The Misunderstood Emily Dickinson

Though in her life she isolated herself from the world, Emily Dickinson has allowed every one of her readers the opportunity to view her most intimate thoughts. Her poems offer insight to her feelings of disassociation from other people, which seem to be a cry for understanding. Her syntax and grammar suggest that she was, indeed, different from everyone else. In “They shut me up in Prose–,” Dickinson expresses her longing to be understood. In the first stanza of the poem, Dicksinson compares her treatment from others to her days “as when a little Girl.

This suggests that like a child, who should be “seen and not heard,” Dickinson’s beliefs and ideas are scoffed at. She is not given any credit or consideration, as her company would prefer her to just be “still” and not say a word. However, Dickinson’s manner, unconventional in her time, did not allow her to submit to the repression of her beliefs. “Still! Could themself have peeped” they may have noticed that she actually has something worth listening to.

Here, in the second stanza, she rationalizes her argument, saying that if they would just to listen her perhaps they would understand. She says, “They might as wise have lodged a bird for treason,” as though it were possible for her not to think. She is saying that just as it would be ridiculous to lock up a bird for treason, so it is to ask her not to think and expect her to not express her feelings. “Himself has but to will/And easy as a Sta/Abolish his Captivity. ” This is Dicksinson’s resolution. She reveals that keeping one’s mind on greater things is a way to resolve this conflict.

As she has done with the world, here she recommends to others that if one can not understand or appreciate her, then she can simply remove herself from the situation “and laugh. ” In retrospect, it is easy for a reader to understand and appreciate the brilliant work of Emily Dickinson. Her observations of human habit seem common sense to today’s reader. These observations are what likely led her to seclusion from the world. What seemed ridiculous and unconventional during her time now serves as a reminder of the inequities which plague our history. This could have been learned sooner, if only they had listened.

Emily the Fallen Rose

Emily Dickinson was raised in a traditional New England home in the mid 1800’s. Her father along with the rest of the family had become Christians and she alone decided to rebel against that and reject the Church. She like many of her contemporaries had rejected the traditional views in life and adopted the new transcendental outlook.

Massachusetts, the state where Emily was born and raised in, before the transcendental period was the epicenter of religious practice. Founded by the puritans, the feeling of the avenging had never left the people. After all of the “Great Awakenings” and religious revivals the people of New England began to question the old ways. What used to be the focal point of all lives was now under speculation and often doubted. People began to search for new meanings in life. People like Emerson and Thoreau believed that answers lie in the individual. Emerson set the tone for the era when he said, “Whoso would be a [hu]man, must be a non-conformist.” Emily Dickinson believed and practiced this philosophy.

When she was young she was brought up by a stern and austere father. In her childhood she was shy and already different from the others. Like all the Dickinson children, male or female, Emily was sent for formal education in Amherst Academy. After attending Amherst Academy with conscientious thinkers such as Helen Hunt Jackson, and after reading many of Emerson’s essays, she began to develop into a free willed person. Many of her friends had converted to Christianity, her family was also putting enormous amount of pressure for her to convert. No longer the submissive youngster she would not bend her will on such issues as religion, literature and personal associations.

She maintained a correspondence with Rev. Charles Wadsworth over a substantial period of time. Even though she rejected the Church as a entity she never did reject or accept God. Wadsworth appealed to her because he had an incredibly powerful mind and deep emotions. When he left the East in 1861 Emily was scarred and expressed her deep sorrow in three successive poems in the following years. They were never romantically involved but their relationship was apparently so profound that Emily’s feelings for him she sealed herself from the outside world.

Her life became filled with gloom and despair until she met Judge Otis P. Lord late in her life. Realizing that they were well into their lives they never were married. When Lord passed away Emily’s health condition which has been hindered since childhood worsened.

In Emily’s life the most important things to her were love, religion, individuality and nature. When discussing these themes she followed her lifestyle and broke away from traditional forms of writing and wrote with an intense energy and complexity never seen before and rarely seen today. She was a rarity not only because of her poetry but because she was one of the first female pioneers into the field of poetry.

Emily often speaks of love in her poems, but she did it in such a way that would make people not want to fall in love. She writes of parting, separation and loss. This is supported by the experiences she felt with Wadsworth and Otis P. Lord. Not with a club the heart is broken, nor with a stone; A whip so small you could not see it, I’ve known

This seems to be an actual account of the emotions she experienced during her relationship with Otis Lord.

Individuality played a pervasive role in her life as a result of her bout with separation. Emily did not conform to society. She did not believe it was society’s place to dictate to her how she should lead her life. Her poems reflect this sense of rebellion and revolution against tradition. From all the jails the boys and girls Ecstatically leap,- Beloved, only afternoon That prison doesn’t keep.

In this poem Emily shows her feelings towards formalized schooling. Being a product of reputable college one would think that she would be in favor of this. But as her beliefs in transcendentalism grew so did her belief in individuality.

Emily also went against the Church which was an extreme rarity of the time. Similar to many other that shared her beliefs she too did not think that a set religion was the way for salvation. Some keep the Sabbath going to Church; I keep it staying at home, With a bobolike for a chorister, With an orchard for a dome.

According to this poem Emily clearly states that nature is her source of guidance and she has little need for the Church as an institution.

Like Thoreau, Emily believed that people need to understand nature before they could begin to comprehend humanity because humanity was just a part of nature. Unlike many other she felt that nature was beautiful and must be understood. Has it feet like water-lilies? Has it feathers like a bird? Is it brought from famous countries Of which I have never heard? (Will there really be a morning?)

Further on in the poem she goes on to ask if the scholar or “some wise man from the skies” knows where to find morning. It can be inferred that morning, something so common place and taken for granted, cannot be grasped by even the greatest so called minds.

Emily also saw the frightful part of nature, death was an extension of the natural order. Probably the most prominent theme in her writing is death. She took death in a relatively casual way when compared to the puritan beliefs that surrounded her life. Death to her is just the next logical step to life and compares it to a carriage ride, or many other common place happenings. Because I could not stop for Death- He kindly stopped for me- The Carriage held but just Ourselves- And Immortality.

Life according to Emily is brief and the people living out their lives have little control. In this short life That only lasts an hour, How much, how little, Is within out power!

However non-religious she may appear and however insignificant she believes life to be she does however show some signs in accepting life after death. This world is not conclusion; A sequel stands beyond, Invisible, as music, But positive as sound.

To Emily the most important things in her life were religion, individuality, nature and death. She may not have believed in God but He did have a profound impact throughout her childhood. Emily and Emerson alike felt the most important thing was to maintain ones individuality as she did. She was fascinated by both nature and death and she attempted to explain both in her writings.

I Started Early – Took My Dog

Suicide was not a widely discussed topic in the 1800’s although, it commonly appeared as a theme in many literary works of that time. The action of killing one’s self is not a classified psychological disorder, but there are many disorders where suicide is the end result. This is why suicide is a commonplace subject within the psychological field in present day society. The poem “I Started Early- Took My Dog,” by Emily Dickinson, can be interpreted as making strange reference to a suicide.

Freud says, “Suicide is a response to loss (real or symbolic), but one in which the person’s sorrow and rage in the face of that loss are not vented but remain unconscious, thus weakening the ego. “(Freud p. 246). Dickinson uses several elements in her poem to relate this theme such as tone, imagery and rhyme. It is told through the first person point of view of an unknown speaker. Dickinson begins the first line of her poem by writing in iambic tetrameter. In the second line she switches to iambic trimeter and proceeds to alternate between the two.

This rhyme scheme proves to be particularly effective in complimenting the subject of the poem– the ocean. When a reader looks at the poem it is easy to see the lines lengthening then shortening, almost in the same fashion that the tide of the ocean flows and ebbs. I started Early- Took my Dog And visited the sea- The Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at me. (Dickinson 1-4) The waxing and waning action of the text might symbolize the constant cycles of life. The fact that the text recedes then elongates in rhythm make the reader think the speaker of the poem is not sure what steps to take in their life.

The speaker might not have convinced him or herself about the suicide attempt. Many suicidal thoughts are stopped short of action and then thought about later. Dickinson writes in this style to show the opposing forces of every situation. Suicide would likely be the most contemplated decision the narrator has ever had to make. Through metaphors, the speaker proclaims of her longing to be one with the sea. As she notices The mermaids in the basement,(3) and frigates- in the upper floor,(5) it seems as though she is associating these particular daydreams with her house.

She becomes entranced with these spectacles and starts to contemplate suicide. She reflects upon these ideas, with thoughts of leaving reality and theoretically part of the ocean. She is very mesmerized by the thought, that no man moved [her]- till the tide went past [her] simple shoe. (9,10) It is at this point that the speaker is drawn back into reality with time to see the tide go past [her] apron- and [her] belt and past [her] bodice. (11,12). This perhaps, is an attempt to show the narrator becoming one with the environment. The words might also symbolize someone drowning or possibly a ‘washing-away’ of the ego.

The fact that the water level is slowly rising around her can make the reader visualize a person with their feet stuck in the wet sand, not willing to move when the tide comes in. The speaker appears to have abandoned all thoughts of suicide. Her focus is now turned to the tide that made as he would eat [her] up,(13) as she seeks to find sanctuary on dry land. The poem takes a suspenseful twist as the speaker describes the ocean closing in on her. Suicide would likely be the most contemplated decision the narrator has ever had to make. This would describe her feeling of being suffocated by the sea.

Dickinson’s use of imagery is especially prevalent in the fifth stanza, when she uses words such as silver heel(18) and pearl(20), to describe a foamy surf. The speaker uses a reflective and whimsical tone in recounting her experience. This is a crucial factor in gaining the reader’s interest. It helps set the mood and it clearly expresses the speaker’s frame of mind. The tone, like the rhyme scheme, seems to lend itself leisurely thoughts of the ocean. With an ‘a-b-c-b’ rhyme scheme the reader , again, feels the constant push and pull of the tides on the beat of the poem.

The author uses a “sing-song” rhyme scheme in this poem for many reasons. One of these reasons seems to emphasize the yin and yang of life. Another reason for the rhyme is to comply with the tidal flow of the alternating line meter. The ‘ups and downs’ of this poem best describe the indecisiveness of a depressed individual. Psychologically speaking, the narrator of the poem is experiencing clinical depression. Freud says that, “depression was not a symptom of organic dysfunction but a massive defense mounted by the ego against intrapsychic conflict. “(Freud p. 255).

This means suicide, a most considered option of ‘relief’ of depression would be the only mentally cleansing decision. Many times the pain of depresion seems far worse than taking your own life; that is why many people try. Suicide would likely be the most contemplated decision the narrator has ever had to make. The theme and symbols of any given work are usually left to the interpretation and imagination of the reader. In order to fully appreciate and understand poetry, these elements must be identified. The symbols in Dickinson’s poem are so obscure, it is left to the individual to elicit what they can.

“I cannot live with You”, by Emily Dickinson

“I cannot live with You”, by Emily Dickinson, is an emotional poem in which she shares her experiences and thoughts on death and love. Some critics believe that she has written about her struggle with death and her desire to have a relationship with a man whose vocation was ministerial, Reverend Charles Wadsworth. She considers suicide as an option for relieving the pain she endures, but decides against it. The narrator, more than likely Emily herself, realizes that death will leave her even further away from the one that she loves. There is a possibility that they will never be together again.

“Arguing with herself, Dickinson considers three major resolutions for the frustrations she is seeking to define and to resolve. Each of these resolutions is expressed in negative form: living wither her lover, dying with him, and discovering a world beyond nature. Building on this series of negations, Dickinson advances a catalogue of reasons for her covenant with despair, which are both final and insufficient. Throughout, she excoriates the social and religious authorities that impede her union, but she remains emotionally unconvinced that she has correctly identified her antagonists.” (Pollack, 182)

Dickinson begins her poem by saying that she cannot live with her lover because their life together is an object that can only be opened with a key. The Sexton, or church officer in charge of the maintenance of church property, keeps the key. The reverend’s involvement with God and with a woman at the same time is like a porcelain cup that is easily broken. This is an example of Personification. Life is personified as this old cup which is valuable until a new, better one is available.

Sensory images are used to develop an interest for the reader and a way of showing what the author felt. An example is in the fifth stanza, “And see YoufreezeWithout my Right of Frost”. The sense of touch is used when she says that one who is dead is frozen. It tells the reader that the author knows that death isn’t a pleasant experience. The narrator exclaims that she cannot die with her lover either. It is possible that she doesn’t want to see him suffer in the “frost”, or maybe she wants him to shut her eyes when she has passed and mourn for her. She says that death’s privilege is not having to witness someone you love die since you are already in the afterlife.

It is ironic that she falls in love with someone whose faith is so strong when she herself changes her mind frequently about her beliefs. His piety contrasts with her disbelief. However, She contradicts her usual disbelief in God by saying that she could not rise with her lover if he will be punished by Jesus for his actions. She tends to believe in the promise of Christian salvation. The narrator mentions that this man is now her paradise and what she saw previously only sordid excellence. She doesn’t want to give up on the relationship and fears that because he serves heaven that she might be condemned and he saved. She could be saved and he condemned. Either way it would be hell to her if they were apart.

At the conclusion, she compares their separation to a door. It is slightly open, enough that there is a possibility they can overcome their differences. The two lovers are such opposites that they “meet apartWith just the Door ajar”. Then, she says that they are separated by the Oceans. Again, there is a possibility that they can be together if they cross the water barrier. Their only hope is through prayer that they will someday meet again in Heaven.

An end rhyme is used in some stanzas to make the rhythm flow more smoothly. An example is in the first stanza with the second and fourth lines. Life and Shelf rhyme because they end in the same sound. Up and Cup rhyme in the second stanza, Broke and Crack in the third, Face and Grace in the sixth, Eye and by in the seventh, Eyes and Paradise in the ninth, Name and fame in the tenth, be and Me in the eleventh, apart and ajar in the last, and here, Prayer, and Despair in the last.

Dickinson repeats the phrase or idea of “I cannotwith You” or “I could notwith You”. Each time she uses the statement, it is the beginning of a major resolution. One instance of alliteration used is in the ninth stanza with the words “saturated Sight” and a constant “s” sound. Assonance is also apparent in the eighth stanza with “How” and “know” because it is a partial rhyme made by vowel sounds.

Each stanza contains four lines except for the last one which has six. This is because it is the conclusion of her thoughts where she states that she will live in despair and depression. The stanza form did not help to develop the meaning. To correctly read and comprehend the poem, one must read it straight through without pauses, ignoring the numerous dashes.

Emily Dickinson’s poetry

Emily Dickinson’s obsession with death has puzzled scholars for many decades. If a reader wanted to, he could put every one of Emily Dickinson’s nearly 2,000 poems and letters (so many that later, they were assigned numbers for easier organization) into 4 categories: Love, death, pain and the self. The poems about death are the most captivating and puzzling, “The poems that issue from this spiritual exercise are among her most impressive,” (Cunningham 45).

In order to understand some of the feelings Dickinson expresses and to learn how the way she chose to live her life affected her unique poetic style, it is important to look at her life before she began to write and the atmosphere she grew up in. Born December 10, 1830 in the quiet village of Amhearst in the Connecticut valley of Massachusetts in New England, Dickinson lived a quiet, unrecognized life. She lived in a brick mansion located on Main Street with her well known family (who later showed to influence her mark on present-day American poetry).

Dickinson’s father, Edward, served his town in a number of ways. He served as the treasurer of Amhearst College (their grandfather had helped establish the college) and being a lawyer, he helped various Amhearst citizens in their legal matters. He also served in the General Court of Massachusetts, the State Senate and the United States House of Representatives. Edward Dickinson dominated the household, “his heart was pure and terribleI think no other like it exists”, Dickinson wrote after his death,(Rupp 98).

Her mother, Emily Norcross Dickinson, and Edward had raised Dickinson to be a cultured Christian woman, they wanted their daughter to be capable to run a family of her own some day. Her mother did not play a very powerful role in her life. Dickinson had a younger sister, Lavina, who seemed to serve as a type of watchdog for her shy, sensitive and sometimes rebellious sister, and an older brother Austin who followed in his fathers shadow and eventually became a lawyer. Austin also married Dickinson’s best friend, Susan Huntington Gilbert, making her Dickinson’s sister-in-law.

Austin and Susan lived next door and grew to be very close to Dickinson. While in her early twenties, after two years of college, Dickinson began to write sketches of poems on the backs of recipes and used envelopes. By 1858, she started to copy her poems in ink and was gathering them in little packets loosely bound by thread. Dickinson only considered publication once in 1862 when she sent four poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a rising young man of letters, and attached a note asking if “her verse was alive”, (Rupp 45).

His response must have discouraged her and she never made any more attempts to publish anything. Instead, she sent her works to friends in the form of letters. These letters perplexed all of the recipients on account of their morbid connotations and the gloomy feeling they gave to the reader. Only after she died was she ever recognized as a talented poet, “She concentrated on the very essence of what she was and felt in phrases that strike and penetrate like bullets, and with and originality of thought unsurpassed in American poetry”, (White 19).

Although Dickinson was obviously good at heart, the townspeople did not know what to make of her. They noticed that the only color she ever wore was white and started to give her nicknames such as “The Woman in White”, “The half cracked daughter of squire Dickinson”, and probably the most famous “The Eccentric Recluse”. Dickinson chose to deviate from society and simplified her life like Thoreau who believed that being without was a means of being with, (Nesteruk 82). Dickinson grew obsessed with death and most of her friends departed.

Nevertheless, she pressed on writing poems that would send chills up a reader’s spine, “Many readers have been intrigued by Dickinson’s ability to probe the fact of human deathShe can look straight at approaching death”(Nesteruk 188). In the focused poem “I heard a fly buzz when I died”, she demonstrates her style of eerie, aberrant writing. She uses emotions like uselessness, hopelessness and carelessness. In the poem, Emily describes herself on her deathbead. She applies her acute senses and her natural impressions of scenes and moods.

Various scholars have interpreted the fly’s symbolism in this poem in different ways. Robert Wiesbuch, a celebrated analyst of American poetry from the University of Chicago said, She has chosen to symbolize life through the ugly annoyance of the fly,” (Wiesbuch 59). Others, like Ruth Miller say, To the dying person, the buzzing fly would symbolize a timely, untimely reminder of man’s final cadaverous condition and putrefaction, (Miller 127). Most critics agree with Miller on the fly’s symbolism because their first impression is that the fly was to be used as a distraction to Emily’s thoughts.

Some scholars believe that the fly was supposed to represent a parasite, similar to a vulture waiting for an animal to die, The dull hum of the fly on the windowpane, suggesting the fly’s anticipation of her as decaying flesh, ultimately echoes her larger theme that this world is all, (Mudge 76). Emily Dickinson used the feeling of the calm of the storm to describe the mysterious atmosphere in the beginning of her poem, “The stillness round my form; Was like the stillness in the air; Between the heaves of storm…

Next, she began to describe the last few moments leading up to her death, “The eyes beside had wrung them dry,; And breaths were gathering sure; For that last onset” Dickinson then goes on to explain that she is prepared to die on this day, “I willed my keepsakes, signed away; What portion of me I; Could make assignable,–and then” Then the fly makes his unexpected experience, “There interposed a fly,; With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,; Between the light and me;” Finally, the closing lines, “And then the windows failed, and then; I could not see to see.

The last two lines represent her death. Emily Dickinson’s obsession with death has puzzled scholars for many decades. “I Heard a Fly Buzz when I Died” is just one of the numerous examples of Emily Dickinson’s obsession with death.

How important is the idea of riddling in Emily Dickinson’s poetry

During the late nineteenth century, Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) featured as one of the few female poets in the largely male-dominated sphere of American literature. Although she authored 1800 poems, only seven were published during her lifetime – why? Emily Dickinson has always provoked debate; over her life, her motivations for the words she wrote and the interpretations of those words. It can be argued that Emily Dickinson herself, was as ambiguous, as misunderstood and as elusive as her poetry. As a outlet for relentless examination of every aspect of her mind and faith her poems are both expository and puzzling.

Her conclusions are often cryptically implicit and largely dependant on the readers ability to put together the pieces – to see the connections and implications. Amy Lowell said “She was the mistress of suggestion…. and to a lesser degree, irony” The ruses and riddles in her poems came from her; and as such she too was a riddle. The riddle was important to Emily Dickinson for several reasons. She wished to reason with her own feelings despite her contradictory beliefs – she wished to be one who “distils amazing sense / from ordinary meanings (#448)”.

For her, life, nature and faith were all riddles in themselves. None of these three come with all the answers, although clues are given – her poems both deal with and mirror this phenomenon. And through a riddle, at the last – sagacity must go – (#501) (In these lines Dickinson doubts the sense of religious claims about life, death and life after death). Her cryptic language thus became part of her search for truth and personal clarification. She couched her poetry in ambiguous, complex and multi-layered language – in this form it became both a defence, and a game.

The riddles concealed her anarchy, her dissension and her audaciousness in questioning the status quo. She achieved her most audacious commentaries and attacks on American perceptions and values through riddle and ruse; by ellipsis, dodge, a vague daring, an evident superiority of language and idea, staying virtually unknown . The ambiguities in the riddles were her defence against authority, religious tyranny and “norm” thinking. The mischief and play concealed within her poems: the riddles; were games designed both to amuse and test the ingenuity of her readers and critics alike.

Play was a way of transcending the rational… play was freedom… abandon, diversion, riddle, improvisation. Emily Dickinson’s poetry was an introspective search for answers to her inner turmoil. Contained within these poems – of specific importance the riddles – are the personal literary devices which as exploratory structures… give tentative order to the chaos of her emotions and thoughts. Emily Dickinson presented her riddles through both established language devices and her own vision of the scheme of poetry.

According to her perceptions and logic if one is to be more than a passive observer… one must exercise some essential control.. for Emily Dickinson this control often took the form of linguistic violation. Her imagery and personification methods were particularly effective in establishing complex multi-layered poems, which relied for meaning and aesthetic effect on the readers awareness and intuition. One of the important functions of her poems were to decode the riddles she perceived in life, and search for the answers to her questions.

As a consequence her poems have an expository nature – parallelling the actions of the reader as she/he attempts to decode and expose the core of the riddle. It has been argued that for Emily Dickinson, because life was uncontrolled and manipulative, so was imagery. Imagery for Dickinson was expansive of feeling, understanding and possibility, and it is through imagery that she achieves her tricks of perception and her illusionary performances. Through an arsenal of masks and poses, (she) sanctions her devalued or dismissed self.

Metaphorical play was another technique of Dickinson’s riddling – she often played at deliberately confusing the distinctions between literal and metaphorical. Dickinsons riddles were also created and sustained through the use of reversal – both rejecting, and needing a concept (such as her puritanical background) and the juxtaposition of the two resulting in a apposite order and a new creative energy. … delight in the impossible possession of the desired . Riddle was also achieved through oxymoron – which served as the main language structure for her sense of the indecipherable ambiguity of existence.

Its form like her thinking, is that of the riddle, rebus, enigma In the poem #216 “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers” ambiguity and riddle is achieved through the questions aroused by the existence of three possible endings. The original ending(1859), is one stanza which continues on in the same vein of the satire in stanza1 – a play on the then current Christian concept of death and resurrection. Dickinson plays ironically with the Protestant consolatory language, using typology. In 1861, a new second stanza was written, that sways towards horror.

This “nihilistic” second stanza contrasts completely with the somewhat cloyingly sentimental tone of the first stanza achieving a quasi-ironical effect. In the poem, the small comfortable puritan faith in a personal resurrection (stanza1) is simply allowed to hang in the air as a point from which to measure the cold immensity of infinite space and unending time. The poem’s conclusion is more implicit, and expressed through suggestive images – ie: important dignitaries surrender and die, and this is of the same significance as specks on snow – that the world out there is vast, cold and impersonal.

Later, she wrote a further two replacement stanzas for the last, which sentimentalise death in keeping with the tone of the first stanza. This, apparently was at the urging of her sister-in-law, Sue, and as a result the poems actually became, while ostensibly a homage to the dead, a subtle mockery of Sue’s lack of intuition as to its original meaning and a parody of her position, beliefs and views. Despite all the other versions, when it came to the poems publication, she insisted on the first version.

The poem also incorporates the riddle – will those that are resting, rise Poem #214 “I taste a liquor never brewed”, is generally considered to be a poem of importance amongst Dickinson’s works. The poem appears to be an extended metaphor about “I”, who is assumed to be the poet, reeling drunkenly through a garden, intoxicated on flowers and summer air, or perhaps on a more metaphysical level, pretending to be drunk with the joy of living. The riddle is GUESS WHO ? – Who is “I”? It can be argued that the poem describes the flight of a drunken hummingbird, using personification to endow it with human qualities. (the “drunken bee”, “butterflies – renounce their drams”.

The ultimate triumph of the poem is her praising and condoning the scandalous and socially unacceptable behaviour of the hummingbird. The rhythm used is almost that of the hymn, rendering the poem even more ironic (and audacious) in view of the pervasive alcoholic beverage imagery used throughout the poem (for example – tankards / vats / liquor / inebriate / debauchee / inns / drams) In the third stanza, all the other drinkers must stop “when “Landlords” turn the drunken bee / out of the foxgloves door -“, the hummingbird can continue using his long bill; until the final lines when he is seen “leaning against the sun”.

