The poem describes the kind of woman that the narrator hopes to be with, but also expresses his anxiety that he may never find her.
Carl Sandburg’s ‘A Dream Girl‘ expresses the narrator’s desire to find the woman of his dreams. He goes into detail about what he is hoping for, and he romanticizes the idea of this woman that may or may not exist. This poem is meant to delve into the complex feelings surrounding love. While we may fixate on love and desperately hope for it to find us, it may also be scary to think that we may never find it. This poem expresses the narrator’s personal and anxieties surrounding the idea of love.
Explore A Dream Girl
‘A Dream Girl‘ is a poem about wishing for love, and the anxiety that we may not be able to find it
The poem begins with the narrator describing the beautiful woman he hopes will one day come into his life. The woman he envisions is kind, loving, and graceful. He utilizes nature imagery to create an almost nymph-like image in the mind of the reader. He imagines that this woman will enter his life and bring him nothing but joy and happiness.
However, in the last stanza, the narrator admits that he knows it is possible that he will never meet this woman. He is also aware that it is possible they will cross paths but not end up together. While he dreams of one day finding his dream woman, he knows it is very possible that it will not happen.
You will come one day in a waver of love,
Tender as dew, impetuous as rain,
You will pose with a hill-flower grace.
In the first stanza of the poem, the narrator provides a detailed description of the woman of his dreams. He states that she will come suddenly, which plays into the idea of “love at first sight”. The narrator describes the woman using a lot of nature imagery, which demonstrates that he envisions her as being pure and lovely like the beauty of nature. He uses a lot of heavy descriptive language when referring to this fantasy woman, which suggests that he has thought a lot about her.
You will come, with your slim, expressive arms,
A poise of the head no sculptor has caught
Of cloud and blue and flimmering sun.
In the next stanza of ‘A Dream Girl,’ the narrator continues to describe his dream woman. He characterizes her as being elegant, graceful, and incredibly beautiful. It’s interesting to note that this is a very idealized description of a person. When describing this woman, it feels like the narrator is speaking about an art piece rather than an actual person. This demonstrates that these fantasies aren’t always realistic, but that it is fun to indulge in them.
You may not come, O girl of a dream,
A film of hope and a memoried day.
The final stanza of ‘A Dream Girl‘ takes a turn compared to the first two. While the poem begins with the narrator’s fantasies, the last stanza appears to be more grounded in reality. The narrator recognizes that his idea of his dream woman is not necessarily realistic. While he may hope to find true love, the reality is that he may never find the person for him.
The poem ends with the narrator stating that it is also possible that even if he does come across the woman of his dreams, that they may not end up together. This ending of the poem shatters the idealized view of love that the narrator had initially set up in the previous stanzas. This is meant to demonstrate that in the real world, things do not always end like a fairy tale.
Structure and form
The poem is separated into 3 stanzas. The first stanza is 5 lines long, the second is 6 lines long, and the final stanza is 5 lines long. ‘A Dream Girl‘ is a free verse poem, meaning it does not have a set rhyming scheme. This makes it from the heart, as though the narrator is speaking candidly to the reader.
The poem’s main theme focuses on love, and the desire to find it. The narrator of ‘A Dream Girl‘ has very vivid fantasies about the woman he hopes to meet and fall in love with. We are often enamored with the idea of love and may spend a lot of time fantasizing about it.
However, the narrator also expresses his anxiety that he will not find the woman of his dreams. Fear and anxiety surrounding love, especially the fear that we won’t find it, are very common. This poem is an expression of the complex feelings surrounding the desire for love.
About Carl Sandburg
Winner of 3 Pulitzer prizes, Carl Sandburg was an American poet best known for his poetry collection “Chicago Poems” (1916). Some of his other famous collections include “Smoke and Steel” (1920) and “Cornhuskers”. Carl Sandburg was well renowned as a major figure in contemporary literature. His poetry remains beloved and popular even today.
If you enjoyed ‘A Dream Girl,’ you may enjoy this similar poetry:
- The rest of the poems in the “Chicago Poems” collection, which is the collection that ‘A Dream Girl’ is a part of.
- ‘She Walks in Beauty‘ by Lord Byron. This is another love poem where the author describes a woman he loves in great detail.
- ‘Chicago‘ by Carl Sandburg. This is considered to be one of Sandburg’s most famous pieces of poetry.
- This list of 10 poems about the heart that Poem Analysis has put together. All of these poems delves into emotional topics.