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Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound's poem "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter" is inspired by Chinese poetry, and dramatizes the situation of the Chinese wife of a traveling salesman. In its empathetic portrayal of the life of a woman, it resembles poems by Emily Dickinson -- but the difference is, of course, that Pound's form is fundamentally dramatic. Pound announces, in his title, the speaker of the poem. Dickinson's lyric voice, by contrast, announces no dramatized speaker. Nonetheless, we may identify certain aspects of Pound's work by comparing it with three of Dickinson's lyrics: "Tell all the truth but tell it slant," "If you were coming in the fall, and "She rose to his requirement." I will identify the ways in which each of these Dickinson lyrics illuminate Pound's poem, and in conclusion will show that "She rose to his requirement" is the closest in terms of overall poetic…… [Read More]
" typical way in which a poem by Dickinson is structured is by the use of the "omitted center." This means that an initial statement is followed by an apparent lack in development and continuity and the inclusion of strange and seemingly alien ideas. However, these often contradictory ideas and images work towards a sense of wholeness and integrity which is essentially open-ended in terms of its meaning. "Often the openendedness, the sense of incompletion, is achieved by sound as much as by visual imagery"
Diction is another aspect that is often mentioned with regard to this poets particular style. "...it is her study of the individual word and her masterly discovery of the right word that chiefly defines her distinction."
In essence Dickinson uses many techniques such as slant rhymes and dissonance to create a disturbing and evocative atmosphere which leads to further questioning. This style is possibly an…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson and "The orld is Not Conclusion"
The poems of Emily Dickinson have been interpreted in a multitude of ways and often it is hard to separate the narrator of her works with the woman who wrote them. Few authors have such a close association between the individual and their work as Emily Dickinson. In Dickinson's poetry, the narrator and the poet are often seen as interchangeable beings. Themes that reappear in Dickinson's poems include God, life, and death. Death and the tragic emotions associated with it echo throughout her poetry. This would logically lead someone to conclude that these three concepts were prevalent in her psychology. According to the Emily Dickinson Lexicon, a site devoted to cataloguing and categorizing all of her works, the word death appears in Dickinson's poetry more than any other word (EDL). Dickinson's life and her experiences are echoed in her poem "The orld…… [Read More]
The study of geology becomes a central underlying theme in many of her works due to the influence of Hitchcock. Dickinson adopted the view that the study of nature should be an intermingled spiritual as well as naturalist journey, and as a result, places strong emphasis on how to explore spiritual and romantic Truth, through the allegory of nature and geology.
Dickinson's poetic vision was not to advocate the strong use of scientific inquiry in daily life, but rather to perform the opposite function. he attempts to heighten the mysteries of the universe rather than to solve them. Her works attempt to counteract the strong role of scientific inquiry, which attempts to convince us that science can present a complete and undiluted picture of reality as a whole. Dickinson uses science as a vision, complete with technical language and concepts, to amplify rather than detract from the mystery of the…… [Read More]
.. "I could not see to see" (from Dickinson, "465"). ords; phrases, and lines of poetry composed by Dickinson, within a given poem, are also typically set off, bookend-like (if not ruptured entirely at the center) by her liberal use of various punctuation "slices" (or perhaps "splices" is the better word) appearing most often in the form of either short and/or longer dashes (or combinations of these), e.g.: "-"; and/or " -- ."
Quite often too (and in many places simultaneously as well) various phrases and/or lines of Emily Dickinson's poems are further "infiltrated" by the appearance of words suddenly capitalized mid-sentence (for emphasis; this would be equivalent to italicizing or underlining a word today). The effect is to force breath between words or phrases as one reads or speaks the line. One such example can be found in Dickinson's #258 ("There's a certain Slant of light"): "Shadows - hold…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson's poem 632 ("The Brain -- is wider than the sky -- ") is, in its own riddling way, a poem that grapples with the Christian religion, while at the same time being a poem about the poetic imagination itself. Dickinson's religious concerns are perhaps most evident when considering the form of the poem (and indeed the form of so many of her poems). The meter and the rhyme scheme of poem 632 are constructed to match the meter and rhyme scheme of traditional Christian hymns. We need only compare Dickinson's poem 632 with "Amazing Grace" to see that the form is mimicked fairly precisely -- the only difference is that Dickinson does not rhyme her first and third lines, while traditional hymns use a rhyme scheme of ABAB. But Dickinson's poem can actually be sung to the tune of "Amazing Grace" if the reader so chooses. In addition,…… [Read More]
She dislikes the way that members of the church use the name God to enforce their own temporal values and thoughts of sin. Although Dickinson believed: "This orld is not Conclusion," she added the caution that "Philosophy" and "Sagacity, must go" to explain the mystery of human existence. Every person must search for their own answers, beyond the confines of the rationality of the church (510).