The poem celebrates the sensuous, and plays with perception. “Liquor never brewed” could well be nectar. In spite of the apparent unconcern with rhyme, metrics and technical construction, the poem has an essential and intrinsic melody. Poem #585 – “I like to see it lap the miles” is written entirely in the form of a riddle. The object of the poem is never described, and the metaphorical equivalent is never explicitly identified – the readers have to link imagery and make connections themselves.

Many critics assumed the poem was a comic eulogy of the Amherst Railway, the poet’s fathers pet project, however, in fact it is a serious and pointed comment about nineteenth-century technological achievement. Riddle is utilised to dramatise and even satirise the symbol of progress. The deliberate childlike tone of the first line “I like to see it lap the miles… ” is a deliberate illusion and represents more the attitude of those around Dickinson regarding technology than her own. The apparently positive tone of the poem towards its subject carries a sub-surface devastatingly ironic critique.

Dickinson clearly has profound reservations about this new glorification of speed and power The description of the initial picture is soon disturbed by the sense that the “beast” is intrusive, consuming (juxtaposing “feed” / “lap” / “lick”), and swallowing up the valleys – a potential threat to the natural world. No human is to be noted, the “beast” appears to be self-sufficuent and self-motivated. The “beast” swells – it is “prodigious”, can “step / around a pile of mountains” , – it’s proportions become nightmarish.

The “beast” then sneers at shanties – the homes of those who built the tracks – the relationship between man and machine has been thwarted, even reversed… the creature has usurped the position, and the power, of its creator. By the end of the third stanza, the landscape is occupied by the creature alone. The final stanza is full of equine imagery, however in the other stanzas the “beast” is undefined, or chameleon-like – a serpentine form perhaps signifying another level of meaning – a demonic intruder, the accursed serpent from Genesis.

Boanerges is a Biblical name meaning “Sons of Thunder” alluding to the noise of the train, and implying through Scripture threatened destruction. Oxymoron is used in the last stanza “docile and omnipotent” suggesting a God-like association, perhaps a connection with the birth of Christ. The train usurps these terms. The star contributes to the nativity scene (the stable, the god-terms) of a new god – the “beast”/train. The poem is a commentary on the human capacity to make idols, and warns of catastrophe.

The poem #465 “I heard a fly buzz when I died”, a macabre poem, where the grand scene of dying is eclipsed by the vulgar and funny moment of death. It is a riddle in its ironical and satirical view of the scene. It is a retrospective of someone’s own sensations during death. It is a satiric poem – in that the traditional view of death is as a peaceful release, whereas Dickinson sees disappointment, alienation and a buzzing fly. There is a sense of the situation being almost a comedy of irreverence. A kind of gothic/comic relief sets an odd tone, traditionally death is a sober occasion, but this is the irony in the poem.

The poem is in fact a ironic reversal of the conventional attitudes of the time and place toward the significance of the moment of death. Dickinson has strived for rhyme and meter in this poem, reflecting the continuance of the telling of her story – there is a parallel of structure and sense. The point of view is deliberately engineered to be amusing and ironic. The fly represents both the feeder on carrion, a symbol of life and echoes Dickinson’s larger theme : This world is all. In the final line “I could not see to see” the subject is still not able to imagine her/his own lack of consciousness.

Emily Dickinsons Because I could not stop for Death

Emily Dickinsons Because I could not stop for Death is a remarkable masterpiece that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. In Dickinsons poem, Because I could not stop Death, there is much impression in the tone, in symbols and in the use of imagery that over flow with creativity. One might undoubtedly agree to an eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone and use of symbolism in Dickinsons poem. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives slowly and passed to create a tone that seems rather placid.

For example, We slowly drove He knew no Haste / We passed the School / We passed the Setting Sun (5,9,11,12), sets a slow, quiet, and clam atmosphere. The tone in Dickinsons poem puts readers ideas on a track towards a boggling atmosphere. Dickinsons poem lives on complex ideas that are evoked through symbols, which carry her readers through her poem. Besides the literal significance of the School, Gazing Grain, Setting Sun, and the Ring much is gathered to complete the poems central idea. Dickinson brought to light the mysteriousness of the life cycle.

The cycle of ones life, as symbolized by Dickinson, has three stages and then a final stage of eternity. Schools, where children strove (9) may represent childhood; Fields of Gazing Grain (11), maturity; and Setting Sun (12) old age. In addition to these three stages, the final stage of eternity was symbolized in the last two lines of the poem, the Horses Heads (23), leading towards Eternity (24). Dickinson thought about the life cycle in terms of figurative symbols. Dickinson describes the scene such that mental pictures of sight, feeling, and sound come to life.

The imagery begins the moment Dickinson invites her reader into the Carriage (3). Death slowly (5) takes the readers on a sight seeing trip where they see the stages of life. The first site We passed was the School, where children strove (9). Because it deals with an important symbol, –the Ring this first scene is perhaps the most important. On this invited journey, one vividly sees Children playing. Laughing and singing. This scene conveys emotions and moods through verbal pictures. The imagery in the final scene, We passed the Setting Sun (12) is very emotional.

One can clearly picture a warm setting sun, perhaps, over a grassy horizon. The idea of a setting sun, aftermath a fact of slumber in a cold dark night. When Dickinson passed the Setting Sun, night drew nigh and it was time to go home and sleep. Symbolically, her tour of life was over; it was now time for Eternity death. While sight seeing in the carriage, one can gather, by the setting of the sun, that this ride was glimpse of life flashing before her eyes; just as said to happen before you die. Lines 14 and 15 seem to support this idea.

The dews drew quivering and chill / For only Gossamer, my Gown (14-15). This indicates a pleasant time cut short. Before she knew it, the cold Dew[s] (14) had set in. The imagery in this transcendent poem shines great light on some hidden similarities between life and death. This poem exercises both the thoughts and emotions of readers. Eternity and Death are two important characters in Dickinsons Because I could not stop for Death. In fact, eternity is a state of being. Dickinson believed in an eternity after death . Agreeably, Dickinson shows no fear of death in her poem.

Emily Dickinson’s Poems

Emily Dickinson’s poems, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” and “I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died,” are both about one of life’s few certainties, death. However, that is where the similarities end. Although Dickinson wrote both poems, their ideas about what lies after death differ. In one, there appears to be life after death, but in the other there is nothing. A number of clues in each piece help to determine which poem believes in what. The clues in “I heard a Fly buzz-when I died,” point to a disbelief in an afterlife.

In this oem, a woman is lying in bed with her family or friends standing all around waiting for her to die. While the family is waiting for her to pass on, she is waiting for “… the King… ” This symbolizes some sort of god that will take her away. As the woman dies, her eyes, or windows as they are referred to in the poem, fail and then she “… could not see to see-. ” As she died she saw”the light” but then her eyes, or windows, failed and she saw nothing. This is the suggestion of there being no afterlife. The woman’s soul drifted off into othingness because there was no afterlife for it to travel to.

This is the complete opposite belief about afterlife in Dickinson’s other poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death. ” In the piece, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” Dickinson tells the story of a woman who is being taken away by Death. The speaker in the poem clearly states that she will not stop for Death but that it will have to come and get her. This is illustrated in the second line of the poem “Because I could not stop for Death- He kindly stopped for me. ” “The Carriage held but just Ourselves-And Immortality.

The idea of immortality is the first indication that this poem believes in an afterlife. In many religions, where there is a grim reaper type spirit, this being will deliver a person’s soul to another place, usually heaven or hell. In the third stanza the speaker talks of how she and Death passed the school, the “Fields of Gazing Grain-We passed the Setting Sun. ” This stanza is referring to the woman looking bac on her own life as she is dying. This would not be possible without an afterlife because if the soul were to simply drift away into nothingness, it wouldnt be ble to reflect its lifetime.

After this Dickinson presents the idea of the coldness of death in saying “The Dews drew quivering and chill. ” This is when we know for sure that the woman is in fact dead. In the fifth stanza, Death and the woman pause before “… a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground- The Roof was scarcely visible- The Cornice in the Ground-. ” Even though the poem does not come out and say it, it is likely that this grave is the woman’s own. If this is true, then her spirit or soul must be what is looking at the”house. In most religions, the idea of spirits and souls usually mean that there is an afterlife.

It is not until the sixth and final stanza where the audience gets solid evidence that this poem believes in an afterlife. The woman recalls how it has been “… Centuries- and yet feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses’ Heads were toward Eternity-. ” To the soul, it has been at least a hundred years since Death visited her, but to the woman, it has felt like less than a day. Because a human body cant live for hundreds of ears, the soul is who has come to the realization that so much time has passed.

The final part with the horses refers to the horse drawn carriage the woman was riding in when she passed away. In those two final lines, the horses seem to be leading her into Eternity, or into an afterlife. Finally, these two poems deal with similar topics however they are entirely different in that on believes in life after death and the other does not. These two poems raise the question in whether or not there is anything after death, but that question is left to be answered until our final day on Earth.

Emily Dickinson: Transcendentalist Experience Through Imagination

The early 19th century ideas of transcendentalism, which were introduced by Ralph Emerson and David Thoreau, where man as an individual becomes spiritually consumed with nature and himself through experience are contrasted by Emily Dickinson, who chose to branch off this path by showing that a transcendentalist experience could be achieved through imagination alone. These three monumental writers set the boundaries for this new realm of thought. Although these writers ideas were not similar, they all followed the simple idea that “the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul” .

The male perspective seen through the works of Thoreau and Emerson, where nature “refers to essences unchanged by man; the air, the river, the leaf” , is revised and satirized by Dickinson’s statement that “Of all the Souls that stand create-, I have elected- One” . Dickinson’s works were meant to taunt society by showing how a woman, ironically trapped in her “natural” surroundings of the home, could obtain as much power, if not more than any male writer. This ironic revisions of ideas is directed at all male transcendentalists and figures in society.

Both Ralph Emerson and David Thoreau used societies stereotype of the true male environment, “nature”, to draw their power and write from their experiences. Experience was the most important factor to these writers. The ability “to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account in my next excursion” was the basis of all their writings. “To get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the whole world” was their goal behind all their writings.

They did not use their power of writing in order to gain a transcendentalist experience, but rather to record them. Both Emerson and Thoreau chose to contact their true natural surroundings, and experience time alone in the “woods”. By being “in solitude”, it brought forth a conciseness that “all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence” . Mans views of nature being rightfully his, to do with what he wants, is harshly contrasted by Emerson, who feels that “Nature sais,-He is my creature” .

Emerson felt that man, corrupted by society, can over power the fate of over looking his true meaning. Escaping from the wheel of society into “the woods, is erpetual youth”. By living in the woods, he found that fusing nature with soul, one can accomplish anything. Emerson felt that nature was an extension of five of his senses, where he could feel the tree moving in the wind as if it was his own body. He stressed the theme of “having intercourse with heaven and earth”, or interlacing your body and soul with nature. But, of all five senses, he stressed vision the most.

Beauty can only be accomplished through the gate way of the eye, which is where most experiences are derived from. “The eye is the best of artists” , and as the power to display “the simple perception of natural forms” , which is where true beauty comes form. “Nature satisfies the soul purely by its loveliness” . By becoming “a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all” . Being self reliant on oneself, following the idea that “Man is his own star” , Emerson displays his transcendentalist idea that applies to anyone who would like to follow it.

The importance of flowing with nature, and excepting what you are is stressed in Emerson’s self-reliance. By following the modo “Ne te quasiveris extra” , Emerson completely committed himself to “nature”. By letting it become part of his soul, he used its power to enable him to transcend into the identity of anything or anyone he would like. This idea is important to Emerson because it transforms “the tradesman, the attorney comes out of the din and craft of the street, and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again” .

Looking at himself as an individual, not as a number lost in a sea of people walking down a street, enabled Emerson to draw power to himself, where he did not have to rely on anyone or anything. He became his own deity, his own master, and his self owner. Emerson contained the ability “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men” , and that in itself is a philosophy which made him stand out from many, and made him an individual. Emerson clearly states in Nature, being in your natural surrounding, the wilderness, is the key to happiness.

But fails to recognize that not all human’s natural surroundings are the “woods”. Although he does admit that a true transcendentalist “does not reside in nature, but in man, or in a harmony of both” , he still focuses on a transcendentalist being in tune with nature. Emerson feels that transcendentalism must come from experience in the wilderness, and then through intellect. David Thoreau also used “nature” for an escape from the wheel of society, where he “went into the woods” in order “to live deliberately”.

The woods is where the soul and nature combine to be one. Thoreau ideas were the foundations of transcendentalism, where Emerson, and any other transcendentalist built off. Thoreau’s works were more politically centered than of Emerson’s, but followed the same fundamentals that Emerson held in mind. Thoreau made his trek into the “woods” in order to escape the machine, and leave behind society in order to prove that one can live with simplicity, and does not have to rely on society in order to provide his needs.

Thoreau made his escape to Walden pond, where he composed one of his works, Life in the Woods. Through his experiences with nature, he questioned himself, “why should we live with such hurry and waste of life” ? The formulation of these questions clarified his thoughts to produce his ideas on transcendentalism. One should live there life as an individual, and not be weary the mob around him. “Why hould we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises” ? Thoreau was much more concerned with his experiences around him.

Nature, for him, was a renewal of the soul, where he could confide in. Thoreau was also critical of mans progress, becoming more and more machine like. “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind” . Simplicity was the only way Thoreau found hid way back to the true “nature” of man. He viewed his life as a man who “does not keep pace with his companions, erhaps it is because he hears a different drummer” , and no one could challenge that or take that away from him.

All of his power was drawn from “nature”, the nature of a true man, where he could transcend to any point and become anything that he wanted. In contrast to these two male writers, Emily Dickinson proved that transcendentalism can be achieved with out the element of experience, but rather just using imagination and the power of intellect to accomplish her goals. She used many transcendentalist ideas in her writing, but all mostly to show the power of intellect; a women’s intellect.

Dickinson, ironically surrounded by her societies stereotype of her natural surroundings, “Discarded of the Housewife” , and showed male transcendentalists that she could obtain as much experience through her mind and writings, then as she could, actually being in the wilderness. Through her writings, she constantly proves that yes; she is in her natural surroundings, but the walls and ceiling of her house cannot stop the power of the mind. Ironically being trapped in her house by her own will, she takes all male power and influence from her life, and adds it to her own.

She renders her self genderless, because there is no need of digression from male or female. She becomes her own “Divine”. The power which Dickinson writes with all comes from her body within. ” The brain-is wider than the sky” , and Dickinson proved it through her writings. She wrote about first hand experiences that she never had, transcendentalist experiences, from the inside of her home. There was no Walden Pond to experience nature, and there was no sunset to watch, all there was for her, was the corners of the ceiling of her house.

How ever, with the power of magination behind her, Dickinson could transcend to anywhere she wanted, and she experienced anything she wanted. Dickinson used her writing, and “solitude” from society, to enable her to “Soul selects her own Society” . “The Brain is just weight of God” , her own brain and her own soul, and of coarse, her own god; “Mine” . Emily Dickinson split of the transcendentalist road, to form her own branch, where the power of imagination took the place of experience. Her bold feminine statement to society proved that the confines of ones house is not enough to capture the power of the mind.

Emily Dickinson, one of the most well known poets of her time

Emily Dickinson is one of the most well known poets of her time. Though her life was outwardly uneventful, what went on inside her house behind closed doors is unbelievable. After her father died she met Reverend Charles Wadsworth. She soon came to regard him as one of her most trusted friends, and she created in his image the “lover” whom she was never to know except in her imagination. It is also said that it was around 1812 when he was removed to San Fransico that she began her withdrawal from society. During this time she began to write many of her poems.

She wrote mainly in private, guarding all of her poems from all but a few select friends. She did not write for fame, but instead as a way of expressing her feelings. In her lifetime only six of her poems were even printed; none of which had her consent. It was not until her death of Brights Disease in May of 1862, that many of her poems were even read (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2837). Thus proving that the analysis on Emily Dickinson’s poetry is some of the most emotionally felt works of the nineteenth century.

Miss Dickinson is often compared with other poets and writers, but “like Shakespeare, Miss Dickinson is without opinions” (Tate 86). “Her verses and technical license often seem mysterious and can confuse critics, but after all is said, it is realized that like most poets Miss Dickinson is no more mysterious than a banker. It is said that Miss Dickinson’s life was starved and unfulfilled and yet all pity is misdirected. She lived one of the richest and deepest lives ever on this continent.

It was her own conscious choice to deliberately withdraw from society into her upstairs room…” (Tate 83). She kept to “only a few select friends and the storm, wind, wild March sky, sunsets, dawns, birds, bees, and butterflies were sufficient companionship for Miss Dickinson” (Loomis 79). She dealt with a lot both physically and psychologically and in the end she still came out on the top. So as Allen Tate best said it “in her own historical setting Miss Dickinson is nevertheless remarkable and special” (82).

Thomas Higginson said that “the main quality of her poems is that of extraordinary grasp and insight, uttered with an uneven vigor, which was all her own” (78). The works and phrases she uses shows that she was unconcerned with the fact that no one else could understand her poetry, but instead, she was satisfied by using mere words in order to fit her own ear (Higginson 78). Miss Dickinson’s poetry was strictly confidential and written without the purpose of publication and merely as a way of expressing her own mind (Bloom 2838).

Art forms were totally unknown to her, and nature was always viewed not in a cosmic way but in its smallest and most intimate forms” (Whicher 87). Allen Tate describes her biggest influence to be nature itself, and though she could not deal with the problems of society, she had such an attitude toward life that she was able to see into this character of nature more deeply than any other (84). Miss Dickinson’s poetry style contains “flashes of wholly original and profound insight into nature and life” (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841).

At first impression her tiny lyrics appear to be no more than the jottings of a half-idiotic school-girl instead of grave musings of a full grown, fully educated woman” (Monro 81). Miss Dickinson often writes out of habit allowing her poems to not require a point of view, but instead, they require for some of the deepest understanding, which allows her style to emerge even when she has nothing to say (Tate 86-87). Some consider her works to be the most original of her time, written with an unusual amount of emotion and often referred to as “…poetry torn up by its roots with rain, dew and earth still clinging to them” (Higginson 78).

To others she was considered to be “intellectually blind, partially dead, and mostly dumb to the art of poetry” (Monro 81). It was best stated by Allen Tate when he wrote, “she can not reason at all; she can only see” (84). Although her poems were written with deep intensity, it seems that her favorite themes were thunderstorms, sunsets, and snow, and yet at the same time they were all somehow related to some angle of her house or garden (Whicher 87). There also remained a deep sense of mystery and a desire to know the why of things (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841).

Harold Bloom said, “her best poetry is not concerned with the causes but with the qualities of pain” (19), which allows her to deal with the feelings “that the God of her fathers, when she most wished to lean on Him, was disconcertingly not there” (Whicher 87). Throughout her poetry there runs a current of sadness with just a touch of sparkling humor (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2845) issuing her poems “a tension between the abstraction and sensation in which the two elements may be distinguished logically but not really” (Tate 84).

Her symbol of nature was death, and her only weapon against death was her faith (Tate 84). She realizes that it is when a man’s faith runs dry that he must refresh his soul with the sanity, which lies only in nature (Whicher 87). “Miss Dickinson possessed an extremely unconventional and grotesque fancy. Blake’s mysticism and Emerson’s mannerism held a very strong influence on her style” (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841). She wrote for no one except herself and often about death, burial and the unknown life beyond, leaving every ground open for legitimate study (Todd 78).

Miss Dickinson lived much of her life alone and rarely even left her father’s house. “She dwelt in seclusion, socially, physically, and psychologically” (Monro 81). It wasn’t because she was an invalid, rather, “Miss Dickinson became a hermit by deliberate and conscious choice” (Tate 83). “She had tried society and found it lacking” (Todd 78). Allen Tate writes, “if it were necessary to describe her seclusion with disappointment in love there would remain the problem between what her seclusion produced and how it was viewed” (Tate 83).

Her most vivid symbol would be nature, and this is where she allows so many of her deepest feelings to run free. Nature allows Miss Dickinson to be herself and to find herself. This is her only connection to her God, and it is in nature that she finds her strengths. She believes that there is a God, but where he is, she does not know. The only thing she feels sure about is the fact that she is going to die, and when she does, her soul will live on in some way. Her seclusion is a main factor because she wishes to separate herself from the outside, creating in her a more simple heart.

She believes that once a person is alone from the world they are separated from the corruption. Miss Dickinson made this choice to deal with her own depression in this way. Miss Dickinson may have been very psychologically disturbed, but the impact she has left on our society is amazing. No other poet could compare with the deep emotion that is so carefully placed in her works. She has amazed many critics with her forms and she will continue to do so as long as people will take the time to not only read her poems in their heads but also with their minds, hearts, and souls.

The influences on Emily Dickinsons life

The influences on Emily Dickinsons writings were friendship, nature, religion, and mostly her own life and experiences. Dickinson is known for being one of Americas greatest poets. Her poetry reflects her own life and gives an intimate recollection of her own inspirational moments. (g3) Most of her poetry was never meant to be published but since it was, she became very well known for it. Dickinson did not have contact with very many people in her life, but the ones she did see a lot had a great impact on her thoughts and poetry.

The most influential of her friends who also offered her a lot of guidance about her life and oetry was a minister named Charles Wadsworth. They met in Philadelphia and he quickly became her best friend. Wadsworth was an influence because his orthodox Calvinism acted as a beneficial catalyst to Dickinsons theoretical influences. (d4) He gave her ideas of many different things to write about and to think about. Wadsworth was also a solitary romantic person that Dickinson could confide in when writing her poetry. Many people believed that Dickinson had a great love for Wadsworth even though he was married.

Many critics believe that he was the basis for many of her love poems. When Wadsworth moved to the est coast, his departure made Dickinson very depressed and heartsick, which showed in her poems. This may have been the thing that started a period of Another person that greatly affected her poems was a women named Susan Gilbert. Emily wrote many letters to Gilbert which included many of her greatest poems. They had met in Amherst and instantly became very close friends and they shared many interests. Dickinson trusted Gilbert completely.

There were even some rumors about Dickinson and Gilbert having an intimate relationship. Dickinson was very upset when Gilbert became engaged to Austin Dickinson, Emily Dickinsons brother. Dickinson and Gilbert lost contact for almost two years after the marriage. When Gilbert and Austin Dickinson moved next-door to Emily Dickinson, their correspondence started again. During the later years of her writing career, death had a large impact on her poems.

Death is not mere metaphorical for Dickinson: Its the greatest subject of her work. h7) Some of the deaths that affected her where of her mother, father, favorite nephew, and her best friend Wadsworth. The mourning over the people that were the closest to her made her more obsessed with death and that had a great influence on her poetry. She approaches death from the perspective of a grieving onlooker, attempting to continue life and her own faith. (h8) Unfortunately, without the deaths, she never would have written the poems that are so famous and legendary today. Dickinsons Puritan upbringings also had a large affect on her poetry.

Some people believe that her religious beliefs had a great influence on her writings but other people think that her poetry had become her religion. Her religion gave way to a young adulthood which her poems later in her life had absorbed. When Dickinson was a child, she attended church on a weekly basis. Her poetry plays endless variations on the protestant hymn maters that she knew from her youthful experiences in church. (h4) When reading Dickinsons poetry about her religion, the reader begins to understand what Dickinson went through in church as a child.

When she was young, she had learned a lot about the Book of Revalations. Her father was a very religious man who practiced a Protestant sect that closely followed the tenets of Puritanism, but she was never able to practice his faith with complete dedication. Dickinsons imagery and metaphors were drawn from an acute observation of nature. e2) One of Dickinsons favorite things to do was look at things in nature. Many of her poems include birds, trees, flowers, weather. She compares the things in nature to things in her own life by taking a subject matter for her poems and using all the themes of love, death and compassion.

Most of her poems about nature came from her own observations and thoughts. Nature only had a small affect on her poems, but some of her greatest works came form When Dickinson was writing her poems, she did not care about politics, the civil war, or literary works by other people. The years of the civil was did oincide with the time of her greatest output of over eight hundred poems, but the war had no impact on her writings because the works came from inside the poet instead of what was occurring around the outside of the poet.

Instead of being influenced by poets of her own time, Dickinson was influenced by the metaphysical poets of the 17th century. Some of her own favorite poets include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John Keets and Walt Whitman. (g4) Her direct, first-person voice makes a lot of her poetry easily accessible, yet her unusual word usages and approaches to a subject call for reading the poem over again nd sometimes many different and interesting interpretations.

Her density and imaginativeness date back to those Metaphysical, while her play with language and her psychological and philosophical insights, many quite unusual for the largely conservative 19th century, brought her a wide audience for her works. Her work was very original and innovative and it all came from her own mind but she did draw from her knowledge of the bible, classical myths and Shakespeare In contrast to many of the writers from her time period, Dickinson had very minimal experiences with the world, spending almost every day of her life in a ingle house.

