a wasp as a beautiful woman. In a puritan culture, describing a beautiful woman was against society, but the speaker personifies a wasp to escape this. It is ironic that the speaker chooses to describe the beauty of a wasp because a wasp was referred to as â€śannoyingâ€ť in the Old Testament. This may have been another way of avoiding puritan society. At the end of the poem, the speaker asks God to clear his mind. This can be seen as a way to ask for forgiveness from God and other puritans.
Instead of describing a beautiful woman in the poem, the speaker characterizes a wasp to avoid the consequences of a conservative puritan culture. â€śIn Solâ€™s warm breath and shine as saving, / Which with her hands she chafes and stands / Rubbing her Legs, Shanks, Thighs, and handsâ€ť (Taylor ll. 4-6) describes a wasp warming up in the sun rubbing her legs, thighs, and hands. The wasp is personified because it cannot rub itâ€™s own thighs and legs. This can be related to a woman bathing in the sun massaging her legs and thighs. â€śDoth Comb her velvet Capitalâ€ť (Taylor l. 14) humanizes a wasp combing her hair. This also shows how the speaker used a wasp to describe an attractive woman.
In the puritan society, everything, including nature, relates to God. Negative talk of Godâ€™s creation might cause disturbance among puritans. The speaker chose to personify a wasp as an attractive woman because a wasp was often related to as â€śannoying.â€ť The wasp was given many compliments throughout the poem. The wasp was not only given physical praise, but was also given abstract compliments. â€śHer warm thanks offering for allâ€ť (Taylor l. 28) expresses her thankfulness to God and other creatures.
The second stanza of the poem is asking God to clear his mind so that he can see Godâ€™s beauty. This can be seen as a way of asking for forgiveness from God and other puritans. ...