Dickinson honors Christ: "Men have borne/Contempt of Generations/and Crucifixion" (51). She does not embrace how conventional faith "Plucks at a twig of Evidence" to justify all of its prohibitions and doctrines (510). Instead, Dickinson faced death in an unsentimental way: "Death -- / ho only shows the Marble Disc --/Sublimer sort -- than Speech -" must be endured alone and analyzed by the individual believer in solitude (310).
Dickinson, Emily. "310." Complete e-text at American Poems. 31 May 2007. http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/emilydickinson/10262
Dickinson, Emily.…… [Read More]
The writer whose work I admire and most influences my work is Emily Dickinson. She was a reclusive person, having returned from school at age 18 and from that point on, spending most of her time in her home by herself. There have been many hypotheses about Emily having an unidentified lover, but none have been proven. Her poems, however, are filled with the longing, love, passion, loss and depression.
Her poem "In Vain" is a poem about love. She says "and were you saved, and I condemned to be where you were not, that self were hell to me" (Dickinson 29). This poem is all about how she feels about being apart from the one she loves. She mentions how they must stay apart and have unsatisfying communications, but she prefers something to nothing. Her love is so great that to be apart is hell for her.…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson Embraces Death
BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
We slowly drove
He knew no haste
And I had put away My labor -- and my leisure too, For His Civility.
We passed the School where Children strove
At Recess -- in the Ring
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain
We passed the Setting Sun
Or rather -- He passed Us-
The Dews drew quivering and chill --
For only Gossamer, my Gown
My Tippet -- only Tulle
We paused before a House that seemed
Swelling of the Ground
The roof was scarcely visible --
The Cornice -- in the Ground
Since then -- 'tis Centuries -- and yet Feels shorter than the Day first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity
My first reaction to Emily Dickinson's poem "Because I could not stop…… [Read More]
Death is indeed safe from the perspective that nothing in life can hurt or destroy. The dead are "untouched" (2) by everything and nothing. The "meek members of the resurrection" (3) are sleeping, safe and sound, waiting for what awaits them on the other side. The most significant aspect of this stanza is the insinuation that the dead are still waiting for their resurrection, which may, in fact, never occur. This attitude is not unusual for Dickinson, as she explored death and God many times in her poetry, as if she were attempting to make sense of life, death, and religion. The last stanza of the poem demonstrates an even closer inspection of death as the speaker looks at the "grand" (10) years of life, as they pass "Soundless as dots on a disk of snow" (14). The poet realized one of the most important, sobering facts of life there…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson: Discussion Response
It never ceases to amaze me how few of Emily Dickinson's poems were read during the author's lifetime and how she persevered in writing them for so long, staying true to her spare style of writing. Many years later, modernist writers would use many of Dickinson's hallmarks as a writer, such as her fragmented prose, her innovative use of grammar, and her elliptical meanings. I do not think it was Dickinson's subject choice that made her so controversial. Many of the topics of her poems revolve around everyday household observations, death, and romance. Rather it was the way she addressed those subjects that made her readers pause, and made the few people to whom she did show her work inclined to underestimate it.
This focus upon mundane details is seen in her poem which begins "I tie my Hat -- I crease my Shawl -- /…… [Read More]
This poem talks of light in winter and compares it to a cathedral, and says that both kinds are "oppressive." It is not easy to figure out exactly what Dickinson is saying in this poem, but much of her poetry seems to have the belief that organized religion is oppressive, where as nature and intrinsic feelings about God are liberating.
Many critics note that a religious crisis was probably the cause of Dickinson's decision to leave her school at Mount Holyoke and return to Amherst, and they credit this crisis with the view of religion that is shown in her poetry. Others also suggest a possible lesbian relationship with her sister-in-law and friend Susan, though the evidence here is ambiguous.
