The Glow Worm

An analysis of the poem “The Glow Worm” by Charlotte Smith.

This paper looks at underlying and alternative meanings in the poem through imagery, sound effects, figurative language, meter, features, allusion, symbolism and word choice. The paper shows how, at first glance, the poem is a simple children’s rhyme, but inside are hidden many meanings, just as inside the ugly caterpillar hides a beautiful butterfly.
Underneath the gentle spring night depicted in this deceiving poem is an underlying message, one of sadness and despair. Just as the glow worm loses his glow when imprisoned, the world loses its glow when one has to face the realities of life, and that is the theme the author conveys in the last line of this poem, -So turn the world’s bright joys to cold and blank disgust” (Smith). Ultimately, the author conveys there is no joy in the world, and anything joyful will eventually turn dark and disgusting.”