She had a very normal childhood but in her early thirties, she began to withdrawal from her friends. There were often times much later in her life when she would only talk to her friends from outside of a door or communicate through her famous letters. Through this, her poetry still displays a range of perception and emotion that few poets have had. Dickinson had a very simple life, but her poems which were partially influenced by it, had a lot of energy. Her poems were written partially about her real life but also about her deep inner life. (c8)

Whatever she was feeling, pain, love, faith, or joy, her poems showed it. Dickinson loved to combine vivid personal feelings of her own in her works. Her confrontation within herself and her own mind are the center for some of her best Emily Dickinson is a great example of a poet who enjoys writing about her own experiences and things that are important in her own life. Her main goal in her poetry was to create a creative inner life for herself. (j2) her poems are all original and they all have very special meanings. As Dickinson said in the last line of one of her most famous poems Tell the truth, but tell it slant.

Emily Dickinson Biography Essay

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst Massachusetts. She had a younger sister named Lavina and an older brother named Austin. Her mother Emily Norcross Dickinson, was largely dependent on her family and was seen by Emily as a poor mother. Her father was lawyer, Congressman, and the Treasurer for Amherst College. Unlike her mother, Emily loved and admired her father. Since the family was not emotional, they lived a quiet secure life. They rarely shared their problems with one another so Emily had plenty of privacy for writing.

During her childhood, Emily and her family attended The First Congregational Church on a regular basis. Emily did not like going to church because she didn’t think of herself as being very religious. She refused to believe that Heaven was a better place than Earth and eventually rebelled from the church. Emily saw herself as a woman who had her own way of thinking, a way of thinking shaped neither by the church or society. By the time she was twelve, her family moved to a house on Pleasant Street where they lived from 1840 to 1855. Emily was already writing letters, but composed most of her poetry in this home.

Emily only left home to attend Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for two semesters. Though her stay there was brief, she impressed her teachers with her courage and directness. They felt her writing was sensational. At the age of twenty-one, Emily and her family moved to the Dickinson Homestead on Main Street. This move proved to be very difficult for Emily. This was difficult for Emily because she became very attached to her old house, which shaped her writing and personality for fifteen years. They now lived next door to her brother Austin and his wife Susan and their daughter Martha.

Emily and Susan became so close that many people believe they may have been lovers. A rumor perpetuated by the fact that Emily was known to have written many love letters and poems to Susan. Martha attempted to protect both of their images and suppress the rumors. It became common knowledge that Emily had some type of very strong feelings for Susan. At the age of thirty-one Emily sent some of her poems to a publisher, Thomas Higginson, from whom she got a very good response and a strong friendship developed. He acted as her mentor but she never seemed to have taken any of his advice.

It became evident that she didn’t like the idea of having her works published, she made 40 packets of about twenty poems apiece from 814 poems. She placed these in a box along with 333 other poems. Emily died on May 5, 1886 at the age of 56. She had planned her own funeral. It was held at the mansion on Main Street and ended at the family plot near the house on Pleasant Street. At her request, her casket was covered with violets and pine boughs, while she herself was dressed in a new white gown and had a strand of violets placed about her neck.

Before she died, Emily left specific instructions for her sister and a housemaid, Maggie to destroy all the letters she had received and saved. The box of packets and poems was found with these letters, but Emily had not said anything about destroying them. Her sister Lavina was determined to have these published, but Susan kept them for two years before they were released to Higginson. In 1890 and 1891, some of the poems were published. They received a great response, but no more were released until 1955, when the rest of her poems were published. Though she was not religious many of her poems do reflect Protestant and Calvinistic views.

She wrote many of her poems on pain, but unlike most Protestants she refused to believe that she deserved this pain. Though she is viewed by many as a hermit who spent much of her life in isolation, she also is admired for her style in writing. She chose her words for her poems in a way that allows the reader to choose the meaning. In conclusion, she wrote nearly eighteen hundred poems, most ignoring rhyme and punctuation. Emilys poems did not have titles because she never wanted them to be published. Many of her poems are dark and mysterious but all are true works of art.

Emily Dickinson’s lyrical poem

In Emily Dickinsons lyrical poem Theres a certain slant of light she describes a revelation that is experienced on cold winter afternoons. Further she goes to say that this revelation of self oppresses, like the Heft of Cathedral Tunes and causes Heavenly Hurt, yet does not scare for it is neither exterior nor permanent. This only leaves it to be an internal feeling, and according to Dickinson that is where all the Meanings lie. Theres no way for this feeling to be explained, all that is known is that it is the Seal Despair, and an imperial affliction.

These descriptions have a rather powerful connotation in showing the oppressive nature of his sentiment. There is an official mark of despair and an imperial affliction which is above and beyond the norm. The severity of this feeling is so powerful that even nature seems to stop; in fact the whole world comes to a halt. But when it is over it seems that nothing happened, a glimpse of death. There is no dramatic situation that occurs in the poem. It is a description of a somber feeling that comes from nowhere and leaves without a trace. The poem is written in the third person, referring to it, the feeling.

It remains in that point of view throughout the entire poem. The use of figurative language in the poem allows Emily Dickenson to create a feeling that attaches the reader to the poetry, by tying it to an experience that the reader might have had. It also allows her to set the mood of the poem. By looking at the first two lines it may seem cheerful because it speaks of light in Winter Afternoon, however the simile in the third line quickly changes the tone. That oppresses, like the Heft of Cathedral Tunes–. It has a very heavy feeling derived from the word Heft as well as Cathedral Tunes.

The Cathedral is considered sacred yet it is such as somber sound that it could easily affect a persons mood. The use of paradoxes in the poem creates a sense of confusion about the true feelings about the revelation. Heavenly Hurt is both wonderful and horrible and suggests that the pain comes from the heavens. This suggestion is support in various situations throughout the poem. Cathedral Tunes and Sent us of the Air are the prime examples. It shows that this new realization may have been from a divine being therefore the reader is confused on its significance because it perhaps a type of gift.

Landscapes Listen Shadowshold their breathe is the personification used in the poem. This personification in the work shows that a divine being has arranged for this revelation to occur therefore, all of nature will halt to the being who has been selected to find this new piece of themselves. She also uses a bit of irony as well as parallel structure to set the scene in the poem. The revelation is brought out in the light of an wintery afternoon, this is the parallel yet it oppressive and dark which is ironic because the light brought with it such darkness.

Another form of figurative language that is used is alliteration on the part of the hard ds such as death, distance, and despair and hs such as heft, heavenly, and hurt. These sounds give the poem a hard, heavy sound. Also she capitalizes certain words all throughout the poem because she wants to draw attention to these powerful words that Dickinson wants the reader to remember after the poem is done. Theres a certain slant of light does not follow a set meter. It is written in a rhyming fashion. Stanzas one, two and three all have ABCB rhyme scheme. This gives the poem a very easy flow, through such a rough subject.

The last stanza is written in ABAB rhyme scheme. The poem allows the reader to connect with the feeling. It makes the reader analyze his own feelings. The poem is a very deep and shows how along the road of life there will be instances in which the world seems to be coming to an end. The poem suggests that this occurs due to divine intervention and there is nothing you can do to stop it. The new realization will burden a person for a bit of time but eventually it is accepted and that sorrowful time at which the discovery is made will soon be just a distant image.

Emily Dickinson – America’s best-known female poet

Emily Dickinson was America’s best-known female poet and one of the foremost authors in American literature. She was born in1830 in Amherst Massachusetts and died in her hometown in1886, at the age of 56, due to illness. Emily was the middle child of three children. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was a prominent lawyer and one-term United States congressional representative. Her mother, Emily Norcross Dickinson, was a housewife. From 1840 to 1847 Emily attended the Amherst Academy, and from 1847 to 1848 she studied at the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, a few miles from Amherst.

During her lifetime, she published only about 10 of her nearly 2000 poems, in newspapers, Civil War journals, and a poetry anthology. Most people believed that Dickinson was an extreme recluse, but this is not entirely true. Although it is true that Emily never married and became very selective about the company she kept. Emily was far more sociable than most descriptions would have readers believe. She frequently entertained guests at her home and the home of her brother and sister-in-law during her 20’s and 30’s.

Also, Dickinson kept up a huge correspondence with friends and family. Only recently are biographers beginning to recognize the role of Emily’s sister-in-law, Susan Dickinson, in Emily’s writing. They lived next door to each other for over 35 years, sharing mutual passions for literature, music, cooking, and gardening. It is rumored that Emily and Susan where secretly lovers. Emily sent Susan more than 400 poems and letters, twice as many as she sent to any other correspondent. Susan also is the only person at whose request Emily would actually change one of her poems.

Evidence has also surfaced that Susan participated in the writing of many poems with Emily, and Susan was probably responsible for the few poems Emily actually printed during her lifetime. In the early stages of her career, Emily’s handwritten lyrics were formally printed and her poetic techniques were conventional. But she later began to attend to the visual aspects of her poems. For example, she arranged and broke lines of verse in unusual ways and she created extravagantly shaped letters of the alphabet to emphasize a poem’s meaning. She also added cutouts from novels, magazines, and even the Bible to augment her own use of language.

Although few of Emily’s poems were formally published during her lifetime, she was able to self “publish” by sending out at least one-third of her poems in more than 1000 letters she wrote to at least 100 different correspondents. Emily’s method of binding about 800 of her poems into 40 manuscript books and distributing several hundred of them in letters are now widely recognized as her particular form of self-publication. She also read her poems aloud to several people, including her cousins Louise and Frances Norcross, over a period of three decades.

I’m ceded — I’ve stopped being Their’s — 1 And They can put it with my Dolls, 5 My childhood, and the string of spools, Baptized, before, without the choice, But this time, consciously, of Grace — Called to my Full — The Crescent dropped — My second Rank — too small the first — Crowned — Crowing — on my Father’s breast –15 But this time — Adequate — Erect, Upon a first reading of Emily Dickinson’s poems I found them very difficult to understand due to her unique style of writing. Once I was able to comprehend the general theme of her poems, they became clearer with profound meaning.

Emily’s writing style, leaving words absent and not completing sentences, allows the reader to fill in the gaps through reflection of their own life and experiences. Emily writes from experiences that have occurred in and around her life, her writing technique requires the reader to delve deep into their soul to apply the meaning that will bring a feeling of peace and understanding. Poem #508 speaks to a woman who has endured the challenges of entering adulthood. Emily employs a female speaker to describe the emotions a woman faces leaving her childhood behind to enter adulthood and deciding whether to marry.

There is sadness and resignation in the tone of the speaker. Aware she cannot remain under the security of her parents forever, she must decide to marry or become a spinster. Having limited opportunities as a woman in the nineteenth century, she is aware her most sensible choice is to marry. In the first stanza, the speaker’s sadness is evident when she states, “I’m ceded- I’ve stopped being Theirs-” (1), implying that being given up to marriage, she is losing her identity she obtained through her parents.

In order to become wed, she must exchange her family name for that of her husband’s, therefore severing the bond she shares with her parents. The second stanza continues the sad tone as the speaker laments, “And They can put it with my Dolls, My Childhood, and the string of spools, I’ve finished threading-too-” (5-7). Her sadness at this point is the result of leaving all of her childhood dreams and trifles behind and giving up her family name, to enter her new life, as a wife. As her new life will take her in another direction, she no longer has room for the things that brought her pleasure as a child.

Spiritual faith is prominent in the third stanza. It is apparent the speaker is to be married in a church before the eyes of God as she has chosen unlike when she was “Baptized, before, without the choice,” (8) as an infant. Having the knowledge of her faith and what is expected of her as she reaches maturity, she dons her “small Diadem” (small crown) (13), which is the symbol of her transformation from child to married woman. Sadness and resignation seem to be the focus of the fourth and final stanza. The speaker “A half unconscious Queen-” (16) does not see her life as a wife evolving beyond what her life as a child had.

Having been under the control of her parents, her decision to marry will result in her being under the control of her husband. Fully aware of her prospects if she were to chose the alternative, she resigns herself to her decision as she states, “And I choose, just a Crown. ” (19) Although this poem runs only nineteen lines, Emily has successfully and eloquently revealed the sadness women endure from having to resign themselves to the fact they have only one true option in life once maturity is attained, marriage.

I may be assuming too much but I believe this poem is in essence Emily’s way of expressing her views towards the issue of marriage in her own life. Emily was celibate her entire life and had a very few friends, she may have refused to give in to social pressures and remained a spinster in order to spite the rest of the world. One may reasonably conclude that the speaker in this melancholy poem may have indeed been speaking for Emily herself.

Emily Dickinson’s Humor

While much of Emily Dickinson’s poetry has been described as sad or morose, the poetess did use humor and irony in many of her poems. This essay will address the humor and/ or irony found in five of Dickinson’s poems: “Faith” is a Fine Invention, I’m Nobody! Who are you? , Some keep the Sabbath Going to Church and Success Is Counted Sweetest. The attempt will be made to show how Dickinson used humor and / or irony for the dual purposes of comic relief and to stress an idea or conclusion about her life and environment expressed by the poetess in the respective poem.

The most humorous or ironic are some of the horter poems, such as the four lined stanzas of “Faith” is a Fine Invention and Success Is Counted Sweetest. In “Faith”… , Dickinson presents a witty and biting satirical look at Faith and its limitations. While it still amuses readers today, it must be mentioned that this short poem would have had a greater impact and seriousness to an audience from the period Dickinson lived in. Dickinson was raised in a strict Calvinist household and received most of her education in her youth at a boarding school that also followed the American Puritanical tradition she was raised in.

In this short, witty piece Dickinson addresses two of the main obsessions of her generation: The pursuit of empirical knowledge through science, faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful Christian god and the debate on which was the more powerful belief. In this poem Dickinson uses humor to ease her position in the debate on to the reader. Dickinson uses her ability to write humourously and ironically (as seen in her suggestion of the use of microscopes) to present a firm, controversial opinion into what could be dismissed as an irreverent, inconsequential piece of writing.

In Success… Dickinson’s emphasis is less on humor and more on expressing irony. This poem may be partially auto-biographical in nature. Dickinson made few attempts during her life to be taken as more than an armature poetess. On one occasion, she sent a collection of her poems to a correspondent who was also a published poet. His criticism of the poems devastated Dickinson, and she never made another attempt towards publishing her works. In Success… , Dickinson reflects on the nature of success and how, ironically, it can be best appreciated and understood by those who have not achieved it and have no taste of it.

As in “Faith”… , Dickinson powerfully presents her thoughts in a few lines. The poem deals only with one, ironic but universal, idea in its short length. It is the bitterness expressed at this irony (as found it Dickinson’s juxtaposition of the words sweetest and sorest, separated by two lines) that is most felt by the reader. While the previous poem expresses the poetess’ bitterness and sorrow with one aspect of her life, I’m Nobody! Who Are You? uses humor without irony to address another.

In this poem, Dickinson style appears almost child-like in its of descriptions including frogs and bogs, as ell as the lively energy expressed by the poem through its use of dashes and brief wording. Dickinson seems to be addressing her spinster, hermit-like existence (I’m Nobody) and her preference to it. The poetess seems to relate that her situation has not left her without a sense of humor, but in fact has allowed her to maintain a child-like outlook on life rather than adapting to the boring norms of her society ( How dreary – to be – Somebody! .

She mocks the conventional need for self-importance through publicity (How public – like a Frog – / To tell one’s name – the livelong June -), suggesting that the audience isn’t that interested ( / To an admiring Bog). She instead seems to idealize her solitude by creating the mysterious feeling of a secret society of social outcasts (Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know! ). In this poem, she effectively uses humor to soften a critique of certain members of her society.

While this poem is longer than the other poems discussed, it too is able to express the quality of brevity and lightness in that it’s composition is full of dashes, with even full sentences broken into short, quick actions that easily oll off of the tongue when spoken aloud (How dreary – to be – Somebody). The technical composition of this poem is two stanzas, however, Dickinson is able to refresh the form with her use of dashes and short words to give it energy and liveliness.

The poem Some Keep the Sabbat Going to Church, is the longest poem discussed in this essay, composed of three stanzas. When comparing her humorous poems to the other poems found in this collection, it is found that these poems are the shortest in length. They are also composed in stanzas, which is not found in all Dickinson’s poem. It might be that in the attempt to keep the nature (if not the subject matter) of the poems light-hearted, Dickinson purposely chose this traditional and un-challenging form.

In Some… Dickinson again turns to humor and irony to address issues she has with the conventions of religion common to her society, as seen in “Faith”…. Dickinson questions the sincerity of those who attend Church on Sunday on a regular basis. Through the use of comparing the conventions of Church (such as the Bell, the Sermon, Dome and Choir) with her own celebration of the Sabbat through the ppreciation of nature, Dickinson ironically suggests that those in attendance at Church may not be as sincere in their worship as she is.

The poetess’ mocks the congregations attendance as being merely for show and to gain status in the community by doing what is expected of them (God preaches, a noted Clergyman). As well, she argues with the assumption that attending church alone will lead towards salvation, suggesting that it is her own actions of finding God in Nature (And an Orchard, for a Dome) on a regular, constant basis (I’m going all along) which is the more true path towards salvation. The humor in the last poem is not as explicit as found in the other poems discussed, nor is the irony as directly expressed as in Success …

The irony is first suggested in the opening lines of “Some keep the Sabbat going to Church – / I keep it staying home” and reaches it most explicit form in the closing lines of “So instead of getting to Heaven, at last I’m going, all along. ” It might be that due to the fact this poem addresses social conventions more than actual spirituality and a belief in God that Dickinson chooses to keep the level of irony lower than found in “Faith”… The humor found in this poem is less explicit as well.

While the contrasts of a Bobolink for a Choirister and a Orchard for a Done is humourous, in these descriptions Dickinson appears to be confessing her own individual, private communion with God to the reader. Thus she does not accentuate the humor in the juxtaposition of the objects in order not to trivialize her own beliefs, but allows enough humor to enter the description to stamp the poem with the child-like free spiritedness found in … Nobody…. Again in this poem, the poetess’ desire for seclusion and nconventionality is expressed eloquently through a light-handed treatment of the subject matter.

In conclusion, it can be stated the examples of Emily Dickinson’s work discussed in this essay show the poetess to be highly skilled in the use of humor and irony. The use of these two tools in her poems is to stress a point or idea the poetess is trying to express, rather than being an end in themselves. These two tools allow her to present serious critiques of her society and the place she feels she has been allocated into by masking her concerns in a light-hearted, irreverent tone.

One of America’s greatest poets

One of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson, wrote more than 1,700 short lyric verses, of which only 7 were published in her lifetime. Dickinson was an obsessively private writer and withdrew herself from social contact at the age of 23 and devoted herself into writing. Dickinson’s personal life, writing career, personal beliefs, and personal trials are perceived throughout her poems that shape today’s modern poetry. Dickinson’s work has had a considerable influence on modern poetry. Today, Dickinson’s work has contributed her reputation as one of the most innovative poets of the 19-century American literature.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst on December 10, 1830, the second child of Edward and Emily Dickinson. The Dickinsons were an important family in Amherst. Her father was an orthodox Calvinist, a lawyer and treasurer of Amherst College, and he also served in Congress. As a parent, her father was known to be short tempered and harsh. “.. and Father, too busy with his Briefs to notice what I do-He buys me many Books-but begs me not to read them-because he fears they joggle the Mind”(Eliot 452). However, when her father died in 1874, Emily was deeply distressed.

A year later, her mother became diagnosed with paralysis and became sick for the rest of her life. Mrs. Dickinson died in November 1882. Emily attended school at Amherst Academy , studying Latin, French, history, rhetoric, botany, geology, and mental philosophy. She then attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary at South Hadley where she engaged more in the tangible study of history, chemistry, Latin, physiology, and English grammar. Her official education became deprived because of her constant illness and poor health. Her life was lived entirely in a small New England circle, in which Amherst was the center.

Emily did not explore; she saw what could be seen from her window, from her garden, from next door, and sometimes from the church. She chose to live this way and this way took over and became the rest of her life. She was considered odd, reticent, and private. If she was a lonely girl, loneliness was her choice. Sometimes she thought as isolation as her fate. It might almost be said that Dickinson did not suffer loneliness, but demanded it. Emily Dickinson ran her life at Amherst moving between the kitchen, the garden, and her room. She baked bread, made puddings, attended her knitting, sent messages next door, and wrote hundreds of poems.

Emily Dickinson’s Unusual Character And Style

Emily Dickinson’s unusual character and style has made her become one of the world’s most famous poets. In her poems, she expresses her feelings about religion, nature, death and love. Her poems tell a great deal about her lifestyle, which was very secluded and withdrawn from society. Dickinson’s prosperous family expected her to live as a Christian, and someday have a family of her own (Lit 927). Dickinson, however, rebelled against this traditional way of life, as she developed and lived by her own personal beliefs.

She never tells if she believes in the existence of God, but she does tell that she disagrees with the church in the poem “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church. ” She explains in this poem that any worshiping that she does, happens in her own home. In many of her poems, Dickinson expresses her interest in nature, by comparing it to human behavior. This is evident in “Nature is a Haunted House,” when Kher explains the advice that Dickinson gives: Man must come out of his puny self, which is a jar, and become a well, which is a form of awakened consciousness, in order to reach the dimension of the sea which is his real self, his freedom. 1).

She also gives advice in “nature is what we see” by implying that like nature, humans can not predict things in life that seem to be going well, to always remain they way they are. (42). Along with the natural way of life comes death, which seems to have fascinated Dickinson. “Because I did not stop for death– He kindly stopped for me- The Carriage held but just ourselves and immortality,” (Kher 212). In this poem, the carriage symbolizes onward movement and continuity (213).

When Dickinson mentions “eternity” in this poem, she seems to imply that human beings are immortal, and that death is merely a pause. Although the dark and unexplained did capture Dickinson’s interest, she still expressed feelings of love in her poems. In “You Left Me-Sire-Two Legacies,” Dickinson writes about someone that she cared deeply for, who is no longer here, (inet 2). She did care very deeply for Reverend Charles Wadsworth, so perhaps this poem was written to describe the pain that she felt after he moved away.

The thing that sets Dickenson apart from anyone else is her individuality. It has inspired many people the way that she lived the life that she wanted to live. The poem “I’m Nobody! Who Are You? ” describes her well in the sense that she never did what society wanted her to do. In this poem, she sarcastically implies that she is “nobody,” because to be “somebody,” she would have to do what everyone else did. This poet was without a doubt, a true individual that was never afraid to express her true feelings about life.

Emily Dickinsons work

The complex fate of human beings in this tragic yet beutiful world and the possible fortunes of the human spirit in a subsequent life is what interests us all in life, and this is the central theme in most of Emily Dickinsons work. In her enticing poetry, Emily establishes a dialectical relationship between reality and imagination, the known and the unknown. By ordering the stages of life to include death and eternity, Dickinson suggests the interconnected and mutually determined nature of the finite and infinite.

She aims to elucidate the incomprehensible, life, death, and the stages of existence. The subjects of life and death have been a traditional theme in poetry and they are central to most of Dickinsons poems. Love and ecstacy are also primary in her poems and they are often cconcerned with celestial betrothal. In the poem “Death is a subtle suitor”, Dickinson illustrates the love-death symbolism, an explicit rendering of deatyh as the lover who transports her in his carriage to be married in a proxy wedding.

Dickinson uses the metaphor of a funeral as the wedding journey to eternity, setting up a system of correspondences between the changes brought about by death ans the changes in role of the unnamed partners in this spiritual love game. ‘Death’, to be sure, is not the true bridegroom but a surrogare, which accounts for his minor role. He is the envoy taking her on this curously premature wedding journey to the heavenly alter whre she will be mariied to God. When ‘Death ‘ first appears as a suitor she changes from a girl to a blushing virgin.

This must be a ‘stealthy Wooing,’ for though she knows it will result ina glorious new status for her, she is vaguely aware that it will mean a renunciation of all the world she has known. She shows a maidenly resereve by the manner in which she forces to conduct his courtship, by ‘palid imnnuendoes’ and a ‘dim’ approach. ‘ But he does win at last and attains his goal, for he is a ‘supple Suitor’. The second change comes twith great suddenness for it is the kiss of death, transforming her from virgin to bride, or at least the betrothed.

Then ‘Death’ bears her away ‘in triumph,’ both from a substitute wedding and towards a final one, to the sound of ‘brave Bugles’ such as would accounce a royal merriage, or the Day of Doom. The peculiar duality of this journey is reflected by the vehicle in which they travel, ‘a bisected Coach. ‘ This has a variety of meanings that illustrate the twofold nature of the journey tey are taking. As a wedding coach it divides the wife-to-be from the virginal life left behind, and as a heavenly chariot, the mortal from the immortal.

The third and final change of status lies beyond the poem because it lies beyond death. She only knows that she is goind to a ‘Troth unknown. ‘ The impossibility of describing her spiritual marriage is put plainly in this phrase and in the vagueness of her projection of the glorious life to come, with ‘Kinsmen as divulgeless/As Clans of Down. ‘ Thus the suitor is transformed into the bridegroom and prospective husband in the three stages of the poem. These three stages correspond to the awareness of death, the act of death, and the state after death.