There's a certain Slant of light,
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes -" bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw" door…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson, Keetje Kuipers, and Ruth Stone all deal with the idea of death in their poems "Color - Caste -- Denomination," "My First Lover Returns from Iraq," and, respectively, "Reality." These poets focus on this concept with regard to individuals they loved but appear to be less concerned with the tragic nature of death. Instead, they are apparently interested in concentrating on life in contrast to death and with the idea of death in general as being particularly abstract.
Kuipers and Stone appear to be dedicated at presenting the more vivid image of death rather than to use symbolism as a means to communicate with audiences. I find this post to be especially intriguing because of the way that it deals with all three poets. The fact that the post is primarily focused on emphasizing the differences as well as the similarities between the poets is probably meant to…… [Read More]
(Jones, p. 49). These confessional poems are often "searing in their self-inquiry" and "harrowing to the reader" and typically take their metaphors from texts and paintings of Dickinson's day. Some scholars posit that the "Master" is an unattainable composite figure, "human, with specific characteristics, but godlike." (Jones, p. 49).
Recent scholars have posited that Dickinson saw the mind and spirit as tangible, places and that for much of her life she lived within them. (Juhasz, p. 86-87). Often, this intensely private place is referred to as the "undiscovered continent," embellished with images of nature. (Juhasz, p. 89).
Classifying "Wild nights!" Wild nights!"
"Wild Nights! Wild Nights" must be interpreted with the aid of recurring themes in Dickinson's work. The dominant interpretation of Wild Nights is that it is a sexually-themed poem about lust and desire directed at the recurring "Master," Dickinson's "lover for all eternity." Advocates of this interpretation claim…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson, one of America's greatest poets, is known for the musical simplicity and taut, unrelieved expression of emotional truth in poems that are stark, austere, compact and often small -- even though her body of work is immense. Many of her poems probe the source of spiritual despair -- and find within it a restorative, if stubborn, faith. In the poem, "I Never lost as much but twice" she stands before God and addresses Him as an individual who has lost everything, and "stood a beggar/efore the door of God!" And yet, apparently, it was God who brought her both happiness and sorrow, fulfillment and loss: his "Angels -- twice descending/Reimbursed my store," and yet she is lost again. With a certain ironic and rebellious humor that is one of Dickinson's stylistic hallmarks, she addresses God as both "urglar! anker!" He is the source of her wealth and her…… [Read More]
And so in just a few lines the poet has taken the reader from her childhood, to the autumn of her years, and on to eternity.
The sun was setting and first she says she was passing by the sun but then, changes her tune and admits the sun is passing by the carriage. How could the sun pass by a carriage that is moving towards heaven? "Or rather, he passed us"; by personifying the sun this way the poet makes it seem like the carriage is moving very slowly.
When the sun sets she feels a chill because she is dressed only in a gossamer gown, but why is she in the thin gown? Earlier the reader had the impression that she was fully prepared for death and that it was seemingly comfortable for her. When she writes that "He knew no haste, and I had put away My…… [Read More]
Romantic Loves in her Life: Emily's name has been romantically associated with a number of people. However, whether by design or by co-incidence, all her love affairs seemed doomed for failure from the start -- as her objects of desire were almost always unattainable. Reverend Charles adsworth, a married man with children, whom she met on a rare visit to Philadelphia in 1855, has been mentioned as one of her major loves. She called him "my dearest earthly friend....whom to know was life" (Quoted by Bingham, 8) and corresponded with him through letters for years. Others, who received Emily's romantic ardor include Samuel Bowles, editor of the "Springfield Republican," Judge Lord, a friend of her father, and at least one young woman, a school mate named Susan Gilbert who eventually married Emily's brother, Austin. In some of her poems and letters (that were never posted) Emily mentions her unrequited…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1830. She attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, but returned home after one year. She continued to live in her family home with her younger sister, mother and father. Her brother and his wife lived next door. Dickinson rarely left her house or received visitors. Those whom she did associate with, however, had a powerful affect on her poetry.