Thus Dickinson portrays the speaker as the bride of God, entering heaven in her beutiful carriage. One of the most striking characteristics of this poem is the speaker’s awareness that while death is always with her, his relationship to her is always changing. Therefore the definition takes the form of a progression. From the second line ‘That wins at last,’ we can see that the speaker is repelled by the suit, thus death is something which she can not be rid of.

In this poem we can see that the speaker’s willingness to give up this world is continent upon her recognition of the requirement of doing so. Thus in this poem, death is not really a loss for the dying person but is rather a reunion. The speaker does not court death but rather union, as evident in the first two lines “Death is a supple Suitor/That wins at last. ” The world then is not destroyed for the self as a consequense of death but is rather reconstructed.

Emily Dickinson, a creative poet

Emily Dickinson, a creative poet during the mid-nineteenth century, wrote what many consider to be truly American poetry. To understand why Dickinson is considered a brilliant writer of American poetry, one must know about the time period in which she wrote her poetry. Dickinson wrote during the era of American literature known as the Age of Expansion (Perkins 869). This was during the first half-century after the Civil War to the First World War which was approximately 1865-1915 (Perkins 869). During this time period, American literature went through many drastic changes.

American writers rogressively moved from romanticism to realism (Perkins 870). Realism was a much more realistic interpretation of humanity and its destiny (Perkins 870). This new approach addressed a larger and more general audience than the writings of the Romantic era (Perkins 870). Although Dickinson is considered a writer from the Age of Expansion, her style of writing combined elements from the Romantic and Realism eras (Perkins 872). Emily Dickinson was from the Amherst village which possessed a deeply rooted identity from Puritanical America (Perkins 872).

Dickinson wrote with such a style and ompassion that her poems are still among the most popular of all American poetry today. All but a few of her poems were published after her death. This is a great symbol of American Patriotism for the fact that she wrote from the heart and not for a paycheck. All of the elements combined were poured into everyone of her works and because of this, Dickinson is a symbol of American poetry. Throughout Emily Dickinsons poetry there are three main themes that she addresses: death, love, and nature.

Another aspect of Emily Dickinsons work that fascinates many critics is the importance and the impact of the word in her poetry. In Donald E. Thackreys essay The Communication of the Word, he talks about how the power of the individual word, in particular, seems to have inspired her with nothing less than reverence (Thackrey 51). Dickinson approached her poetry inductively, that is, she combined words to arrive at whatever conclusion the patterns of the words suggested, rather than starting out with a specific theme or message.

Instead of purposefully working toward a final philosophical point, Dickinson preferred to use series of staccato inspirations (Thackrey 51). Dickinson frequently used words with weight in her work, nd as a result her works usually cannot be grasped fully in one reading without dissecting each word individually. Often Dickinson would compile large, alternative word lists for a poetry before she would come to a decision on which word was just right for the impact she wished to achieve (Thackrey 52).

For example, this poem displays Dickinsons use of alternative, thesaurus-like lists: Had but the tale a thrilling, typic, hearty, bonnie, breathless, spacious, tropic, warbling, ardent, friendly, magic, pungent, winning, mellow teller All the boys would come Orpheuss sermon captivated, It did not condemn. Eventually, Dickinson came to rest on the word warbling, but one can see the meticulous care that she put into the decision on which word to use. Another poem of Dickinsons that shows her compositional method is Shall I Take Thee? the Poet Said. In this poem, Dickinson discusses from where the power of the world comes.

Shall I take thee? the poet said To the propounded word. Be stationed with the candidates Till I have further tried. The poet probed philology And when about to ring For the suspended candidate, There came unsummoned in That portion of the vision The word applied to fill. Not unto nomination The cherubim reveal. In the preceding poem, one can see the artistic style come through her composition.

The best representation of that particular idea comes from the author Donald Thackrey when he says,” It is significant that the revealed word comes unsummoned in a flash of intuition…. nd yet the implication of the poem is that the revealing of the word must be preceded by the preparatory, conscious, rational effort of probing philology… She [Dickinson] herself was well aware that inspiration, while all-sufficient when present, eldom came even to a great poet”(Thackrey 53).

Emily regarded the words she used as living entities that could have being, growth, and immortality (Thackrey 54). This attitude toward language comes through clearly in the following six-line poem about the nature of the word. A word is dead When it is said, Some say.

I say it just Begins to live That day. The idea that the word comes from the experience behind it takes precedence over the notion that a word is wasted when the vocal chords stop moving. Words have connotations that encompass the entire circumference of the idea in addition to its enotative worth (Thackrey 54). The complexity of the single, written word defined the limits of communication between human beings and, therefore, symbolized the isolation of the individuala concept that can be seen in Dickinsons personal, reclusive life.

The Love of Theea Prism Be: Men and Women in the Love Poetry of Emily Dickinson, an essay by Adalaide Morris, a feminist critic, examines how Dickinson views love with an allegorical neatness created in her poem The Love of Theea Prism Be (Morris 98). Emily Dickinson believes that it is the prismatic quality of passion that atters, and the energy passing through an experience of love reveals a spectrum of possibilities (Morris 98).

In keeping with her tradition of looking at the circumference of an idea, Dickinson never actually defines a conclusive love or lover at the end of her love poetry, instead concentrating on passion as a whole (Morris 99). Although she never defined a lover in her poems, many critics do believe that the object or focal point of her passion was Charles Wadsworth, a clergyman from Philadelphia. Throughout Emilys life she held emotionally compelling relationships with both men and women. The ifferences in the prismatic qualities of each type of relationship come through in Dickinsons prism imagery.

Morris summarizes these differences in her essay: In one [male prism] the supremacy of the patriarch informs the rituals of courtship, family, government, and religion; in the other [female prism], the implied equality of sisterhood is played out in ceremonies of romantic, familial, social, and even religious reciprocity (Morris 103). In her poetry, Emily represents the males as the Lover, Father, King, Lord, and Master as the women take complimentary positions to their male superiors, and many imes the relationship between the sexes is seen in metaphorwomen as His Little Spaniel or his hunting gun.

The womans existence is only contingent to the encircling power of the man (Morris 104). It could be noted that the relationship with her father created some of the associations that Dickinson used in her work, her father being involved in government, religion, and in control of the family. Dickinsons linked imagery in her male love poetry focuses on suns, storms, volcanoes, and wounds (Morris 100). There are always elements of disturbance or extremes and explosive settings.

There are also repeated examples of the repression of love causing storm imagery to become silent, suppressed volcanic activity, something on the verge of explosion or activity. Of course, in the repressed individual the potential for explosion or action can be very dangerous, and frequently in Dickinsons work this kind of love relationship ends of with someone receiving a wound (Morris 100). The Imagery of Emily Dickinson, by Ruth Flanders McNaughton, in a chapter entitled Imagery of Nature, examines the way the Emily Dickinson portrays nature in her poetry.

Dickinson often identified nature with heaven or God (McNaughton 33), which could have been the result of her unique relationship with God and the universe. There are a lot of religious images and allusions used in her poetry, such as the rainbow as the sign of the covenant God made with Noah. Dickinson always held nature in reverence throughout her poetry, because she regarded nature as almost religious. There was almost always a mystical or religious undercurrent to her poetry, but she depicted the scenes from an artistic point of view rather than from a religious one (McNaughton 34).

One of the most obvious things that Dickinson did in her poetry was paying minute attention to things nobody else noticed. She was obsessed with the minute detail of naturepaying attention to things such as hills, flies, bumble bees, and eclipses. In these details, Dickinson found manifestations of the universal and felt the harmony that bound everything together (McNaughton 33). The small details and particulars that caught her eye were like small dramas of existence (McNaughton 39). Each poem was like a tiny micro-chasm that testified to Dickinsons life as a recluse.

Dickinsons created ramas were not static, but everything from the images she used to the words she chose for impact contributed to a moving picture (McNaughton 39). In the following poem, Dickinson writes how nature acts as a housewife sweeping through a sunset: She sweeps with many-colored brooms, And leaves the shreds behind; Oh, housewife in the evening west, Come back, and dust the pond! You dropped a purple ravelling in, You dropped an amber thread; And now youve littered all the East With duds of emerald! And still she plies her spotted brooms, And still the aprons fly, Till brooms fade softly into stars,

And then I come away. Dickinson artistically shows the sunset in terms of house cleaning (McNaughton 36). The themes of domestic life and housewifery are displayed in the preceding poem. Only somebody with the observational powers and original creativity like Emily Dickinson could see something so unique and refreshing in a sunset. Dickinson also saw nature as a true friend most likely because of her time spent alone with it. She describes nature as a show to which she has gained admission. Dickinson saw friendship and entertainment in the world of trees, bees, and anthills.

The Bee is not Afraid of Me is an excellent example of Dickinsons communion with nature. The bee is not afraid of me, I know the butterfly; The pretty people in the woods Receive me cordially. The brooks laugh louder when I come, The breezes madder play. Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists? Wherefore, O summers day? Also, consider the minute detail that Dickinson pays the world of bugs and insects. Convicted could we be Of our Minutiae, The smallest citizen that flies Has more integrity. And part of another poem: And then he drank a dew From a convenient grass, And then hopped sidewise to the wall And let a beetle pass.

Each of the previous four lines creates images and scenes from a kind of miniature painting that Dickinson works to create (McNaughton 39). More is achieved through the use of precise description than could be done by examining the philosophical aspects behind a nature. Dickinson always felt as if she were one of them, the creatures of nature, and she felt more at ease with her world of crickets, dew, and butterflies. Even though spending life as a recluse seems like undesirable to most people, our world owes a debt of ratitude to Emily Dickinson for the way she introduced us to her world of nature in such a different and special way.

It is quite obvious that if anyone portrays American poetry, Emily Dickinson does. Not only did she blend as an American poet in the Age of Expansion, but she stood out with her own originality. She was able to stand out as a brilliant woman in a unsteady and chauvinist time in American History. Emily Dickinsons works have been a model for perfection and originality of American poetry for many years and are showing no signs of ever fading away.

Emily Dickinson, One Of The Most Well Known Poets Of Her Time

Emily Dickinson is one of the most well known poets of her time. Though her life was outwardly uneventful, what went on inside her house behind closed doors is unbelievable. After her father died she met Reverend Charles Wadsworth. She soon came to regard him as one of her most trusted friends, and she created in his image the “lover” whom she was never to know except in her imagination. It is also said that it was around 1812 when he was removed to San Fransico that she began her withdrawal from society. During this time she began to write many of her poems.

She wrote mainly in private, guarding all of her poems from all but a few select friends. She did not write for fame, but instead as a way of expressing her feelings. In her lifetime only six of her poems were even printed; none of which had her consent. It was not until her death of Brights Disease in May of 1862, that many of her poems were even read (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2837). Thus proving that the analysis on Emily Dickinson’s poetry is some of the most emotionally felt works of the nineteenth century.

Miss Dickinson is often compared with other poets and writers, but “like Shakespeare, Miss Dickinson is without opinions” (Tate 86). “Her verses and technical license often seem mysterious and can confuse critics, but after all is said, it is realized that like most poets Miss Dickinson is no more mysterious than a banker. It is said that Miss Dickinson’s life was starved and unfulfilled and yet all pity is misdirected. She lived one of the richest and deepest lives ever on this continent.

It was her own conscious choice to deliberately withdraw from society into her upstairs room…” (Tate 83). She kept to “only a few select friends and the storm, wind, wild March sky, sunsets, dawns, birds, bees, and butterflies were sufficient companionship for Miss Dickinson” (Loomis 79). She dealt with a lot both physically and psychologically and in the end she still came out on the top. So as Allen Tate best said it “in her own historical setting Miss Dickinson is nevertheless remarkable and special” (82).

Thomas Higginson said that “the main quality of her poems is that of extraordinary grasp and insight, uttered with an uneven vigor, which was all her own” (78). The works and phrases she uses shows that she was unconcerned with the fact that no one else could understand her poetry, but instead, she was satisfied by using mere words in order to fit her own ear (Higginson 78). Miss Dickinson’s poetry was strictly confidential and written without the purpose of publication and merely as a way of expressing her own mind (Bloom 2838).

Art forms were totally unknown to her, and nature was always viewed not in a cosmic way but in its smallest and most intimate forms” (Whicher 87). Allen Tate describes her biggest influence to be nature itself, and though she could not deal with the problems of society, she had such an attitude toward life that she was able to see into this character of nature more deeply than any other (84). Miss Dickinson’s poetry style contains “flashes of wholly original and profound insight into nature and life” (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841).

At first impression her tiny lyrics appear to be no more than the jottings of a half-idiotic school-girl instead of grave musings of a full grown, fully educated woman” (Monro 81). Miss Dickinson often writes out of habit allowing her poems to not require a point of view, but instead, they require for some of the deepest understanding, which allows her style to emerge even when she has nothing to say (Tate 86-87). Some consider her works to be the most original of her time, written with an unusual amount of emotion and often referred to as “…poetry torn up by its roots with rain, dew and earth still clinging to them” (Higginson 78).

To others she was considered to be “intellectually blind, partially dead, and mostly dumb to the art of poetry” (Monro 81). It was best stated by Allen Tate when he wrote, “she can not reason at all; she can only see” (84). Although her poems were written with deep intensity, it seems that her favorite themes were thunderstorms, sunsets, and snow, and yet at the same time they were all somehow related to some angle of her house or garden (Whicher 87). There also remained a deep sense of mystery and a desire to know the why of things (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841).

Harold Bloom said, “her best poetry is not concerned with the causes but with the qualities of pain” (19), which allows her to deal with the feelings “that the God of her fathers, when she most wished to lean on Him, was disconcertingly not there” (Whicher 87). Throughout her poetry there runs a current of sadness with just a touch of sparkling humor (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2845) issuing her poems “a tension between the abstraction and sensation in which the two elements may be distinguished logically but not really” (Tate 84).

Her symbol of nature was death, and her only weapon against death was her faith (Tate 84). She realizes that it is when a man’s faith runs dry that he must refresh his soul with the sanity, which lies only in nature (Whicher 87). “Miss Dickinson possessed an extremely unconventional and grotesque fancy. Blake’s mysticism and Emerson’s mannerism held a very strong influence on her style” (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841). She wrote for no one except herself and often about death, burial and the unknown life beyond, leaving every ground open for legitimate study (Todd 78).

Miss Dickinson lived much of her life alone and rarely even left her father’s house. “She dwelt in seclusion, socially, physically, and psychologically” (Monro 81). It wasn’t because she was an invalid, rather, “Miss Dickinson became a hermit by deliberate and conscious choice” (Tate 83). “She had tried society and found it lacking” (Todd 78). Allen Tate writes, “if it were necessary to describe her seclusion with disappointment in love there would remain the problem between what her seclusion produced and how it was viewed” (Tate 83).

Her most vivid symbol would be nature, and this is where she allows so many of her deepest feelings to run free. Nature allows Miss Dickinson to be herself and to find herself. This is her only connection to her God, and it is in nature that she finds her strengths. She believes that there is a God, but where he is, she does not know. The only thing she feels sure about is the fact that she is going to die, and when she does, her soul will live on in some way. Her seclusion is a main factor because she wishes to separate herself from the outside, creating in her a more simple heart.

She believes that once a person is alone from the world they are separated from the corruption. Miss Dickinson made this choice to deal with her own depression in this way. Miss Dickinson may have been very psychologically disturbed, but the impact she has left on our society is amazing. No other poet could compare with the deep emotion that is so carefully placed in her works. She has amazed many critics with her forms and she will continue to do so as long as people will take the time to not only read her poems in their heads but also with their minds, hearts, and souls.

Emily Dickinson’s Poem

Symbolically, the use of the hand in literature often represents varying concepts depending on what the author needs to portray. When depicting the aging process, the hands reveal the diminishing youthful appearance of the physical body and thus denote death’s approaching grip. Not to mention, time melts away as the hands of the proverbial clock tick ever so swiftly away. Also, when exploring male and female interactions, the male figure generally holds the “upper hand,” so to speak, or the control of the relationship, thus furthering the symbolic nature of the hand.

Emily Dickinson uses the hand throughout poem 511 to symbolically demonstrate the control to which her character feels trapped, to express the limits of said control, and to imply or suggest her character’s only saving grace. Emily Dickinson brilliantly employs the symbolic imagery of the hand as a clever way to illustrate the force of control throughout the poem. During the poem, she, the speaker, expresses her thoughts directly towards the man she loves, almost as if he where there in her presence or on the receiving end of a letter.

Almost begging, Emily’s character yearns for a specific time frame, an answer, as to when she will see him again. With each questionable length of time, she describes the actions by which the narrator would take to pass the time until her love is there beside her. Dickinson states in stanza one that, “I’d brush the summer by With half a smile, and half a spurn, As housewives do a fly” As each time frame grows ever longer, Emily Dickinson allows the speaker’s actions to approach an almost obsessive extreme.

She implements imagery that sequentially evolves into a neurotic state of self-destruction and self-denial. Emily’s character starts first by simple brushing aside the time as if it where only a nuisance, a slight bother. Then she describes how, if the time frame consisted of a year, she would, “wind the months in balls-/And put them each in separate drawers. ” Dickinson’s narrator progresses all the way to calling upon eternity as a possible alternative to earthly existence without her lover. She connects the action of choosing death with the insignificant chore of throwing away useless garbage.

Emily uses the word “rind” to illustrate how life without her love would lose its sweet, nurturing, luscious qualities and succumb to nothing more than worthless and pathetic rubble. Emily Dickinson uses the hand to represent control or lack of control throughout the poem. She calls upon the symbolic nature that the body part conjures up and uses this nature to further show the undesirable, but tolerable, control placed over her. However, throughout the duration of the poem, Dickinson never gives hint as to the possible identity of the speaker’s lover.

In keeping with her tradition of looking at the “circumference” of an idea, Dickinson never actually defines a conclusive love or lover at the end of her love poetry, instead concentrating on passion as a whole” (Morris, 99). Although this may add mystery and anonymity involved in the poem, she has other reasons for not even whispering the name of the secretive lover. Possibly, Emily chooses to keep the lover’s identity secret to further demonstrate her lack of control over the relationship in which she finds herself.

Along with unidentified loves, Dickinson speaker neither receives an answer nor a reprieve from the burdening question of when, thus further, illustrating the narrator’s lack of power and her seemingly subservient role in the relationship. She indirectly touches upon the secondary existence that women of her generation endured; the lack of a substantial grip in a male dominated society. “The woman’s existence is only contingent to the encircling power of the man” (Morris, 104).

Emily Dickinson also employs everyday activities such as, winding balls of yarn and finger counting, throughout her poetry giving an invigorating intensity to inherent ideas. She seems to use these activities to lesson the blow or emotional complexity to her writing. “Such an audacity has seldom invaded poetry with a desire to tell immortal truths through the medium of a deep sentiment for old habitual things” (Shackford, 6). On the other hand, Dickinson almost purposely undermines the complexity of the narrator’s life by linking her with commonplace activities.

She transforms the narrator into a regular “Jane” with everyday crushed dreams and disappointments. By doing this, Emily substantiates the notion of the submissive, meek female held down by the hand of a male dominated society. With each passing stanza, Emily Dickinson correlates actions that the hands make possible with a certain allotment of time. She ingeniously links the speaker’s lack of control over the relationship, which almost seems to exist only in her mind, with her control over passing the time through such actions expressed in the poem.

Emily’s character, in a slight way, gains control through the connection and tolerates her situation in a more fashionable manner better suited to her needs. In a situation of apparently no control, she, the narrator, grasps onto her only outlet and tightly clings to her only evident truth, uncertainty. Strikingly similar to the short, blurred lines on the palm of the hand, Emily Dickinson suggests, in the last stanza, that control does not necessarily equate certainty. She hints that the lines drawn by control diminish and fade into almost obscurity and uncertainty.

Emily states that all clarity has vanished for the narrator. “But, now, uncertain of the length/Of this that is between. ” She allows the poem to progress from hopeful fantasies to absolute impossibilities. By the beginning of the last stanza, Dickinson permits the narrator to lose all anticipation and expectation for accompanying her love, thus expressing the limits of the narrator’s control. Throughout the poem, Emily Dickinson eloquently elaborates on the limits of control that her narrator endures.

She follows the speaker down the spiral of unpredictability. However, at the end of the poem, Emily implies that the narrator has one outlet left, one viable expression that seems to ease the troubling situation. Without mentioning it directly, she discreetly suggests that the narrator still possesses the ability to write her way through the situation. Dickinson describes the nuisance as a, “Goblin Bee-/That will not state-its sting. ” She personifies the bee by granting it the ability to speak or to “state,” linking the bee to her love.

Since he, her love, will not divulge a when, Emily feels that, since she cannot control the relationship, she can at least control her outlet, her relief. Therefore, she expresses her feeling through her other true love, writing. In poem 511, Emily Dickinson utilizes the hand to symbolically represent the existing grip of control over her life indirectly imposed by the man she loves, to express the limitations of the imposed grip, and to hint at the way in which she deals with the out of control situation.

She shows her finely tuned mastery through the commonplace correlations and unmentioned activities that lie at the root of her work, this poem being a vivid example of her skills. “Passionate fortitude was hers, and this is the greatest contribution her poetry makes to the reading world” (Shackford, 8). Through heart felt expressions and creative connects, Emily Dickinson divulges her inner most thoughts and secrets for the unintended pleasure of her adoring public.

An Analytical Essay on Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was a woman who lived in times that are more traditional; her life experiences influence and help us to understand the dramatic and poetic lines in her writing. Although Dickinsons poetry can often be defined as sad and moody, we can find the use of humor and irony in many of her poems.

By looking at the humor and sarcasm found in three of Dickinsons poems, “Success Is Counted Sweetest”, “I am Nobody”, and “Some keep the Sabbath Going to Church”, one can examine each poem show how Dickinson used humor and irony for the dual purposes of comic relief and to stress an idea or conclusion about her life and the environment in the each poem. Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst Massachusetts; a small farming town that had a college and a hat factory. There, she was raised in a strict Calvinist household while receiving most of her education at a boarding school that followed the American Puritanical tradition.

She seldom left her hometown; virtually, her only contact with her friends came to be made through letters. As a young woman, Dickinson rejected comforting traditions, resisted male authority, and wrestled alone with her complex and often contrary emotions. Although she was claimed to be a high-spirited and active young woman, Dickinson began to withdraw from society in the 1850’s. The many losses she experienced throughout her life, the death of her father, mother, close neighbors, and friends influenced her life largely and led her to write about death to an enormous amount.

Dickinson made a few attempts during her life to be taken as more than an amateur poet; on one occasion, she sent a collection of her poems to a correspondent who was a published poet. His criticism of her poetry devastated Dickinson, and she never made another attempt towards publishing her works. Evident through her letters and poems, her poetry records intense devotion, sharp, skeptical independence, doubt, and what repeatedly reflects her happiness and despair. In the poem, “Success is Counted Sweetest”; Dickinsons emphasis is less on humor and more on expressing irony.

Here it is bitterness expressed towards the status or notion of success that is most felt by the reader as Dickinson reflects on the nature of success and how it can be best appreciated and understood by those who have not achieved it. While the previous poem expresses the poets bitterness and sorrow with one aspect of her life, “I am Nobody” uses humor without irony to address another. In this poem, Dickinson’s style appears almost child-like in its of descriptions including frogs and bogs.

Dickinson seems to be addressing her spinster, hermit-like existence, and her preference for it. The poet relates through her writing that her situation has not left her without a sense of humor, but in fact has allowed her to maintain a child-like outlook on life rather than adapting to the tedious norms of her society. She mocks the conventional need for self-importance through publicity suggesting that the audience is not that interested by creating the mysterious feeling of an arcane society of social outcasts.

In this poem, she effectively uses humor to soften a critique of elite members of her society. In addition, in the poem “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church”, she questions the sincerity of those who attend church on Sunday on a customary basis. Through the use of comparing the formalities of church with her own celebration of the Sabbath through the appreciation of nature, Dickinson casually suggests that those in attendance at church may not be as sincere in their worship as she is.

Dickinson ridicules the congregation as she accuses them of attending merely for show and to gain status in the community. Also, she argues with the notion that attending church alone will lead towards salvation, suggesting that it is her own actions of finding God in nature that will lead to the path of redemption. The humor in this poem is not as explicit as in the other poems discussed, nor is the irony as directly expressed as in “Success is Counted Sweetest”.

The reader can sense Dickinson’s sarcasm in the opening lines of “Some Keep the Sabbath going to Church” – / I keep it staying home, and will react to its most definitive form in the closing lines of So instead of getting to Heaven, at last Im going, all along. While the descriptive are humorous, Dickinson appears to be confessing her own individual, private communion with God to the reader. Thus she does not emphasize the humor in the comparison of the objects in order not to trivialize her own beliefs, but instead allows enough humor to enter the description to emphasize the poem with the child-like free spiritedness.

Dickinson was a poet highly skilled in the use of humor and irony and she effectively used these tools in her poetry to stress a point or idea. However, her frustration, bitterness and independence are felt through the expressive lines of her poetry while at the same time concealing her concerns in a light-hearted and irreverent tone. Emily Dickens’s works contain deep emotion and her words will continue to amaze those that have the privilege of reading them.

Two Poems, Two Ideas, One Author

Two of Emily Dickinson’s poems, Because I Could Not Stop For Death and I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died, are both about one of life’s few certainties: death. However, that is where the similarities end. Although both poems were created less than a year apart by the same poet, their ideas about what lies after death differ. In one, there appears to be life after death, but in the other there is nothing. Only a number of clues in each piece help us determine which poem believes in what.

In the piece, Because I Could Not Stop For Death, we are being told he tale of a woman who is being taken away by Death. This is our first indication that this poem believes in an afterlife. In most religions, where there is a grim reaper like specter, this entity will deliver a person’s soul to another place, usually a heaven or a hell. In the fifth stanza, Death and the woman pause before … a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground- The Roof was scarcely visible- The Cornice in the Ground- (913).

Although the poem does not directly say it, it is highly probable that this grave is the woman’s own. It is also possible the woman’s body already rests beneath the soil in a casket. If this is at all accurate, then her spirit or soul may be the one who is looking at the house. Spirits and souls usually mean there is an afterlife involved. It isn’t until the sixth and final stanza where the audience obtains conclusive evidence that Because I Could Not Stop For Death believes in an afterlife. The woman recalls how it has been …

Centuries- and yet feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses’ Heads were oward Eternity- (913). To the woman, it has been a few hundred years since Death visited her, but to her, it has felt like less than 24 hours. Since the body cannot live on for hundreds of years, then it must be none other then the soul who has come to the realization that so much time has passed. The final part with the horses refers to the horse drawn carriage the woman was riding in when she passed away. In those two final lines, the horses seem to be leading her into Eternity, possibly into an afterlife.

It is just the exact opposite is Dickinson’s other poem, I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died, With this particular piece of literature, the clues which point to the disbelief in an afterlife are fewer and not as blatant, but are all still present. In this poem, a woman is lying in bed with her family standing all around waiting for her eventual death. While the family is waiting for her to pass on, she herself is waiting for … the King… (914). No, we’re not talking about Elvis, but instead this King is some sort of omnipotent being, a god.

Later as the oman dies, her eyes (or windows as they are referred to in the poem) fail, then she … could not see to see- (914). When she says this, what she seems to mean is she could not see any of the afterlife or Kings she expected to be there. The woman’s soul drifted off into nothingness with no afterlife to travel to. To conclude, the beliefs of the two Dickinson poems in regards to life after death differ significantly. In one, life does exist, in the other it does not. To determine which poem believes in what, one must dig through the clues in each.

Emily Dickinson’s Poem

Emily Dickinsons poem It was a quiet way is the story of her lover and the feelings she has when shes in his company. She describes how the world changes and becomes almost unfamiliar simply because the only thing that matters is him. The rest of the universe, time, and the seasons all become insignificant and almost non-existent in his presence. She feels the same way as he does about her and so begins their relationship He quietly asks her if she is his and she replies not with her voice but with her eyes, and he knows the answer.

She was his with the swiftness of chariots, and suddenly it seems as if the world is changing, because they are in love. The world drops away from them and everything is different. The gulf was no longer there because the continents were new. Time didnt exist anymore-Eternity it was before, eternity was due. No seasons existed and neither did night or morn. Sunrise did appear and their love was like the dawn of a new day. This poem includes characteristic traits pertaining to the world, time and everything around us that we know.

This all changes because of her love for this person. This poem is quite rythmic, i. e. The Gulf behind was not, the continents were new, Eternity it was before, eternity was due,. This is a perfect example of iambic rythym, a technique frequently used by Dickinson. In conclusion, Emily Dickinsons poem It was a quiet way is simply about the love her and a man share for each other and the way the world and time itself can become changed, unfamiliar and almost insignificant compared to their love.

Emily Dickinson’s Poem’s

Upon a first reading of Emily Dickinson’s poem’s I found them very difficult to understand due to her unique style of writing. Once I was able to comprehend the general theme of her poems, they became clearer with profound meaning. Dickinson’s writing style, leaving words absent and not completing sentences, allows the reader to fill in the gaps through reflection of their own life and experiences.

Dickinson writes from experiences that have occurred in and around her life, her writing technique requires the reader to delve deep into their soul to apply the meaning that will bring a feeling of peace and understanding. Poem #508 speaks to the heart of every woman who has endured the bittersweet challenges of entering adulthood. Dickinson employs a female speaker to describe the emotions a woman faces leaving her childhood behind to enter adulthood and deciding whether to marry. There is sadness and resignation in the tone of the speaker.

Aware she cannot remain under the security of her parents forever, she must decide to marry or become a spinster. Having limited opportunities as a woman in the nineteenth century, she is aware her most sensible choice is to marry. In the first stanza, the speaker’s sadness is evident when she states, I’m ceded- I’ve stopped being Theirs-” (1), implying that being given up to marriage, she is losing her identity she obtained through her parents. In order to become betrothed, she must exchange her family name for her husband’s name, thus severing the bond she shares with her parents.

The second stanza continues the sad tone as the speaker laminates, “And They can put it with my Dolls, My Childhood, and the string of spools, I’ve finished threading-too-” (5-7). Her sadness at this point is the result of leaving all of her childhood dreams and trifles behind and giving up her family name, to enter her new life, as a wife. As her new life will take her in another direction, she no longer has room for the things that brought her pleasure as a child. Spiritual faith is prominent in the third stanza.

It is apparent the speaker is to be married in a church before the eyes of God as she has chosen unlike when she was “Baptized, before, without the choice,” (8) as an infant. Having the knowledge of her faith and what is expected of her as she reaches maturity, she dons her “small Diadem” (13), which is the symbol of her transformation from child to married woman. Sadness and resignation seem to be the focus of the fourth and final stanza. The speaker A half unconscious Queen-” (16) does not see her life as a wife evolving beyond what her life as a child had.

Having been under the control of her parents, her decision to marry will result in her being under the control of her husband. Fully aware of her prospects if she were to chose the alternative, she resigns herself to her decision as she states, “And I choose, just a Crown. ” (19) Although this poem runs only nineteen lines, Dickinson has successfully and eloquently revealed the sadness women endure from having to resign themselves to the fact they have only one true option in life once maturity is attained, marriage.

Emily Dickinsons Poem

Emily Dickinsons poem entitled I felt a Funeral, in my Brain is directed towards a death in the speakers life. This death could have been a romantic love that had left him or her behind. It seems that they go through a type of struggle that is sort of bound to them. The first line of the poem is I felt a Funeral, in my Brain. This is the title of the piece because Dickinson did not title her work, so when it was published, the first line of each piece was used as the title. This line describes a complete mess in the speakers mind. This so-called funeral is just tearing them apart. This funeral seems to be racing over and over in their mind.

As the piece continues, there is talk about mourners going to and fro, who are treading and treading. It can be thought as these memories that are racing through their head. Mourners are those who express their grief or sorrow. So these mourners are the ones at the funeral. Not saying that Dickinson is the speaker in this piece, but who ever it is they have these thoughts pressed in their head. And because of them, their sorrow is showing. The next line states that the sense was breaking through. Therefore it is all coming back to the poet. This can allow the poet to know what is going on with them, and maybe comprehend it as well.

The next stanza begins with them all being seated at this service, like a drum. So now all these mourners are at the funeral sitting in sorrow for the loss of someone obviously close to them. This speaker describes the service to be like some kind of drum that keeps beating and beating until their mind goes numb. I am guessing that memories are going over his or her mind. Then the poet heard them lift a box. This would be the pallbearers lifting the casket at this funeral. The speaker says that it creaks across their soul. Maybe this might have made him or her feel uncomfortable in this kind of situation.

One can only tell how the feel with the loss of someone important in their life. With those same boots of lead, again, then space-began to toll, next says the poet. These boots being the ones of the pallbearers walking the casket away. Space would begin to toll between the poet and theyre lost love. It seems as though the poet does not want to distance himself or herself from this person, but fate is talking them away. Stanza four begins with all the Heavens were a bell Could this be a good place for his or her lost love to go, but still too distant from the speaker?

Only the speaker knows. And being, but an ear, they say. This means that the poet can only hear them now, instead of this person always being around and near to them, Heaven being a place too damn far away. This speaker can only begin to describe the pain going on inside of them. And the stanza ends with the speaker being in silence all alone. Feeling like they are the only one around now and things will just never be the same once again. And a Plank in Reason, broke, and I dropped down, and down, stated the poet. This would be a reality check.

It seems that the speaker kind of woke up from this depressing dream. It goes on to say that they hit the worldand finished knowing-then, knowing that this person will never be around again. Their love is out of his or her life forever, but not out of their mind and soul, because the memories that they once shared will live on. Emily Dickinson was a wonderful American poet and it was unfortunate that a lot of her work was not discovered until later on. This piece is a wonderful example of her work. I feel that this represents a kind of struggle that everyone goes through when they lose someone special.

Emily Dickinson, One Of The Most Well Known Poets Of Her Time

Emily Dickinson is one of the most well known poets of her time. Though her life was outwardly uneventful, what went on inside her house behind closed doors is unbelievable. After her father died she met Reverend Charles Wadsworth. She soon came to regard him as one of her most trusted friends, and she created in his image the “lover” whom she was never to know except in her imagination. It is also said that it was around 1812 when he was removed to San Fransico that she began her withdrawal from society. During this time she began to write many of her poems.

She wrote mainly in private, guarding all of her poems from all but a few select friends. She did not write for fame, but instead as a way of expressing her feelings. In her lifetime only six of her poems were even printed; none of which had her consent. It was not until her death of Brights Disease in May of 1862, that many of her poems were even read (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2837). Thus proving that the analysis on Emily Dickinson’s poetry is some of the most emotionally felt works of the nineteenth century.

Miss Dickinson is often compared with other poets and writers, but “like Shakespeare, Miss Dickinson is without opinions” (Tate 86). “Her verses and technical license often seem mysterious and can confuse critics, but after all is said, it is realized that like most poets Miss Dickinson is no more mysterious than a banker. It is said that Miss Dickinson’s life was starved and unfulfilled and yet all pity is misdirected. She lived one of the richest and deepest lives ever on this continent.

It was her own conscious choice to deliberately withdraw from society into her upstairs room…” (Tate 83). She kept to “only a few select friends and the storm, wind, wild March sky, sunsets, dawns, birds, bees, and butterflies were sufficient companionship for Miss Dickinson” (Loomis 79). She dealt with a lot both physically and psychologically and in the end she still came out on the top. So as Allen Tate best said it “in her own historical setting Miss Dickinson is nevertheless remarkable and special” (82).

Thomas Higginson said that “the main quality of her poems is that of extraordinary grasp and insight, uttered with an uneven vigor, which was all her own” (78). The works and phrases she uses shows that she was unconcerned with the fact that no one else could understand her poetry, but instead, she was satisfied by using mere words in order to fit her own ear (Higginson 78). Miss Dickinson’s poetry was strictly confidential and written without the purpose of publication and merely as a way of expressing her own mind (Bloom 2838).

Art forms were totally unknown to her, and nature was always viewed not in a cosmic way but in its smallest and most intimate forms” (Whicher 87). Allen Tate describes her biggest influence to be nature itself, and though she could not deal with the problems of society, she had such an attitude toward life that she was able to see into this character of nature more deeply than any other (84). Miss Dickinson’s poetry style contains “flashes of wholly original and profound insight into nature and life” (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841).

At first impression her tiny lyrics appear to be no more than the jottings of a half-idiotic school-girl instead of grave musings of a full grown, fully educated woman” (Monro 81). Miss Dickinson often writes out of habit allowing her poems to not require a point of view, but instead, they require for some of the deepest understanding, which allows her style to emerge even when she has nothing to say (Tate 86-87). Some consider her works to be the most original of her time, written with an unusual amount of emotion and often referred to as “…poetry torn up by its roots with rain, dew and earth still clinging to them” (Higginson 78).

To others she was considered to be “intellectually blind, partially dead, and mostly dumb to the art of poetry” (Monro 81). It was best stated by Allen Tate when he wrote, “she can not reason at all; she can only see” (84). Although her poems were written with deep intensity, it seems that her favorite themes were thunderstorms, sunsets, and snow, and yet at the same time they were all somehow related to some angle of her house or garden (Whicher 87). There also remained a deep sense of mystery and a desire to know the why of things (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841).

Harold Bloom said, “her best poetry is not concerned with the causes but with the qualities of pain” (19), which allows her to deal with the feelings “that the God of her fathers, when she most wished to lean on Him, was disconcertingly not there” (Whicher 87). Throughout her poetry there runs a current of sadness with just a touch of sparkling humor (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2845) issuing her poems “a tension between the abstraction and sensation in which the two elements may be distinguished logically but not really” (Tate 84).

Her symbol of nature was death, and her only weapon against death was her faith (Tate 84). She realizes that it is when a man’s faith runs dry that he must refresh his soul with the sanity, which lies only in nature (Whicher 87). “Miss Dickinson possessed an extremely unconventional and grotesque fancy. Blake’s mysticism and Emerson’s mannerism held a very strong influence on her style” (Chelsea House of Library Criticism 2841). She wrote for no one except herself and often about death, burial and the unknown life beyond, leaving every ground open for legitimate study (Todd 78).

Miss Dickinson lived much of her life alone and rarely even left her father’s house. “She dwelt in seclusion, socially, physically, and psychologically” (Monro 81). It wasn’t because she was an invalid, rather, “Miss Dickinson became a hermit by deliberate and conscious choice” (Tate 83). “She had tried society and found it lacking” (Todd 78). Allen Tate writes, “if it were necessary to describe her seclusion with disappointment in love there would remain the problem between what her seclusion produced and how it was viewed” (Tate 83).

Her most vivid symbol would be nature, and this is where she allows so many of her deepest feelings to run free. Nature allows Miss Dickinson to be herself and to find herself. This is her only connection to her God, and it is in nature that she finds her strengths. She believes that there is a God, but where he is, she does not know. The only thing she feels sure about is the fact that she is going to die, and when she does, her soul will live on in some way. Her seclusion is a main factor because she wishes to separate herself from the outside, creating in her a more simple heart.

She believes that once a person is alone from the world they are separated from the corruption. Miss Dickinson made this choice to deal with her own depression in this way. Miss Dickinson may have been very psychologically disturbed, but the impact she has left on our society is amazing. No other poet could compare with the deep emotion that is so carefully placed in her works. She has amazed many critics with her forms and she will continue to do so as long as people will take the time to not only read her poems in their heads but also with their minds, hearts, and souls.

Emily Dickinson’s poetry

Faith Is Not All Its Cracked Up to Be. While much of Emily Dickinson’s poetry has been described as sad or morose, the poet did use humor and irony in many of her poems. This essay will address the humor or irony found in five of Dickinson’s poems: “Faith” is a Fine Invention” (185), “I’m Nobody! Who are you? “, “A Service of Song” and “Success Is Counted Sweetest”. The attempt will be made to show how Dickinson used humor or irony for the dual purposes of comic relief and to stress an idea or conclusion about her life and environment expressed by the poet in the respective poem.

The most humorous or ironic are some of the shorter poems, such as the four lined stanzas of “Faith is a Fine Invention” and “Success Is Counted Sweetest”. In “Faith”, Dickinson presents a “witty and biting satirical look at Faith and its limitations” (Hartman 113). While it still amuses readers today, it must be mentioned that this short poem would have had a greater impact and seriousness to an audience from the period Dickinson lived in. Dickinson was raised in a strict Calvinist household and received most of her education in her youth at a boarding school.

In this short, witty piece Dickinson addresses two of the main obsessions of her generation: The pursuit of empirical knowledge through science, faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful Christian god and the debate on which was the more powerful belief. In this poem Dickinson uses humor to ease her position in the debate on to the reader. Dickinson uses her ability to write humorously and ironically to present a firm, controversial opinion into what could be dismissed as an irreverent, inconsequential piece of writing.

In “Success” Dickinson’s emphasis is less on humor and more on expressing irony. This poem “may be partially autobiographical in nature. ” (Loving 200) Dickinson made few attempts during her life to be taken as more than an armature poet. On one occasion, she sent a collection of her poems to a correspondent who was also a published poet. His criticism of the poems devastated Dickinson, and she never made another attempt towards publishing her works.

In the poem, Dickinson reflects on the nature of success and how, ironically, it can be best appreciated and understood by those who have not achieved it and have no taste of it. As in “Faith”, Dickinson powerfully presents her thoughts in a few lines. The poem deals only with one, ironic but universal, idea in its short length. It is the bitterness expressed at this irony that is most felt by the reader. While the previous poems express the poets bitterness and sorrow with one aspect of her life, “I’m Nobody!

Who Are You? ” uses humor without irony to address another. One critic, Dorothy Oberhaus, likes Dickinsons comic techniques. The poem is “Reinforced by uneven metrics, its frequent pyrrhics, and Dickinsons typical condensation and brevity” (118-19). In this poem, Dickinsons style appears almost “child-like in its off descriptions including frogs and bogs” (Lakoff and Turner 209), as well as the lively energy expressed by the poem through its use of dashes and brief wording.

Dickinson seems to be addressing her spinster, hermit-like existence (in the line “I’m Nobody”) and her preference to it. The poet seems to relate that her situation has not left her without a sense of humor, but in fact has allowed her to maintain a child-like outlook on life rather than adapting to the boring norms of her society (“How dreary – to be – Somebody! “). She mocks the conventional need for self-importance through publicity (“How public – like a Frog”, “To tell one’s name – the livelong June”), suggesting that the audience isn’t that interested (“To an admiring Bog”).

She instead seems to idealize her solitude by creating the mysterious feeling of a secret society of social outcasts (“Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know! “). In this poem, she effectively uses humor to soften a critique of certain members of her society. While this poem is longer than the other poems discussed, it too is able to express the quality of brevity and light….. ness in that it’s composition is full of dashes, with even full sentences broken into short, quick actions that easily roll off of the tongue when spoken aloud (“How dreary – to be Somebody”).

The technical composition of this poem is two stanzas, however, Dickinson is able to refresh the form with her use of dashes and short words to give it energy and liveliness. The poem “A Service of Song”, is the longest poem discussed in this essay, composed of three stanzas. When comparing her humorous poems to the other poems found in this collection, it is found that these poems are the shortest in length. It might be that in the attempt to keep the nature of the poems light-hearted, Dickinson purposely chose this traditional and unchallenging form.

In “A service”, Dickinson again turns to humor and irony to address issues she has with the conventions of religion common to her society, as seen in “Faith…. “. Dickinson questions the sincerity of those who attend Church on Sunday on a regular basis. Through the use of comparing the conventions of Church (such as the Bell, the Sermon, Dome and Choir) with her own celebration of the Sabbath through the appreciation of nature, Dickinson ironically suggests that those in attendance at Church may not be as sincere in their worship as she is.

The poet mocks the congregations attendance as being merely for show and to gain status in the community by doing what is expected of them (“God preaches, a noted Clergyman”). As well, she argues with the assumption that attending church alone will lead towards salvation, suggesting that it is her own actions of finding God in Nature (“And an Orchard, for a Dome”) on a regular, constant basis (“I’m going all along”) which is the more true path towards salvation.

The humor in the last poem is not as explicit as found in the other poems discussed, nor is the irony as directly expressed as in “Success… The irony is first suggested in the opening lines of “A Service” (Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – I keep it staying home”) and reaches its most explicit form in the closing lines (“So instead of getting to Heaven, at last I’m going, all along”). It might be that due to the fact this poem addresses social conventions more than actual spirituality and a belief in God that Dickinson chooses to keep the level of irony lower than found in “Faith… “. The humor found in this poem is less explicit as well.

While the contrasts of a Bobolink for a Choir and an Orchard for a Dome are humorous, in these descriptions “Dickinson appears to be confessing her own individual, private communion with God to the reader” (Bu*censored* 45). Thus she does not accentuate the humor in the combination of the objects in order not to trivialize her own beliefs, but allows enough humor to enter the description to stamp the poem with the child-like free spiritedness found in “Im Nobody… “. Again in this poem, the poets desire for seclusion and unconventionality is expressed eloquently through a light-handed treatment of the subject matter.

In conclusion, it can be stated the examples of Emily Dickinson’s work discussed in this essay show the poet to be highly skilled in the use of humor and irony. The use of these two tools in her poems is to stress a point or idea the poet is trying to express, rather than being an end in themselves. These two tools allow her to present serious critiques of her society and the place she feels she has been allocated into by masking her concerns in a light-hearted, irreverent tone.

Emily Dickinson and Death as a Theme in her Poetry

Although she lived a seemingly secluded life, Emily Dickinsons many encounters with death influenced many of her poems and letters. Perhaps one of the most ground breaking and inventive poets in American history, Dickinson has become as well known for her  bizarre and eccentric life as for her incredible poems and letters. Numbering over 1,700, her poems highlight the many moments in a 19th century New Englander womans life, including the deaths of some of her most beloved friends and family, most of which occurred in a short period of time (Benfey 6-25).

Several biographers of Dickinson point out her methods of exploring several topics in  circumference, as she says in her own words. Death is perhaps one of the best examples of this exploration and examination. Other than one trip to Washington and Philadelphia, several excursions to Boston to see a doctor, and a few short years in school, Emily never left her home town of Amherst, Massachusetts. In the latter part of her life she rarely left her  large brick house, and communicated even to her beloved sister through a door rarely left slightly ajar.

This seclusion gave her a reputation for eccentricity to the local towns people, and perhaps increased her interest in death (Whicher 26). Dressing in white every day Dickinson was know in Amherst as, the New England mystic, by some. Her only contact to her few friends and correspondents was through a series of letters, seen as some critics to be equal not only in number to her poetic works, but in literary genius as well (Sewall 98).

Explored thoroughly in her works, death seems to be a dominating theme through out Dickinsons life. Dickinson, although secluded and isolated had a few encounters with love, two perhaps serious  affairs  were documented in her letters and poems. But, since Emilys life was so self kept and private the exact identity of these people remains unsure. What is known, is during the Civil War , worried for her friends and families lives, death increased in frequency to be a dominant theme in her writings.

After 1878, the year of her influential fathers death, (a treasurer of Amherst college, and a member of the Congress),  this theme increased with each passing of friend or family,  peeking perhaps with the death of the two men she loved (Waugh 100). But, as documented by several critics, Dickinson viewed death, as she did  most ideas, in circumference. She was careful to high light and explore all the paradoxes and emotional extremes involved with death. One poem expresses her depression after discovering her two loves had passed away.

She wrote,  I never lost as much as twice, and that was in the sod; Twice I have stood a beggar, Before the door of God, (Porter 170). Some critics believe it was the suggestion of death which spawned Dickinsons greatest output of Poetry in 1862. After hearing from Charles Wadsworth, her mentor, and perhaps secret love, that he was ill, and would be leaving the land,  Dickinson made her withdrawal from society  more apparent and her writing more frequent and intense.

By then Dickinson was already in her mid thirties, and simply progressed from there to become more reserved and write more of death and loss, than of nature and love, as had been common in her earlier years (Whicher 39). In the poem, My life Had Stood- A Loaded Gun, (since most of Dickinsons poems were unnamed, many are known by the first line of the poem, as in this case) Dickinson writes in the last stanza,  Though I than He (the owner of the gun in the analogy) – may longer live- He longer must- than I- For I have but the power to kill, Without-the power to die-.

Critics state that here Dickinson, (writing during the Civil War, 1863 specifically) speaks of the importance of mortality and death, and highlights the pure foolishness behind killing (Griffith 188). As stated above, Dickinson is known for encompassing  many perspectives on a single topic. In, I could not stop for Death,  also written in 1863, Dickinson writes of immortality and eternity, and although death does not come in haste, his eventual coming is inevitable since death in eternal,  Since then-tis Centuries-and yet, Feels shorter than the day, I first surmised the Horses Head, Were toward Eternity-.

Over all Dickinsons works can be seen as a study into the thoughts and emotions of people, especially in her exploration death. From its inevitable coming to its eternal existence, Dickinson explains her feelings and thoughts toward death in the full, circumference of  its philosophy. As she edged towards the end of her life, Dickinson gave the world new poetic perspectives into the human mind and its dealing and avoidance of death (Whicher 30).

A Poem and a Loaded Gun

The post civil war era was wrought with sexism and backwards thinking. Emily Dickinson was born in 1830, wrote 1800 poems in her lifetime. She has become known for unfolding the social boundaries surrounding women in this time period. Most of her life was shrouded in seclusion and mystery. In the realm of poetry, authors are creative with their usage of literary techniques in order to illustrate their point of view to the reader. Emily Dickinson is especially known for her precise diction, powerful imagery, and obscure timing or rhythm.

In her poem My life had stood A loaded Gun, she is heavily dependant on the use of images, eloquent diction and tone to convey both the literal and symbolic meaning or themes to the reader. The authors use of certain images is important to the theme of the poem because they define the setting and they set the mood for the different parts of the poem. The first image introduced to the reader is that of the loaded gun. This is one of the most powerful images throughout the poem as it is, as we find, out also the speaker. A the first thing that is brought to the readers mind is the aurora of potential.

The sheer potential for destruction and death that is associated with a loaded gun sets the mood for the rest of the poem to build from. The next image that is introduced is that of the Corners. This can be understood in multiple contexts. The first being a crossroads, a corner is an intersection between two walls or metaphorically two paths. The second interpretation is that of a dark and shadowy place for someone to lye in wait. Both of the interpretations are equally significant and the authors diction here was surely intentional.

This image is particularly important because it defines the opening setting of the speaker. The following images such as Sovereign Woods, Doe, and Mountains serve to change the setting. In the next stanza images such as cordial light, valley glow, and Vesuvian face serve to change the mood to an eerie almost frightening allusion to power. The next images Yellow Eye, and emphatic Thumb are incorporated into the poem to further the setting of this mood. The authors diction and tone in the second stanza move the poem thematically forward by building rhythm.

This change in rhythm indicates a change in the authors tone. The author builds this rhythm by the repetition of the word And and the repetition of the word now. This change in tone indicates a change in the speakers mood and a change in the speakers setting. The faster pace and constant beats provide for a significant change from the broken up stand still qualities of the first stanza. The mood portrayed here is that of eventfulness, even usefulness, it is apparent that the speaker feels more fulfilled or somehow more whole.

Also in the second stanza the author introduces the theme of unity between speaker and master by use of her diction. Albert Gelpi, anther notable critic of Dickinsons work, points out that already by the second stanza I and he have become wethe rhythm and repetition underscoring the momentous change of identity. By doing this the author introduces the theme of possession vs. possessed and the inherent contradiction of the concept, referencing the fact that one cannot be without the other.

The second notable use of interesting diction can be found in the speakers description of her smile. She compares her smile to the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. This notable according to Christine Miller, a notable commentator of Dickinsons work, because she does not compare it to an event but to a completed action. She says the past perfect verb is more chilling than the present tense would be. Miller notes this same technique later in the poem when the speaker describes guarding as more fulfilling than sharing her masters pillow.

Miller describes this technique as contrasting action with effect rather than action with action, and says the change in tense alerts the reader to the peculiarity and the importance of the comparisons. The literal meaning of the poem alludes to the deeper thematic significance, which breaks down to a metaphoric resolution to the authors inner struggle for identity in the midst of the overwhelming endeavor that is being a female artist in the nineteenth century. The literal meaning of this poem can be described as the interaction between a hunter and his gun, from the guns point of view.

The first indication of the authors thematic intentions involving identity can be found in the first stanza of the poem when she says The Owner passed identified And carried me away. This sets the stage for the author to build upon thematically. According to Adrienne Rich, this is a poem about possession by the daemon, about the dangers and risks of such possession if you are a woman, about the knowledge that power in a woman can seem destructive, and that you cannot live without the daemon once it has possessed you. The theme of possession shows up throughout the poem through the usage of words like master and owner.

The authors intentions here were most likely to reference the subservient position of women in her time period. Claudia Yukman comments that Already in the second verse the gun speaks for the master, which is to say she perceives her function as an extension of his power: his will and figuratively, his voice. The paradox here is that the speakers role is not feminine at all, it is almost the dominant figure serving as the protector and the one who does the killing, yet she is still the possessed or owned item in the relationship.

This conflict is resolved in the last stanza with the speakers final words. She declares her independence and singularity from her master with the realization that she has the power to die. She says for I have but the power to kill, without the power to die , or I would only have the power to kill, if I did not have the power to die. By this statement she affirms her own significance even though her only true act of autonomy is her own death.

Emily Dickinson: Death Takes Life In Poetry

Emily Dickinson is regarded as one of the greatest American poets that have ever existed. (Benfey 5) The unique qualities of her brief, but emotional, poems were so uncommon that they made her peerless in a sense that her writing could not be compared to. Her diverse poetic character could be directly connected to her tragic and unusual life. The poems that she wrote were often about death and things of that nature, and can be related to her distressed existence.

Dickinsons forthright examination of her philosophical and religious skepticism, her unorthodox attitude toward her sex and calling, nd her distinctive stylecharacterized by elliptical compressed expression, striking imagery and innovative poetic structurehave earned widespread acclaim, and her poems have become some of the best loved in American literature.

Although only seven of Dickinsons poems were published during her lifetime and her work drew harsh criticism when it first appeared, many of her short lyrics on the subjects of nature, love, death, and immortality are now considered among the most emotionally and intellectually profound in the English language. Biographers generally agree that, Emily Dickinson experienced an emotional risis of an undetermined nature in the early 1860s. (Cameron 26) Dickinsons antisocial behavior became excessive following 1869.

Her refusal to leave her home or to meet visitors, her gnomic sayings, and her habit of always wearing a white dress earned her a reputation of eccentricity among her neighbors. (Cameron 29) Her intellectual and social isolation further increased when her father died suddenly in 1874 and he was left to care for her invalid mother. The death of her mother in 1882 followed two years later by the death of Judge Otis P. Lord, a close family friend and her most satisfying romantic attachment, contributed o what Dickinson described as an attack of nerves. Cameron 29)

Emily Dickinsons distressed state of mind is believed to have inspired her to write more abundantly: in 1862 alone she is thought to have composed over 300 poems. Her absorption in the world of feeling found some relief in associations with nature; yet although she loved nature and wrote many nature lyrics, her interpretations are always more or less swayed by her own state of being. (Benfey 22) The quality of her writing is profoundly stirring, because it betrays, not the intellectual pioneer, but the acutely observant woman, whose capacity for feeling was profound. (Bennet 61)

All seven of the poems published during her lifetime were published anonymously and some were done without consent. The editors of the periodicals in which her lyrics appeared made significant alterations to them in attempt to regularize the meter and grammar, consequently discouraging Dickinson from seeking further publication. (Fuller 17) When her poetry was first published in a complete unedited edition after her death, Emily was acknowledged as a poet who was truly ahead of her time. However, there is no doubt that critics are justified in complaining that, Her work was often cryptic in thought and unmelodious in expression. Bennet 64)

Today, an increasing number of studies from diverse critical viewpoints are devoted to her life and works, thus securing Dickinsons status as a major poet. Theres a certain slant of light is a poem in which seasonal change becomes a symbol of inner change. The relationship of inner and outer change is contrasted. It begins with a moment of arrest that signals the nature and meaning of winter. It tells that summer passed but insists that the passing occurred so slowly that it did not seem like the betrayal that it really was. Bloom 122)

The comparison to the slow fading of grief also implies a failure of awareness on the speakers part. The second and third lines begin a description of a transitional period, and their claim that the speaker felt no betrayal shows that she had to struggle against this feeling. The next eight lines create, A personified scene of late summer or early autumn. The distilled quiet allows time for contemplation. (Eberwein 354) The twilight long begun suggests that the speaker is getting used to the coming season and is aware that change was occurring before she truly noticed it.

These lines reinforce the poems initial description of a slow lapse and also convey the idea that foreknowledge of decline is part of the human condition. Bloom 124) The personification of the polite but coldly determined guest, who insists on leaving no matter how earnestly she is asked to stay, is convincing on the realistic level. On the level of analogy, the courtesy probably corresponds to the restrained beauty of the season, and the cold determination corresponds to the inevitability of the years cycle. Bloom 122)

The movement from identification with sequestered nature to nature as a departing figure communicates the involvement of humans in the seasonal life cycle. The last four lines shift the metaphor and relax the tension. Summer leaves by secret eans. The missing wing & keel suggest a mysterious fluiditygreater than that of air or water. Summer escapes into the beautiful, which is a repository of creation that promises to send more beauty into the world. (Eberwein 355) The balanced picture of the departing guest has prepared us for this low-key conclusion.

A number of Emily Dickinsons poems about poetry relating the poet to an audience probably have their genesis in her own frustrations and uncertainties about the publication of her own work. This is my letter to the World, written about 1862, the year of Emily Dickinsons greatest productivity looks orward to the fate of her poems after her death. The world that never wrote to her is her whole potential audience who will not recognize her talent or aspirations. She gives nature credit for her heart and material in a half apologetic manner, as if she were merely the carrier of natures message. Bloom 297)

The fact that this message is committed to people who will come after her transfers the uncertainty of her achievement to its future observers, as if they were somehow responsible for its neglect while she was alive. The plea that she be judged tenderly for nature’s sake combines an insistence on imitation of ature as the basis of her art with a special plea for tenderness towards her own fragility or sensitivity; but poetry should be judged by how well the poet achieves his or her intention and not by the poem alone, as Emily Dickinson surely knew. Bloom 297)

This particular poems generalization about her isolationand its apologetic tonetends toward the sentimental, but one can detect some desperation underneath the softness. (Bloom 298) Her poem, Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant– immediately reminds us of all the indirection in Emily Dickinsons poems: her condensations, vague eferences, renowned puzzles, and perhaps even her slant rhymes. The idea of artistic success lying in circuitthat is, in confusion and symbolismgoes well with the stress on amazing sense and staggering paradoxes which we have seen her express elsewhere. Eberwein 171)

The notion that Truth is too much for our infirm delight is puzzling. On the very personal level for Emilys mind, infirm delight would correspond to her fear or experience and her preference for anticipation over fulfillment. For her, Truths surprise had to remain in the world of imagination. However, superb surprise sounds more delightful than frightening. Bloom 89) Lightning indeed is a threat because of its physical danger and its accompanying thunder is scary, but it is not clear how dazzling truth can blind usunless it is the deepest of spiritual truths.

These lines can be simplified to mean that raw experience needs artistic elaboration to give it depth and to enable us to contemplate it. The contemplation theme is reasonably convincing but, The poem coheres poorly and uses an awed and apologetic tone to cajole us into disregarding its faults. (Bloom 89) Success is counted sweetest, Dickinsons most famous poem about compensation is more complicated and less cheerful. It proceeds by inductive logic to show how painful situations create knowledge and experience not otherwise available. (Eberwein 18) The poem opens with a generalization about people who never succeed.

They treasure the idea of success more than others do. Next, the idea is given additional physical force by the declaration that only people in great thirst understand the nature of what they need. The use of comprehend about a physical substance creates a metaphor for spiritual satisfaction. Having briefly introduced people who are learning through deprivation, Emily goes onto the longer description of a person dying on a battlefield. The word host, referring to an armed troop, gives the scene an artificial elevation intensified by the royal color purple.

These seemingly victorious people understand the nature of victory much less than does a person who has been denied it and lies dying. His ear is forbidden because it must strain to hear and will soon not hear at all. (Eberwein 19) The bursting of strains near the moment of death emphasize the greatness of sacrifices. This is a harsh poem. It asks for agreement with an almost cruel doctrine, although its harshness is often overlooked because of its crisp illustrated quality and its pretended cheerfulness.

On the biographical level, it can be seen as a celebration of the virtues and rewards of Emily Dickinsons renunciatory way of life, and as an attack on those around her who achieved worldly success. (Bloom 158) I heard a fly buzzwhen I died is often seen as a representative of Emily Dickinsons style and attitude. The first line is as arresting an opening as one could imagine. By describing the moment of her death, the speaker lets you know she has already died. In the first stanza, the death rooms stillness contrasts with a flys buzz that the dying person hears, and the tension pervading the scene is likened to the pauses within a storm.

The second stanza focuses on the concerned onlookers, whose strained eyes and gathered breath emphasize their concentration in the face of a sacred event: the arrival of the King, who is death. In the third stanza, attention shifts back to the speaker, who has been observing her own death with all the strength of her remaining senses. (Eberwein 201) Her final willing of her keepsakes is a psychological event, not something she speaks. Already growing detached from her surroundings, she is no longer interested in material possessions; instead she leaves behind whatever people can treasure and remember.

She is getting ready to guide herself towards death. But the buzzing fly intervenes at the last instant; the phrase and then indicates that this is a casual event, as if the ordinary course of life were in no way being interrupted by her death. (Bloom 365) The flys blue buzz is one of the most famous pieces of synesthesia in Emily Dickinsons poems. This image represents the fusing of color and sound by the dying persons diminishing senses. The uncertainty of the flys darting motions parallels her state of mind.

Flying between the light and her, it seems to both signal the moment of death and represent the orld that she is leaving. (Bloom 365) The last two lines show the speakers confusion of her eyes that she does not want to admit. She is both distancing fear and revealing her detachment from life. Painhas an element of Blank deals with a self-contained and timeless suffering, mental rather than physical. The personification of pain makes it identical with the sufferers life. The blank quality serves to blot out the origin of the pain and the complications that pain brings.

The second stanza insists that such suffering is aware only of its continuation. Just as the sufferers life has become pain, so time has become pain. Its present is an infinity, which remains exactly like the past. This infinity, and the past, which it reaches back to, are aware only of an indefinite future of suffering. (Eberwein 76) The description of the suffering self as being enlightened is ironic because even though this enlightenment is the only light in the darkness, it is still characterized by suffering.

In This World is not Conclusion, Emily Dickinson dramatizes a conflict faith in immortality and severe doubt. (Bloom 55) Her earliest editors omitted the last eight lines of the poem distorting its meaning and creating a flat conclusion. The complete poem can be divided into two parts: the first twelve lines and the final eight lines. (Eberwein 89) It starts by emphatically affirming that there is a world beyond death which we cannot see but which we still can understand intuitively, as we do music. Lines four through eight introduce conflict.

Immortality is attractive but puzzling. Even wise people must pass through the riddle of death without knowing where they are going. (Bloom 55) The ungrammatical dont combined with the elevated diction of philosophy and sagacity suggests the irritability of a little girl. In the next four lines, the speaker struggles to assert faith. Her faith now appears in the form of a bird that is searching for reasons to believe. But available evidence proves as irrelevant as twigs and as indefinite as the directions shown by a spinning weathervane.

The desperation of a bird aimlessly looking for its way is analogous to the behavior of preachers whose gestures and hallelujahs cannot point the way to faith. (Bloom 56) These last two lines suggest that the narcotic which these preachers offer cannot still their own doubts, in addition to the doubts of others. Although the difficult This Consciousness that is aware deals with eath, it is at least equally concerned with discovery of personal identity through the suffering that accompanies dying.

The poem opens by dramatizing the sense of mortality which people often feel when they contrast their individual time bound lives to the world passing by them. (Eberwein 49) Word order in the second stanza is reversed. The speaker anticipates moving between experience and deaththat is, from experience into death by means of the experiment of dying. Dying is an experiment because it will test us, and allow us, and no one else, to know if our qualities are high enough to let us survive beyond death. Bloom 137) The last stanza offers a summary that makes the death experience an analogy for other means of gaining self-knowledge in life.

Neither boastful nor fearful, this poem accepts the necessity of painful testing. (Bloom 137) Even this modest selection of Emily Dickinsons poems reveal that death is her principal subject. In fact, because the topic is related to many of her other concerns, it is difficult to say how many of her poems concentrate on death, but over half of them, at least partly, and about third centrally, feature it. Most of these poems also touch on the subject of religionalthough he did write about religion without mentioning death.

Life in a small New England town in Dickinsons time contained a high mortality rate for young people. As a result, there were frequent death-scenes in homes. This factor contributed to her preoccupation with death, as well as her withdrawal from the world, her anguish over her lack of romantic love, and her doubts about fulfillment beyond the grave. (Cameron 114) Years ago, Emily Dickinsons interest in death was often criticized as being morbid, but in time, Readers tend to be impressed by her sensitive and imaginative handling of this painful ubject. Stonum 83)

Her poems concentrating on death can be divided into four categories: those focusing on death as possible extinction, those dramatizing the question of whether the soul survives death, those asserting a firm faith in immortality, and those directly treating Gods concern with peoples lives and destinies. If nothing else had come out of our life but this strange poetry we should feel that in the work of Emily Dickinson, America, or New England rather, had made a distinctive addition to the literature of the world, and could not be left out of any record of it. (Benfey 66)

Emily Dickinson, One Of The Greatest American Poets

Emily Dickinson, recognized as one of the greatest American poets of the nineteenth century, was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts (Benfey, 1). Dickinson’s greatness and accomplishments were not always recognized. In her time, women were not recognized as serious writers and her talents were often ignored. Only seven of her 1800 poems were ever published. Dickinson’s life was relatively simple, but behind the scenes she worked as a creative and talented poet. Her work was influenced by poets of the seventeenth century in England, and by her puritan upbringing.

Dickinson was an obsessively private writer. Dickinson withdrew herself from the social contract around the age of thirty and devoted herself, in secret, to writing. She never married, finding in her poetry, reading, gardening, and close friendships, a rich and fulfilling life. Emily grew up with a privileged childhood. She was the eldest daughter of Edward Dickinson, a successful lawyer, member of congress, and for many years treasurer of Amherst College. Her father gave here the time, and literary education, as well as confidence to try her hand at free verse.

Emily’s mother, Emily Norcross Dickinson, was a submissive, timid housewife dedicated to her husband, children, and household chores. The Dickinson’s only son, William Austin, also a lawyer, succeeded his father as treasurer of the college. Their youngest child, Lavina, was the chief housekeeper and, like her sister, Emily, remained a home, unmarried, all her life. A sixth member who was added to the family in 1856 was Susan Gilbert, a schoolmate of Emily’s, who married Austin and moved into the house next door the Dickinson home which they called Homestead.

Emily and Susan were very close friends and confidantes, until Susan and Austin’s marriage. It was at this time that Susan stopped responding to the notes and poems that were often exchanged between the two ( ). Emily’s letters to Susan have contained lines that have proved to be controversial when interpreted. “Susie, will you indeed come home next Saturday, and be my own again, and kiss me like you used to? “- Emily Dickinson Some historians describe Emily’s letters to Susan Gilbert as representative of the writing style during the Victorian era.

Others, including Dickinson’s biographer Rebecca Patterson, saw the letters as evidence of Emily’s homosexuality (Sullivan, 1). It is not known when Dickinson began to write poetry or what happened to the poems of her early youth. Only five poems can be dated prior to 1858, the year in which she began gathering her work into hand- written copies bound loosely with thread to make small packets called ?????. She sent these fives early poems to friends in letters or as valentines. One of them was published anonymously without her permission in the Springfield Republican in 1852 ( ).

This was the first time any of Emily’s writings were published. After 1858, she apparently convinced herself that she had a genuine talent, because now, the packets were carefully stored in an ebony box probably awaiting discovery by future readers or publishers. Perhaps Emily knew that her writing was too far advanced for her time and that her accomplishments would be recognized and given the recognition that they deserved in the future. Publication remained a considerable conflict throughout her writing. A publisher for her writing was never easily arranged.

She befriended Samuel Bowles, the editor of the Republican and for four years sent him poems and letters for publication. Because Bowles did not comprehend Dickinson’s poems only two were published, and even those were published anonymously. Both poems were heavily edited and given titles that she had not given or was not aware of. Only five other poems were published in her lifetime, each altered by editors. In 1862 Dickinson turned to the literary critic Thomas Wentworth Higginson for advice about her poems. She had known him only through his essays in the Atlantic Monthly, but in time he became, in her words, her “safest friend”.

She began her first letter to him by asking “Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive? ” Six years later a letter to him said “You were not aware that you saved my life. ” ( ). They did not meet until 1870 after she urged him continuously, and only once more after that. Higginson told his wife after their first meeting, “I was never with anyone who drained my nerve power so much. I am glad not to live near her” ( ). What Emily sought for was assurance as well as advice. At times she could not understand why her hard work was not appreciated or accepted.

Higginson apparently gave her that assurance without knowing it. Dickinson’s correspondence with Higginson was an impression that lasted the rest of her life. He advised against publishing but her also kept her aware of the literacy world. He helped her none with what was most important, establishing her own private poetic method, but he was a friendly ear and a mentor during the most troubling years of her life. Higginson never understood Emily’s rare lyrics, if he had of then he would not have tried to edit them either in the 1860’s or after her death.

Dickinson called his editing, “surgery”, and eventually couldn’t take it; however she kept a friendship with Higginson willingly. Between 1858 and 1866 Dickinson wrote more than 1100 poems, full of aphorisms (concise formulation of a truth), paradoxes, and eccentric grammar. The major subjects of these poems are love, separation, death, nature, and God, but especially love. In one poem, she writes “My life closed twice before its close”. I believe Dickinson may have been speaking of heartbreak in this line. It is hard to guess who her real or fantasy lovers were, but I do not believe that Samuel Higginson was one of them.

It is possible that her first “love” was Benjamin Newton, a young man who worked in her father’s law office that was too poor to marry. He left Amherst and died in 1853 ( ). Around the time that her first poem was published by Samuel Bowles, Emily Dickinson was well on her way to becoming a recluse. Up to her mid-twenties, she had lived the kind of social life expected of the daughter of an distinguished citizen, but as she moved towards her thirties, she started to withdraw from the outside world, and by the time she was approaching forty, her seclusion was virtually complete.

Jay Leyda’s The Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (1960) quote a letter written by Mabel Loomis Todd in 1881 which conveys the impression made by Dickinson’s withdrawal: “I must tell you about the character of Amherst. It is a lady whom people call the Myth … She has not been outside of her own house in fifteen years … She dresses wholly in white and her mind is said to be perfectly wonderful. She writes finely, but no one ever sees her. ” (Leyda, ??

The cause for Emily’s seclusiveness is somewhat unknown, but perhaps she was tired of the rejection of the world. Perhaps Emily wanted to enjoy her talents independently, devoting all her time to the creativeness and organization of these poems to be later discovered by her family and enjoyed by others around the world. In the last two decades of her life, Dickinson wrote fewer than fifty poems a years, perhaps because of continuing eye trouble, more probably because she had to take increasing responsibility in running the household.

Her father dies in 1974, and a year later her mother suffered a paralyzing stroke that left her an invalid until her death. There was little time fir poetry, not even for serious consideration of marriage which may have occurred with Judge Otis Lord. Lord was a widower and old family friend of the Dickinson’s. This genuine love could perhaps dispel rumors or accusations of Dickinson’s homosexuality. Their love was genuine and marriage may have occurred if the timing hadn’t been wrong. Emily Norcross Dickinson died in 1882, Judge Otis Lord two years later.

Dickinson’s health failed noticeably after a serious nervous collapse in 1884, and in May 15, 1886, she died of nephritis, a kidney disease( ). How the complete poems of Dickinson were finally gathered is a publishing saga almost too complicated for brief summary. Lavina Dickinson inherited the ebony box. She asked Mabel Loomis Todd and Samuel Higginson to edit the manuscripts. Unfortunately they felt that must alter the syntax, smooth some rhymes, cut lines, and create titles for each poem. Three volumes appeared in quick succession: 1890, 191, and 1896.

In 1915, Dickinson’s niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi published some of the poems that her mother Susan had saved ( ). In the next three decades four more volumes appeared, the most important being Bolts of Melody in 1945, edited by Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter from the manuscripts that they had never returned to Lavina. In 1955, Thomas H. Johnson prepared for Harvard University Press a three-volume edition, chronologically arranged of Dickinson’s poems and letters. Here, for the first time, the reader saw the poems as Dickinson had left them.

This text of the 1,774 poems is now the standard one. It is clear that Dickinson could not have written to please publishers, who were not ready to risk her striking style and original metaphors. She had the right to educate the public, as Poe and Whitman eventually did, but she never had the invitation. Had she published during her lifetime, public criticism might have driven her into deeper solitude and even silence. The twentieth century has lifted her without a doubt to the first rank among poets.

Emily Dickinson Biography Report

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst Massachusetts. She had a younger sister named Lavina and an older brother named Austin. Her mother Emily Norcross Dickinson, was largely dependent on her family and was seen by Emily as a poor mother. Her father was lawyer, Congressman, and the Treasurer for Amherst College. Unlike her mother, Emily loved and admired her father. Since the family was not emotional, they lived a quiet secure life. They rarely shared their problems with one another so Emily had plenty of privacy for writing.

During her childhood, Emily and her family attended The First Congregational Church on a regular basis. Emily did not like going to church because she didnt think of herself as being very religious. She refused to believe that Heaven was a better place than Earth and eventually rebelled from the church. Emily saw herself as a woman who had her own way of thinking, a way of thinking shaped neither by the church or society. By the time she was twelve, her family moved to a house on Pleasant Street where they lived from 1840 to 1855. Emily was already writing letters, but composed most of her poetry in this home.

Emily only left home to attend Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for two semesters. Though her stay there was brief, she impressed her teachers with her courage and directness. They felt her writing was sensational. At the age of twenty-one, Emily and her family moved to the Dickinson Homestead on Main Street. This move proved to be very difficult for Emily. This was difficult for Emily because she became very attached to her old house, which shaped her writing and personality for fifteen years. They now lived next door to her brother Austin and his wife Susan and their daughter Martha.

Emily and Susan became so close that many people believe they may have been lovers. A rumor perpetuated by the fact that Emily was known to have written many love letters and poems to Susan. Martha attempted to protect both of their images and suppress the rumors. It became common knowledge that Emily had some type of very strong feelings for Susan. At the age of thirty-one Emily sent some of her poems to a publisher, Thomas Higginson, from whom she got a very good response and a strong friendship developed. He acted as her mentor but she never seemed to have taken any of his advice.

It became evident that she didn”t like the idea of having her works published, she made 40 packets of about twenty poems apiece from 814 poems. She placed these in a box along with 333 other poems. Emily died on May 5, 1886 at the age of 56. She had planned her own funeral. It was held at the mansion on Main Street and ended at the family plot near the house on Pleasant Street. At her request, her casket was covered with violets and pine boughs, while she herself was dressed in a new white gown and had a strand of violets placed about her neck.

Before she died, Emily left specific instructions for her sister and a housemaid, Maggie to destroy all the letters she had received and saved. The box of packets and poems was found with these letters, but Emily had not said anything about destroying them. Her sister Lavina was determined to have these published, but Susan kept them for two years before they were released to Higginson. In 1890 and 1891, some of the poems were published. They received a great response, but no more were released until 1955, when the rest of her poems were published. Though she was not religious many of her poems do reflect Protestant and Calvinistic views.

She wrote many of her poems on pain, but unlike most Protestants she refused to believe that she deserved this pain. Though she is viewed by many as a hermit who spent much of her life in isolation, she also is admired for her style in writing. She chose her words for her poems in a way that allows the reader to choose the meaning. In conclusion, she wrote nearly eighteen hundred poems, most ignoring rhyme and punctuation. Emilys poems did not have titles because she never wanted them to be published. Many of her poems are dark and mysterious but all are true works of art.

Two Poems, Two Ideas

Two Poems. Two Ideas. One Author Two of Emily Dickinson’s poems, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” and “I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died,” are both about one of life’s few certainties: death. However, that is where the similarities end. Although both poems were created less than a year apart by the same poet, their ideas about what lies after death differ. In one, there appears to be life after death, but in the other there is nothing. Only a number of clues in each piece help us determine which poem believes in what.

In the piece, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” we are being told the tale of a woman who is being taken away by Death. This is our first indication that this poem believes in an afterlife. In most religions, where there is a grim reaper like specter, this entity will deliver a person’s soul to another place, usually a heaven or a hell. In the fifth stanza, Death and the woman pause before “…a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground- The Roof was scarcely visible- The Cornice in the Ground-” (913). Although the poem does not directly say it, it is highly probable that this grave is the woman’s own.

It is also possible the woman’s body already rests beneath the soil in a casket. If this is at all accurate, then her spirit or soul may be the one who is looking at the “house. ” Spirits and souls usually mean there is an afterlife involved. It isn’t until the sixth and final stanza where the audience obtains conclusive evidence that “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” believes in an afterlife. The woman recalls how it has been “…Centuries- and yet feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses’ Heads were toward Eternity-” (913).

To the woman, it has been a few hundred years since Death visited her, but to her, it has felt like less than 24 hours. Since the body cannot live on for hundreds of years, then it must be none other then the soul who has come to the realization that so much time has passed. The final part with the horses refers to the horse drawn carriage the woman was riding in when she passed away. In those two final lines, the horses seem to be leading her into Eternity, possibly into an afterlife.

It is just the exact opposite is Dickinson’s other poem, “I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died,” With this particular piece of literature, the clues which point to the disbelief in an afterlife are fewer and not as blatant, but are all still present. In this poem, a woman is lying in bed with her family standing all around waiting for her eventual death. While the family is waiting for her to pass on, she herself is waiting for “…the King…” (914). No, we’re not talking about Elvis, but instead this King is some sort of omnipotent being, a god.

Later as the woman dies, her eyes (or windows as they are referred to in the poem) fail, then she “…could not see to see-” (914). When she says this, what she seems to mean is she could not see any of the afterlife or Kings she expected to be there. The woman’s soul drifted off into nothingness with no afterlife to travel to. To conclude, the beliefs of the two Dickinson poems in regards to life after death differ significantly. In one, life does exist, in the other it does not. To determine which poem believes in what, one must dig through the clues in each.

Dickinson’s Original Poetry

Emily Dickinson was ahead of her time in the way she wrote her poems. The poems she wrote had much more intelligence and background that the common person could comprehend and understand. People of all ages and critics loved her writings and their meanings, but disliked her original, bold style. Many critics restyled her poetry to their liking and are often so popular are put in books alongside Dickinson’s original poetry (Tate 1). She mainly wrote on nature. She also wrote about domestic activity, industry and warfare, economy and law.

Her scenes sometime create natural or social scenes but are more likely to create psychological landscapes, generalized scenes, or allegorical scenes. ” She uses real places and actions to convey a certain idea or emotion in her poem. She blends allegory and symbolism, which is the reason for the complication in her poems because allegory and symbolism contradict each other (Diehl 18, 19). Dickinson did not name most of her poems. She named twenty-four of her poems, of which twenty-one of the poems were sent to friends.

She set off other people’s poetry titles with quotation marks, but only capitalized the first word in her titles. Many critics believe she did not title most of her poetry because she was not planning on publishing her work. As Socrates said, “the knowledge of things is not devised from names… no man would like to put himself or the education of his mind in the power of names”(Watts 130). Dickinson said that the speaker in all her poems is not herself. She incorporates her emotions, feelings, and hints at the facts about her life although she is not the speaker.

Emily Dickinson’s poetry is short but meaningful and full of imagery on everyday subjects (Juhasz 73). Throughout most of Dickinson poetry she uses partial, slant or off rhymes, in which the final sounds of the word are similar but not identical. She knew she was not following the poetic methods of people of her time but didn’t care because she was writing for herself, not the public. Her stanza forms and poetic rhymes come from the Protestant hymns of Issac Watts (Wolff 101).

Emily Dickinson’s poems are usually written in short stanza, mostly quatrains with short lines usually rhyming only on the second and fourth lines. Other poems employ triplets or pairs of couplets, and a few poems employ longer, looser, and more complicated stanzas” (Tate 21). Her poems take on one line of iambic tetrameter followed by one line of iambic trimeter. Dickinson liked the hymn form of poetry and the then popular folk form. “Because I cold not stop for death,” is an example of her most commonly used metrical pattern (Watts 125).

Throughout her poetry she used similes, or “Comparative Anatomy. ” Emily used centripetal and centrifugal similes. In “The props Assist the House,” Dickinson is trying to convey a house under construction is like a soul in the process of being “perfected”(Shackford 2). Emily Dickinson never prepared for her poetry beforehand, but she made the meaning of her poetry as she wrote. She misleads the reader when she uses ellipses, inversions, and unexpected climaxes. The poems are very lyrical and “lacks the slow, retreating harmonies of epic measures” (Shackford 1,2).

Dickinson wrote on death, love, nature and religion. She believed in the Puritan-Calvinist belief. She used very powerful religious words like “Calvary,” “Crown,” and “Redemption. ” She uses a lot of imagery on baptism and crucifixion. In “All hail the power of Jesus’ name” she is telling what Jesus’ crown of thorns signified to the Puritans. It not only signifies sacrifice of Jesus’ life for our sins but love and sorrow also (Juhasz 167). Love was another favored subject of Dickinson. She never talks about her love or lover but mainly concentrates on the passion side of love.

Emily Dickinson Paper

Delve into a world constructed from images and thoughts streaming along at the speed of light. Watch them flow as they for buildings, people, animals and objects. Streaming along at the speed of light, one can only catch glimpses of what is truly concealed within by the river. As it travels through the mind, it touches everything. Forming, altering, defining, nothing is truly what it seems or what we interpret it to be. Hidden within the stream lies powers that are truly incomprehensible to the human mind.

In Your thoughts dont have words Emily Dickinson intertwines this realization within the constructs of her poem. Dickinson explores the complex world of the mind through her poem. She delves into the realization that what we know and what flows though are minds are truly two different things and that these two things are as different as night and day. In the first two lines Your thoughts dont have words every day, they come a single time can be best put into an analogy. Ones thoughts come streaming into ones mind, flooding and saturating ones thoughts.

Because ones thoughts come pouring in without any restraint, the mind must maintain itself in the only way it seems possible. Thus, our thoughts speak with words, sentences, images that we can comprehend and understand. The next two lines, lines three and four, further solidify this interpretation. Like signal esoteric sips of the Communion Wine communicates the idea that what we are able to think and comprehend is only a fraction what truly flows through our minds. As fast as we can interpret our thoughts, thousands more stream by without us even realizing it.

As the lines state, the thoughts that we interpret are as occasional as when we sip the Communion Wine, coming to us only once every so often because we are always preoccupied with so many other things. However, despite the fact that we only realize a tiny fraction of the thoughts that comes to us, they are truly as precious as the Communion Wine. Lines five and six bring the realization that all that is our thoughts are just the ideas and concepts that we are familiar with. Thus, making it easier for our minds to interpret the concepts with greater ease.

Which while you taste so native seems so easy so to be reiterates this concept. The lines are saying that the thoughts that we interpret are familiar, or native, to us and that is why they are so easy to comprehend. This realization, however, brings to light a rather disturbing fact in that if out thoughts are really only those that we are familiar with, then thousands of ideas and revelations pass through our minds, untouched because we are unable to comprehend what relevance they truly have or what importance they contain within them.

Such a concept also establishes why those that we would deem intelligent are so because they are capable of interpreting more of there thoughts than we would normally disregard as nonsense. In the final two lines of Dickinsons poem, the entire poem is summed up and brought to a close with the idea that we do not even realize that we are only experiencing a fraction of the thoughts and emotions that flow through out minds. You cannot comprehend its price nor its frequency, states a profound revelation that Dickinson has.

And that revelation is that our thoughts are more precious than we know. They define us and allow us to interpret our world to suit out needs and desires. Out thoughts are our own no matter what anyone says. Furthermore, we do not even realize that we are only experiencing a fraction of what truly goes through our heads. Instead, we believe everything that we are able to interpret is all that goes through our head. The human mind only utilizes ten percent of its true capacity.

Dickinsons poem seems to center around this notion and the idea that because of this we see the world as we would like it to be and in ways that we are familiar with. Which leaves the question then, what is the world truly like? If everyone interprets the world in different ways, then the concept of an idea world differs from one person to another because everyone defines the world in different ways. Also, the meanings of life and love are left open to interpretation because our minds defines them as different meanings than everyone else.

Dickinson And Hughes

After reading both “Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant” by Emily Dickinson and “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, I determined that the main difference between the two poems is both poets use of diction. Dickinson makes use of abstract diction in her poem, using words like bright, delight, superb, and dazzle. Using the word “truth” in itself is an enormous abstraction. Hughes, however, uses more concrete diction, with words such as raisin, fester, sore, meat, and load. These are actual, physical things that exist.

I see this as the most significant difference between the two poems. At first glance, Dickinsons poem made no sense to me. I then, however, tore it apart and came up with the following explication. Line one basically states “tell me the whole truth, but dont be so direct. Dont just come out and say it. ” In line two, when the speaker refers to a circuit, she is most likely comparing the way they tell the truth to the way circuits wind their way around a room, mostly hidden, but getting their job done.

Lines three and four are saying the direct truth may be too much to handle, such as the sun may be too bright to look at irectly. Lines five and six are telling this person to explain the truth like one might explain lightning to a child, with a kind, soothing tone of voice thats easy to understand. Lines seven and eight say that the truth must come a little at a time, or gradually, so that it may leave us in some suspense, rather than hitting us all at once and leaving us unable to comprehend the whole truth for what it is.

Dickinsons use of alliteration shows in the poem, especially in lines one, two, four, and seven, where she uses words in pairs, uch as tell, truth, success, circuit, the, truth, superb, and surprise. The author also uses an a b c b rime scheme. Langston Hughess poem “Harlem” was bit easier to explicate because of his use of concrete diction. The first line is simply an introduction into the poem, which in itself is a pondering of what happens to a dream when it must be postponed or put off. The main body of the poem goes into detail about what happens to the dream. Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?

Fester like a sore? The whole poem is basically a simile. The uthor compares this deferred dream to a dried up raisin, a festering sore, rotten meat, syrupy sweetness thats crusty and sugary, a heavy load that just sags, and finally, does it just explode? He uses very good imagery, and Im almost able to see this dream being put off, forgotten about, or deteriorating. Both authors, although using completely different methods, come across very clearly with their main point. While Dickinson is abstract, and Hughes is more concrete with his diction, they both use considerable similes, Hughes more than

Dickinson. For example, Hughes uses similes in almost every line of his poem. Dickinson uses only a few, such as “as lightning to the children”. Dickinson also uses personification, in saying that the truth must dazzle gradually, or using the phrase “the Truths superb surprise”, referring to the truth as a proper noun, giving it human characteristics. The tone of Dickinsons poem differs from that of Hughess poem in the sense that Hughess poem is inquisitive, while Dickinsons is more commanding.

The speaker of “Tell all the Truth… s saying exactly that- tell all the truth but tell it slant, while the speaker in “Harlem” is more contemplative, asking what happens to a dream deferred. The imagery of both poems leaves me with solid pictures in my mind. In “Tell All The Truth… ” the Truth takes on this certain aura, where you feel that experiencing it would be something wonderful, and it would dazzle you to no end. Also, as mentioned above, “Harlem” creates the picture of a dream deteriorating, in one way or another. Hughess use of language easily put these images in front of us for us to see.

Emily Dickinson’s poem “My Life had stooda Loaded Gun”

Emily Dickinson’s poem “My Life had stooda Loaded Gun” is a powerful statement of the speaker’s choice to forego the accepted roles of her time and embrace a taboo existence, a life open only to men. The speaker does so wholeheartedly and without reservation, with any and all necessary force, exulting in her decision. She speaks with great power and passion, tolerating no interference, and wills herself to maintain this choice for her entire life.

The mix of masculine and feminine images, their juxtaposition, and their occasional transformation across the gender line, is inherent in the message of the poem. The opening stanza begins with a series of masculine images: “a Loaded gun” (1), “The Owner” (3later identified as “He”17, 21). The ambiguous image of the fourth lineis her being carried away by her own love to be enraptured or defiled. The second stanza resolves this question.

Suddenly the speaker is “We,” “roam in Sovreign woods” (5), indicating an acceptance of the relationship. Now the speaker resumes alternation between images suggestive of gender: masculine “hunt” (6), “Mountains” (8), “Vesuvian” (11), “Day” (13),and feminine “woods” (5), “the Doe” (6), “Valley” (10), “Night” (13), “the Eider-Duck’s / Deep Pillow” (15-16). There is a further mingling of gender images in the first stanza: the masculine gun as a passive (i. e. , feminine) instrument, standing in a corner, awaiting the masculine empowerment.

Likewise, the “cordial light / Upon the Valley glow” (9-10), constitutes a soft, feminine image, until the next line reveals the glow is from a volcanic eruption- an extremely masculine image. This mixture and blurring of sexual cues reflects the message of the poem, the speaker’s adoption of a role crossing gender lines but still being impotent to an extent. While there is very little rhyming in this poem, one rhyme stands out: “Doe” (6), and “foe” (17). Again we see the pairing of masculine and feminine images. And both are faced with death from the speaker.

They also rhyme with the cross-gendered use of “glow” (10) mentioned above. The effect is to accentuate the blending and confusion of gender roles built by the poem. In the fourth stanza the speaker continues to affirm herself as being outside the normal bounds of gender roles. She proclaims her role in guarding “My Master’s Head” (14) to be “better than the Eider-Duck’s Deep Pillowto have shared” (15-16). The speaker is happier sheltering her true loveher life as a Poet, rather than one of the banal poetesses of her daythan she would be sharing a man’s bed.

She accepts the role of non-conformist gladly. She proclaims the power of her sentiment, as well as her absolute resolution in defending it, in the fifth stanza: “I’m deadly foe” (17). This is not a whim, but the reasoned, considered decision of a strong adult woman. Her very look is enough to destroy any foe: “None stir the second time / On whom I lay a Yellowed eye” (18-19). And her “Emphatic Thumb” (20) conjures an image of an adversary crushed, as if her opponent were capable of being destroyed with the most minimal of effort.

Without the final, enigmatic stanza this poem would simply be the poesy of a braggart. In the first lines her will seems to be bent on ensuring “He” outlives her: “Though I than Hemay longer live / He longer mustthan I” (21-22). Does she ask that her poetry outlive her? Possible, but unlikely, given the lack of interest by the publishers of the day. Or perhaps she fears that she will outlive her ability to produce poetry. It is impossible to say with any confidence. Finally, although she has the “power to kill” (23), the active, masculine ability to destroy, she is “Withoutthe power to die” (24).

Again we see the passivity of the “Loaded gun” (1), unable to act without some animating masculine force. She means that she has the power to destroy the poet within, but cannot then escape from the role of reclusive outsider she has sacrificed so much to attain. Although there is an irreconcilable ambiguity to this last stanza, the uncertainty somehow does not detract from the power of the work, but rather adds to it. With “Loaded Gun” Dickinson proclaims herself a warrior, ready to kill or die in defense of her self-definition, that of Poet.

Dickinson vs Whitman

After receiving five years of schooling, Walt Whitman spent four years learning the printing trade; Emily Dickinson returned home after receiving schooling to be with her family and never really had a job. Walt Whitman spent most of his time observing people and New York City. Dickinson rarely left her house and she didnt associate with many people other than her family. In this essay I will be comparing Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Emily Dickinson’s life differs greatly from the life of Walt Whitman, although they lived during the same time period.

Walt Whitman published practically all his poetry during his lifetime, but Emily Dickinson only published seven of her poems during her lifetime. Actually, her poetry wasn’t published until after her death. Both Whitman and Dickinson were poetic pioneers because of the new ideas they used in their poetry. Emily Dickinson did not write for an audience, but Walt Whitman wrote for an audience about several national events. The forms each poet used are different as well. The rhyme in the poetry by Whitman is drastically different from the poetry written by Dickinson, because Whitman didn’t use any rhyme.

Emily Dickinson grew up in Amherst, Mass, and Walt Whitman grew up in New York City, New York; this is one way that these poets’ lives differ. The main people that influenced Emily Dickinson were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Bronte. Walt Whitman was influenced by many people, some of which were: Elias Hicks, James Macpherson and William Shakespeare. Whitman read many book reviews by many people; from these, he realized Emerson was very influential. Whitman was also influenced by the Bible, his walks in New York City, Tom Paine, and a strong love for music.

After Whitman started preparing to be a poet, he said he was merely “simmering,” but the ideas of Emerson brought him to a “boil. ” Dickinson wasn’t addressing anyone in particular through her poetry, but Whitman addressed the citizens of the United States, most of the time, through his writings. After reading “The Poet” by Emerson and seeing how he defined the role of the poet in democracy, Whitman was eager to assume that role. Whitman loved to have his picture taken and there are many pictures of him.

Dickinson only allowed her picture to be taken once and did so reluctantly. Neither Dickinson nor Whitman got married, but both had people interested in them or people they were interested in. Emily Dickinson started writing poetry in 1850, but most of her poems are dated after 1858. Whitman wrote for many newspapers before he actually began writing poetry. The world found out he wrote poetry when he published the first edition of Leaves of Grass. The major turning point for Whitman was in the 1860’s, when his work started to gain more recognition from critics.

Eighteen sixty-two was the major turning point for Dickinson’s life; 1862 was when she wrote most of her poetry. She was writing about one poem each day. During the year 1862, the man Emily Dickinson loved left for San Francisco. After he left, she started wearing only white, and during the last ten years of her life she didn’t leave the comfort of her home. The last years of Walt Whitman’s life were spent revising and writing poetry. Emily Dickinson stayed very close to her family, but Walt Whitman traveled and lived alone toward the end of his life.

The forms that Dickinson and Whitman used are also different because both used new and innovative ideas in writing their poetry. Walt Whitman used no real form other than free verse. The characteristics of free verse are: 1) No rhyme or rhyme scheme, 2) Has a cadence or beat, 3) No set line length, 4) Has stanzas, but no set stanza length, 5) Uses repetition. Whitman’s use of free verse marked a break in the syllable-stress tradition. In his poetry he didn’t count the syllables stresses, or feet, in the long lines of poetry.

Whitman used the item of anaphora, which is the use of repetition at the beginning of back to back verses, and the repetition of syntactical units. Walt Whitman was a 20th-century innovator of poetry because he used nonmetrical prosody. Whitman got most of the techniques of writing poetry from biblical verses. He often used parallelism like in the Psalms. Parallelism is the use of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar or complementary in structure and meaning. Whitman often used regular metrical sequences but the lines cannot be measured by the graphic method of marking syllables and feet.

The following lines from the poem “Out of the Cradle” should portray the slow lengthening of lines and the sudden diminution of the line length. The lines also show the repetition of the word carols and the alliteration of the s sound. He also used falling rhyme in the words “lagging,” “yellow'” and “waning”: Shake out carols! Solitary here, the night’s carols! Carols of lonesome love! deaths carols! Carols under that lagging, yellow, waning moon! O under that moon where she droops almost down into the sea! O reckless despairing carols. The following lines from “Beat!

Beat! Drums! ,” include parallel phrases, sentence structures and meaning: Beat! beat! drums! – blow! bugles! blow! Make no parely – stop for no expostulation, Mind not the timid -mind not the weeper or prayer Mind not the old man beseeching the youngman. In nearly all of Emily Dickinson’s poetry there is the use of quatrains of three iambic feet, that is four lines of poetry to a stanza, where each line has an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, three times. The early poems by Dickinson are conventional in sentiment and in form.

She used many forms in her poetry, but the forms she used had a twist from the normal because she would make them more complex and altered the metrical beat. Dickinson did this to fit her thought. Dickinson also started the wide use of off-rhyme. The subjects that Whitman and Dickinson used in their poetry are very different. There is a big difference because the things that each poet was interested in. Whitman often wrote about the Civil War. Dickinson often wrote about death and nature. The punctuation is drastically different as well.

Whitman used mostly traditional punctuation in his poetry, but in the poem “Beat! Beat! Drums! ” he used a big amount of dashes: “Beat! beat! drums! -blow! bugles! blow! Through the windows-through the doors-burst like a ruthless force. ” Dickinson used a form of punctuation unique to her poetry as well as capitalization. She used irregular capitalization to emphasize certain words for example, in the poem “This is My Letter to the World,” she capitalized the words, World, Me, News, Nature, Majesty, Message, Hands, Her, and Sweet.

She did this because those things were important to her. Walt Whitman’s and Emily Dickinson’s lives were very different, although they lived during the same time period. Each poet chose to be around certain people and things. Those people and things they chose to be around greatly influenced their poetry. The forms and subjects are different because they liked writing about things that happened in their lives. They are both innovators in poetry because they chose to change common things in writing poetry.

Emily Dickinson: Her View of God

Emily Dickinson had a view of God and His power that was very strange for a person of her time. Dickinson questioned God, His power, and the people in the society around her. She did not believe in going to church because she felt as though she couldn’t find any answers there. She asked God questions through writing poems, and believed that she had to wait until she died to find out the answers. Dickinson was ahead of her time with beliefs like this. Many people in her generation just believed in God, went to church, and looked highly on the events discussed during church out of fear.

These people were hesitant to ask questions, afraid of God, and scared of Dickinson because she started to inquire about things that only God was capable of answering. In Dickinson’s poem, “I Shall Know Why-When Time Is Over”, she is describing her feelings toward God. It appears as though she is angry with Him because she cannot get any answers to her questions. Emily Dickinson feels, that the answers to these questions will only come with death. ” I shall know why-when time is over- And I have ceased to wonder why- Christ will explain each separate anguish

In the fair schoolroom of the sky- (78)”. After she dies and God answers all of her questions, Dickinson then says: ” I shall forget the drop of anguish That scalds me now-that scalds me now! ” This shows Dickinson’s anger toward God. She does not want to have to die to have her questions answered. She wants to be able to live without these questions of what God wants, because they are deeply affecting her. As time goes by, one could say that Dickinson is learning to live with the questions she has for God. She does not look at death as a bad thing, she starts to look at it in a positive way.

She slowly starts to seclude herself from others, which is apparent in her poems. Dickinson starts to discuss her state of solitude and how it came about. This is described in, “The Soul Selects Her Own Society”. Dickinson says that: ” The souls selects her own society- then shuts the door- To her divine majority- Present no more-(80). ” At this point in her life, Dickinson no longer wants to be a serious part of any society. By secluding herself from people and writing poetry and letters only to those close to her, she could question anything without being noted as a keptic by people within the society. Due to her beliefs, many thought that Dickinson contributed to blasphemy, simply because she questioned God and authority.

However, in all actuality, Emily Dickinson was a loving and loyal woman with a lot of unanswered questions. It was as though God has complete power over Dickinson, and this was her way to praise God-by total seclusion. Instead of going to church, she stays at home and worshiped God, whenever she wanted.. In “Much Madness”, Dickinson describes societies attitudes toward her: ” Much madness is divinest sense-

To a discerning eye- Much sense-the starkest madness- `Tis the majority-(84)”. In Dickinson’s so called “Madness” there is a Godlike presence that only she recognizes. While everybody else thinks she is insane, she knows that she is not, and God knows this as well. ” In this, as all, prevail- Assent-and you are sane- Demor-you’re straightaway dangerous- And handled with a chain-(85)”. She is describing what kind of people there are in society: those who conform to what they are supposed to do and believe, yet in all essence, they really do ot understand what they are doing or believing, and those people who rebel from what is normal and explore their surroundings, asking things that others dare to ask.

If they rebel, people will think their insane, and that will put a label on them, causing people to become frightened when near them. As society makes Dickinson feel out of place she starts to realize the importance of God and who He really is. This is important because God and death are now becoming a more critical part of her life. Dickinson starts to dwell on death and when it will come to her.

She describes how she thinks death will come to her and how God will greet her in the poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. She imagines death coming in a carriage and taking her off to a happy place of “immortality”. ” Because I could not stop for death- He kindly stopped for me- The carriage held but just ourselves- And Immortality. ” This shows that Dickinson has realized the importance of God in her life, whereas in previous poems she did not. Dickinson then goes on to describe the passing of the carriage over fields and the sun, on her way to an everlasting appiness in heaven. In conclusion, Emily Dickinson had a view of God that revolved around questioning His power.

However, as she grew she started to realize how much power God actually has over a person and their life. Dickinson lived to serve and please God. She did this by simply believing in Him and in what He could do. She did not need to go to church, become a nun, or profess her faith externally to be a true believer. Emily Dickinson showed her love and faith in God through her strenuous thought and questioning, and with her belief that God is always there when you

Poems of Emily Dickinson

Thesis of my paper that I am trying to prove to the reader is that Emily Dickinson is a brilliant extraordinary writer. She talks about mortality and death within her life and on paper in her poem works. Although she lived a seemingly secluded life, Emily Dickinson’s many encounters with death influenced many of her poems and letters. Perhaps one of the most groundbreaking and inventive poets in American history, Dickinson has become as well known for her bizarre and eccentric life as for her incredible poems and letters.

Numbering over 1,700, her poems highlight the many moments in a 19th century New England woman’s life, including the deaths of some of her most beloved friends and family, most of which occurred in a short period of time (Introduction, Paragraph 2). In many short poems, several readers or critics of Dickinson point out her methods of exploring several topics in \”circumference,\” as she says in her own words. Death is perhaps one of the best examples of this exploration and examination.

Other than one trip to Washington and Philadelphia, several excursions to Boston to see a doctor and a few short years in school, Dickinson never left her hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts. In the latter part of her life she rarely left her large brick house, and communicated even to her beloved sister through a door often left \”slightly ajar. \” This seclusion gave her a reputation for eccentricity to the local towns’ people, and perhaps increased her interest in death (The Belle Of Amherst, Dickinson). Some knew Dickinson in Amherst as, \”the New England mystic,\”.

Her only contact to her few friends and correspondents was through a series of letters, seen as some authors and critics to be equal not only in number to her poetic works, but in literary genius as well (Introduction Dickinson). Explored thoroughly in her works, death seems to be a dominating theme through out Dickinson’s life. Dickinson, although secluded and isolated, had a few encounters with love; two perhaps serious affairs were documented in her letters and poems. But, since Dickinson’s life was so private the exact identity of these people remains unsure.

What is known, is during the Civil War, worried for her friends and families’ lives, death increased in frequency to be a dominant theme in her writings. After 1878, the year of her influential father’s death, (a treasurer of Amherst College, and a member of the Congress), this theme increased with each passing of friend or family, peaking perhaps with the death of the two men she loved (The Belle of Amherst, Dickinson). But, as explored by several readers or critics, Dickinson viewed death, as she did most ideas, in circumference. She was careful to high light and explore all the paradoxes and emotional extremes involved with death.

One poem expresses her depression after discovering her two loves had passed away. She wrote, \”I never lost as much as twice, and that was in the sod; Twice I have stood a beggar, Before the door of God,\” (pg 1170, l. 1). Some critics believe it was the suggestion of death, which spawned Dickinson’s greatest output of poetry in 1862. After hearing from Charles Wadsworth, her mentor, and perhaps secret love, that he was ill, and would be \”leaving the land,\” Dickinson made her withdrawal from society more apparent and her writing more frequent and intense.

By then Dickinson was already in her mid thirties, and simply progressed from there to become more reserved and write more of death and loss, than of nature and love, as had been common in her earlier years (Introduction Dickinson). In the poem, \”I Heard A Fly Buzz\”, Dickinson writes in the last stanza, \”With Blue-uncertain stumbling Buzz (referring to the negative pest)-Between the light-and me-And the Windows failed-and then I could not see-. ” Writers state that here Dickinson, (writing during the Civil War, 1863 specifically) speaks of the importance of mortality and death, and highlights that death has been on its way for a while. (pg 1179, l. 13) As stated above, Dickinson is known for encompassing many perspectives on a single topic. In, \”Because I could not stop for Death\”, also written in 1863, Dickinson writes of immortality and eternity, and although death does not \”come in haste\”, his eventual coming is inevitable since death in eternal, \” Since then-’tis Centuries-and yet, Feels shorter than the day, I first surmised the Horse’s Head, Were toward Eternity-. “(Dickinson pg 1183).

Over all Dickinson’s works can be seen as a study into the thoughts and emotions of people, especially in her exploration death. From its inevitable coming to its eternal existence, Dickinson explains her feelings and thoughts toward death in the full, \”circumference\” of its philosophy. As she edged towards the end of her life, Dickinson gave the world new poetic perspectives into the human mind and its dealing and avoidance of death.

Emily Dickinson’s Poetry

Emily Dickinson was raised in a traditional New England home in the mid 1800’s. Her father along with the rest of the family had become Christians and she alone decided to rebel against that and reject the Church. She like many of her contemporaries had rejected the traditional views in life and adopted the new transcendental outlook.

Massachusetts, the state where Emily was born and raised in, before the transcendental period was the epicenter of religious practice. Founded by the puritans, the feeling of the avenging had never left the people. After all of the “Great Awakenings” and religious revivals the people of New England began to question the old ways. What used to be the focal point of all lives was now under speculation and often doubted. People began to search for new meanings in life. People like Emerson and Thoreau believed that answers lie in the individual. Emerson set the tone for the era when he said, “Whoso would be a [hu]man, must be a non-conformist.” Emily Dickinson believed and practiced this philosophy.

When she was young she was brought up by a stern and austere father. In her childhood she was shy and already different from the others. Like all the Dickinson children, male or female, Emily was sent for formal education in Amherst Academy. After attending Amherst Academy with conscientious thinkers such as Helen Hunt Jackson, and after reading many of Emerson’s essays, she began to develop into a free willed person. Many of her friends had converted to Christianity, her family was also putting enormous amount of pressure for her to convert. No longer the submissive youngster she would not bend her will on such issues as religion, literature and personal associations.

She maintained a correspondence with Rev. Charles Wadsworth over a substantial period of time. Even though she rejected the Church as a entity she never did reject or accept God. Wadsworth appealed to her because he had an incredibly powerful mind and deep emotions. When he left the East in 1861 Emily was scarred and expressed her deep sorrow in three successive poems in the following years. They were never romantically involved but their relationship was apparently so profound that Emily’s feelings for him she sealed herself from the outside world.

Her life became filled with gloom and despair until she met Judge Otis P. Lord late in her life. Realizing that they were well into their lives they never were married. When Lord passed away Emily’s health condition which has been hindered since childhood worsened.

In Emily’s life the most important things to her were love, religion, individuality and nature. When discussing these themes she followed her lifestyle and broke away from traditional forms of writing and wrote with an intense energy and complexity never seen before and rarely seen today. She was a rarity not only because of her poetry but because she was one of the first female pioneers into the field of poetry.

Emily often speaks of love in her poems, but she did it in such a way that would make people not want to fall in love. She writes of parting, separation and loss. This is supported by the experiences she felt with Wadsworth and Otis P. Lord.
Not with a club the heart is broken,
nor with a stone;
A whip so small you could not see it,
I’ve known

This seems to be an actual account of the emotions she experienced during her relationship with Otis Lord.

Individuality played a pervasive role in her life as a result of her bout with separation. Emily did not conform to society. She did not believe it was society’s place to dictate to her how she should lead her life. Her poems reflect this sense of rebellion and revolution against tradition.
From all the jails the boys and girls
Ecstatically leap,-
Beloved, only afternoon
That prison doesn’t keep.

In this poem Emily shows her feelings towards formalized schooling. Being a product of reputable college one would think that she would be in favor of this. But as her beliefs in transcendentalism grew so did her belief in individuality.

Emily also went against the Church which was an extreme rarity of the time. Similar to many other that shared her beliefs she too did not think that a set religion was the way for salvation.
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolike for a chorister,
With an orchard for a dome.

According to this poem Emily clearly states that nature is her source of guidance and she has little need for the Church as an institution.

Like Thoreau, Emily believed that people need to understand nature before they could begin to comprehend humanity because humanity was just a part of nature. Unlike many other she felt that nature was beautiful and must be understood.
Has it feet like water-lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?
(Will there really be a morning?)

Further on in the poem she goes on to ask if the scholar or “some wise man from the skies” knows where to find morning. It can be inferred that morning, something so common place and taken for granted, cannot be grasped by even the greatest so called minds.

Emily also saw the frightful part of nature, death was an extension of the natural order. Probably the most prominent theme in her writing is death. She took death in a relatively casual way when compared to the puritan beliefs that surrounded her life. Death to her is just the next logical step to life and compares it to a carriage ride, or many other common place happenings.
Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The Carriage held but just Ourselves-
And Immortality.

Life according to Emily is brief and the people living out their lives have little control.
In this short life
That only lasts an hour,
How much, how little,
Is within out power!

However non-religious she may appear and however insignificant she believes life to be she does however show some signs in accepting life after death.
This world is not conclusion;
A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible, as music,
But positive as sound.

To Emily the most important things in her life were religion, individuality, nature and death. She may not have believed in God but He did have a profound impact throughout her childhood. Emily and Emerson alike felt the most important thing was to maintain ones individuality as she did. She was fascinated by both nature and death and she attempted to explain both in her writings.

What is transcendentalism at Emily Dickinson’s poems?

What is transcendentalism? It is the belief that everyone is naturally good but society makes people evil. It is where divinity can be found in nature and in each person. It is where intuition and the individual conscience transcend experience and thus are better guides to truth than the senses. Does Emily Dickinson believe in transcendentalism? Emily has made it clear that she is a transcendentalist through many of her poems. In the poem The Brainis Wider than the Sky, Dickinson writes about the effects that nature has on humanity.

Through this poem, she portrays the triangle of God, Humanity, and Nature, which transcendentalists believed was the necessary existence of life. She states that The brain is wider than the sky, or in other words, humanity is wider than nature, that The brain is deeper than the see, and that The brain is just the weight of God. Humanity will absorb and contain nature, and from God, they will differ- if they do- as a syllable from sound. This poem portrays the idea that one of these aspects of life cannot exist without the other two.

In her poem Water, is taught by thirst, Dickinson is depicting the transcendental belief that there can be no good without evil and vice-versa. It is evident in her poem when she states things such as Transportby throe, and Peaceby its battles told. In these two particular lines she is stating that there is no happiness without the pain you went through to get there and that there is no peace without earning it through a great battle. There is always a bad or negative with the good. Dickinson says that the one thing that mankind desires, needs, wants, or loves came from the opposite of that particular object.

This does not mean, however, that that certain object are specifically good or bad, just that its origination came from its opposite. Dickinsons belief in the importance of solitude and individualism is shown throughout her poem There is a Solitude of Space. Dickinson believes that because solitude is something that people fear, it creates the finite infinity that people have become accustomed or comfortable with. When people come to the realization that they fear solitude, they conform to society. A soul admitted to itselffinite infinity.

Dickinson herself was living in solitude, but she was able to write about it and seclude herself from society, knowing that she had a greater knowledge of the right. Just like in her poem The brainis wider than the sky, Dickinson writes about the effects that nature has on humanity in her poem Theres a Certain Slant of Light. She believes that nature is superior to mankind, even though mankind may think otherwise. This falsity causes the wrath of nature to unleash itself. That oppresses, like the Heft of cathedral tunes.

Dickinson believes that nature has a capability to take away the pride that a man might possess. We can find no scar, but an infernal one. When a mans pride is taken away, it leaves an internal stigma. This poem shows us that nature cannot only take away our pride, but it can open us up to new aspects of life. Most people do not realize that there is a big world out there apart from their own in which they may be accustomed to. Transcendentalists believe that the human mind is limited and can only carry knowledge of the physical world, but deeper truths can only be found through personal instinct.

None may teach it-Any. This states that nature cannot be taught, but must be found through intuition, which shows the influence of transcendentalism on Dickinson. From reading Emily Dickinsons poetry one can determine that the main transcendental ideas that she describes are nature and its effects on humans, the relationship between God, humanity, and nature, and the importance of the individual. It can be perceived that Dickinson found her ideas of truth and of life through the beliefs of transcendentalism.

Emily Dickinson’s poem “A Bird Came Down the Walk”

Emily Dickinson’s poem “A Bird Came Down the Walk. ” is an excellent example of how poets use varying styles of rhyme and meter to bring a poem to life. Dickinson expertly uses meter to show how the bird acts on the ground and in the air. The rhyme scheme she uses changes in the poem to show the birds change in attitude. The poem is five quatrains long. In each stanza, except for the fourth, uses iambic trimeter in every line but the fourth line which uses iambic tetrameter. The fourth stanza uses iambic trimeter in all four lines. Iambic tells the reader that the second syllable on each foot is stressed.

Trimeter means that the line contains three stressed syllables and tetrameter means there are four stresses. Meter plays a very important role in poems because it gives the poet another tool to help convey the feeling of the poem. Dickinson used this metrical pattern to convey to the reader that the bird did not feel natural on the ground. The meter forces the poem to be read very jumpy and quick, much like how a bird acts while on the ground. Even though the bird is on the ground for a short amount time it still acts cautiously because its natural habitat is in the sky.

And the he drank a Dew From a convenient Grass– And then hopped sidewise to the Wall To let a Beetle pass– When the bird finally flies away the poem’s flow mimics that of a flying bird, very calm and free “And he unrolled his feathers / And rowed him softer home–”. She describes a birds flight like rowing in an ocean, but without all the splashing of the oars. In the first two stanza of the poem she rhymes the second and fourth lines of the quatrain. A Bird came down the Walk– He did not know I saw– He bit an Angleworm in halves And ate the fellow, raw,

She uses this rhyme scheme to show that the bird is not frightened yet and has not noticed her presence. Then she switches to half-rhymes to covey that the bird is beginning to be scared because he notices her watching. “That hurried all around– / They looked like frightened beads, I thought– / he stirred his Velvet Head”. She rhymes around and head to describe the shape of the bird’s head. When she rhymes seam and swim she is comparing the birds flight path to a seam, straight and precise. The change in the rhyme scheme was done on purpose to help portray the birds reactions.

When used correctly meter and rhyme can help the poet convey emotion without having to say a word. Dickinson masterfully uses meter and rhyme to breathe life into her poem. Without her skillful use of those poetic tools the poem would be lifeless and dull. A bird came down the walk. Emily Dickinson’s poem “A Bird Came Down the Walk. ” is an excellent example of how poets use varying styles of rhyme and meter to bring a poem to life. Dickinson expertly uses meter to show how the bird acts on the ground and in the air.

The rhyme scheme she uses changes in the poem to show the birds change in attitude. The poem is five quatrains long. In each stanza, except for the fourth, uses iambic trimeter in every line but the fourth line which uses iambic tetrameter. The fourth stanza uses iambic trimeter in all four lines. Iambic tells the reader that the second syllable on each foot is stressed. Trimeter means that the line contains three stressed syllables and tetrameter means there are four stresses. Meter plays a very important role in poems because it gives the poet another tool to help convey the feeling of the poem.

Dickinson used this metrical pattern to convey to the reader that the bird did not feel natural on the ground. The meter forces the poem to be read very jumpy and quick, much like how a bird acts while on the ground. Even though the bird is on the ground for a short amount time it still acts cautiously because its natural habitat is in the sky. And the he drank a Dew From a convenient Grass– And then hopped sidewise to the Wall To let a Beetle pass– When the bird finally flies away the poem’s flow mimics that of a flying bird, very calm and free “And he unrolled his feathers / And rowed him softer home–”.

She describes a birds flight like rowing in an ocean, but without all the splashing of the oars. In the first two stanza of the poem she rhymes the second and fourth lines of the quatrain. A Bird came down the Walk– He did not know I saw– He bit an Angleworm in halves And ate the fellow, raw, She uses this rhyme scheme to show that the bird is not frightened yet and has not noticed her presence. Then she switches to half-rhymes to covey that the bird is beginning to be scared because he notices her watching. “That hurried all around– / They looked like frightened beads, I thought– / he stirred his Velvet Head”.

She rhymes around and head to describe the shape of the bird’s head. When she rhymes seam and swim she is comparing the birds flight path to a seam, straight and precise. The change in the rhyme scheme was done on purpose to help portray the birds reactions. When used correctly meter and rhyme can help the poet convey emotion without having to say a word. Dickinson masterfully uses meter and rhyme to breathe life into her poem. Without her skillful use of those poetic tools the poem would be lifeless and dull.

Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death”

Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” is a remarkable masterpiece that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. Critics call Emily Dickinson’s poem a masterpiece with strange “haunting power. ” In Dickinson’s poem, “Because I could not stop for Death,” there is much impression in the tone, in symbols, and in the use of imagery that exudes creativity. One might undoubtedly agree to an eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone in Dickinson’s poem. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives—”slowly” and “passed”—to create a tone that seems rather placid.

For example, “We slowly drove—He knew no haste / …We passed the School … / We passed the Setting Sun—,” sets a slow, quiet, calm, and dreamy atmosphere (5, 9, 11, 12). “One thing that impresses us,” one author wrote, “is the remarkable placidity, or composure, of its tone” (Greenberg 128). The tone in Dickinson’s poem will put its readers’ ideas on a unifying track heading towards a boggling atmosphere. Dickinson’s masterpiece lives on complex ideas that are evoked through symbols, which carry her readers through her poem.

Besides the literal significance of —the “School,” Gazing Grain,” “Setting Sun,” and the “Ring”—much is gathered to complete the poem’s central idea. Emily brought to light the mysteriousness of life’s cycle. Ungraspable to many, the cycle of one’s life, as symbolized by Dickinson, has three stages and then a final stage of eternity. These three stages are recognized by Mary N. Shaw as follows: “School, where children strove”(9) may represent childhood; “Fields of Gazing Grain”(11), maturity; and “Setting Sun” (12) old age” (21).

In addition to these three stages, the final stage of eternity was symbolized in the last two lines of the poem, the Horses Heads” (23), leading “towards Eternity” (24). Dickinson fathomed the incomprehensible progression of life by unraveling its complexity with figurative symbols. Emily Dickinson dresses the scene such that mental pictures of sight, feeling, and sound come to life. The imagery begins the moment Dickinson invites Her reader into the “Carriage. ” Death “slowly” takes the readers on a sight seeing trip where they see the stages of life.

The first site “We” passed was the “School, where Children strove” (9). Because it deals with an important symbol, —the “Ring”—this first scene is perhaps the most important. One author noted that “the children, at recess, do not play (as one would expect them to) but strive” (Monteiro 20). In addition, at recess, the children performed a venerable ritual, perhaps known to all, in a ring. This ritual is called “Ring-a-ring-a-roses,” and is recited: Ring-a-ring-a-roses, A pocket full of posies; Hush! hush! hush! hush!

We’re all tumbled down. (qtd. in Greenaway 365) Monteiro made the discovery and concluded that “For indeed, imbedded in their ritualistic game is a reminder of the mortal stakes that the poet talks about elsewhere”(21). On this invited journey, one vividly sees the “Children” playing, aughing, and singing. This scene conveys deep emotions and moods through verbal pictures. The imagery in the final scene, “We passed the Setting Sun,” proved very emotional (12). One can clearly picture a warm setting sun, perhaps, over a grassy horizon.

The idea of a setting sun, aftermath a fact of slumber in a cold dark night. When Dickinson passed the “Setting Sun,” night drew nigh and it was time to go home and sleep. Symbolically, Her tour of life was short; it was now time for “Eternity”—death. While sight seeing in the carriage, one can gather, by the setting of the sun, that this ride was lifelong. It is evident that death can creep up on His client. In example, often times, when one experience a joyous time, time seems to ‘fly’.

In the same respect, Emily Dickinson states “Or rather—He [the Setting Sun] passed Us—” (13). In this line, one can see how Dickinson, dressed for the “Day,” indicates that a pleasant time was cut short (15,16). Before She knew it, the cold “Dews drew quivering and chill”(14). The imagery in this transcendent poem shines great light on some hidden similarities between life and death. This poem exercises both the thoughts and emotions of its reader and can effectively hange one’s viewpoint of an eternal future.

Eternity and Death are two important characters in Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death. ” In fact, eternity is a state of being. Dickinson believed in an eternity after death (24). Agreeably, one can say that Emily Dickinson’s sole purpose in this poem is to show no fear of death. Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Because I could not stop for Death,” will leave many readers talking for years to come. This poem then, puts on immortality through an act of mere creativity. Indeed, creativity was captured at all angles in this striking piece.

Emily Dickinson Biography

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst Massachusetts. She had a younger sister named Lavina and an older brother named Austin. Her mother Emily Norcross Dickinson, was largely dependent on her family and was seen by Emily as a bad mother. Her father was lawyer, Congressman, and the Treasurer for Amherst College. Emilys mother and father didnt get along very well, but unlike her mother Emily loved and admired her father. Emilys family lived a quiet secure life. They rarely shared their problems with one another so Emily had plenty of privacy for writing.

During her childhood, Emily and her family ttended The First Congregational Church on every Sunday. Emily did not like going to church because she didn’t think of herself as being very religious. She refused to believe that Heaven was a better place than Earth and eventually rebelled from the church. Emily saw herself as a woman who had her own way of thinking, a way of thinking shaped neither by the church or society. By the time she was twelve, her family moved to a house on Pleasant Street where they lived from 1840 to 1855. Emily was already writing letters, but composed most of her poetry in this home.

Emily only left home to attend Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for two semesters. She impressed her teachers with her courage and directness in her poetry. They felt her writing was very good. At the age of twenty-one, Emily and her family moved to the Dickinson Homestead on Main Street. This move was very difficult for Emily. This was difficult for Emily because she became very attached to her old house. They now lived next door to her brother Austin and his wife Susan and their daughter Martha. Emily and Susan became so close that many people believe they may have been lovers.

Emily was known to have written many love letters and poems to Susan. Martha attempted to rotect both of their images and tell everyone the rumors werent true. It became common knowledge that Emily had some type of very strong feelings for Susan. The following is one of the letters that Emily wrote to Susan: It’s a sorrowful morning Susie–the wind blows and it rains; “into each life some rain must fall,” and I hardly know which falls fastest, the rain without, or within–Oh Susie, I would nestle close to your warm heart, and never hear the wind blow, or the storm beat, again.

Is there any room there for me, darling, and will you “love me more if ever you come home”? –it is enough, dear Susie, I know I shall be satisfied. But what can I do towards you? dearer you cannot be, for I love you so already, that it almost breaks my heart–perhaps I can love you anew, every day of my life, every morning and evening–Oh if you will let me, how happy I shall be! The precious billet, Susie, I am wearing the paper out, reading it over and o’er, but the dear thoughts cant wear out if they try, Thanks to Our Father, Susie!

Vinnie and I talked of you all last evening long, and went to sleep mourning for you, and pretty soon I waked up saying “Precious treasure, thou art mine,” and there you were all right, my Susie, and I hardly dared to sleep lest someone steal you away. Never mind the letter, Susie; you have so much to do; just write me every week one line, and let it be, “Emily, I love you,” and I will be satisfied! Your own, Emily http://www. sappho. com/poetry/historical/e_*censored*in. tml At the age of thirty-one Emily sent some of her poems to a publisher, Thomas Higginson, who liked her poetry a lot. A strong friendship developed. He gave her a lot of advice, but she never seemed to use any of it. It became evident that she didn’t like the idea of having her works published, she made 40 packets of about twenty oems apiece from 814 poems. She placed these in a box along with close to 300 other poems. Emily died on May 5, 1886 at the age of 56. She had planned her own funeral.

It was held at the mansion on Main Street and ended at the family plot near the house on Pleasant Street. At her request, her casket was covered with violets and pine boughs, while she herself was dressed in a new white gown and had a strand of violets placed about her neck. Before she died, Emily left specific instructions for her sister and a housemaid, Maggie to destroy all the letters she had received and saved. The box of packets and poems was found with these letters, but Emily had not said anything about destroying them.

Her sister Lavina was determined to have these published, but Susan kept them for two years before they were released to Higginson. In 1890 and 1891, some of the poems were published. They received a great response, but no more were released until 1955, when the rest of her poems were published. Though she was not religious it is said that many of her poems do reflect religious views. She wrote many of her poems on pain, death, and suffering, although a lot were also written about ove, lust, and romance.

A lot of people see her as a hermit who spent much of her life writing and living by herself. She chose her words for her poems in a way that allows the reader to choose the meaning of the poem to them and relate it to their life. She wrote nearly eighteen hundred poems, most staying away from rhyme and punctuation. Emilys poems did not have titles because she never wanted them to be published. Many of her poems are a little hard to interpret, but after reading this hopefully you will have a little bit better understanding of her life.