It is speculated that the two most influential people in her life were Reverend Charles adsworth, whom she met on a trip to Philadelphia, and her sister-in-law, Susan. In 1860, adsworth left for the est Coast, causing Dickinson terrible grief. Afterward, she lived in isolation from the rest of the world. Despite this, she enthusiastically continued correspondences and avidly remained au currant with popular published works.
One of the correspondences she maintained was with her sister-in-law Susan. Throughout her works, Dickinson…… [Read More]
Compressed Eternity: Emily Dickinson's Fascicle #21
Fascicle #21 falls at the mid-point of Dickinson's bundles of verse, stitched together by the poet and secreted away, as she lived her quiet, introspective life. We know little of what criteria she may have applied in selecting the poems in each of these fascicles and can only speculate on the meanings of some of her highly personal symbols.
The seventeen poems that make up Fascicle #21, nonetheless, have obvious thematic linkages, their images repeated and interwoven to form a delicate pattern. The main thread that seems to run through the fascicle is the concept of eternity. There is a sense of timelessness, and of time collapsed upon itself. The first poem in the fascicle, #440, describes a visit to "home" after many years; the soul is filled with fear and alienation, and rushes away like a thief. The metaphor of the ocean for…… [Read More]
Emily Dickinson's poem, "I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died," the setting is the death bed of the speaker, in the nineteenth century, with family and friends gathered around. The line "The Stillness in the Room" eludes that it takes place indoors after the narrator has died. The background of the poem revolves around the preparations for death. The plot is the transition from life to death.
The speaker in the poem, the person who has just died, does not relay their gender or age. The line "I willed my Keepsakes -- Signed away" suggests that the narrator is old enough to have keepsakes and to sign a will. It is obvious that the speaker is observant, calm, aware, and at peace with the situation. Death and the buzz of a fly motivated the narrator to speak. The other characters in the poem are "The Eyes around," or…… [Read More]
alt hitman or Emily Dickinson exemplifies the Romantic Movement in American literature
Romantic Movement in American Literature
The Romantic Movement reached America in the 19th century. In America, Romanticism became sophisticated and distinctive as it was in Europe. American Romantics illustrated high levels of moral enthusiasm, devotion to individualism, an emphasis on intuitive point-of-view, and an assumption that the globe was naturally good; however, the reality was that corruption prevailed in human society. Romanticism influenced American politics, philosophy and art. This movement appealed to the radical spirit of America including those aiming to free from the stern religious traditions (Dickinson and Thomas 40-176). In addition, the movement gave rise to New England Transcendentalism, which represented an unlimited relationship between God and the globe. The poetry of Dickinson and the romantic realism of alt hitman are typical examples of American Romantic Literature.
Emily Dickson greatly influenced American Romanticism. She did this…… [Read More]
The snake continues to returns, a fellow similarly cool and foreboding, and frightening the poet into abrupt line stops. But the snake has never actually turned against the poet and bared its fangs. It merely moves along the way, without stopping to say hello or goodbye. This is why that although the is a nature lover: "Several of nature's people/I know, and they know me;/I feel for them a transport/Of cordiality;" she has never warmed to the snake, and its seeking out of the coolest and boggiest places.
Like other natural creatures in the poet's embrace, the snake is honored with humanization as a fellow. The poet acknowledges her prejudice against those individuals who possess a snake-like nature, who hide from her, comb the ground, or seem like a whip and then disappear. But that does not make the snake any less of a fellow being, any more than a…… [Read More]
A "setting sun" is a reference to the passing of the day into night (12). The word "passing" is repeated throughout Dickinson's poem. Repetition allows the poet to stress the meaning of the word, which in this case symbolizes the passing of all things in life. Yet Death distinguishes between that which is temporary (the setting sun) and that which is eternal (the sun itself). A new dawn is always promised at the end of the day, just as Death's horses' heads point towards Eternity (24).
The narrator also takes note of her gossamer gown, and of a tulle tippet (15; 16). Gossamer and tulle are both sheer fabrics, suggesting her own ephemeral and ghostly nature. They are thin, weak, and will not last long. Life is as delicate as gossamer, transitory but eternal at the same time. Imagery of delicate fabric also illustrates the difference between that which is…… [Read More]
On the one hand, she had an almost desperate sense of wanting to believe, while on the other, she had little reason to do so. Her poetry addresses her doubts and fears regarding religion, inspiring critics to often jump to conclusions regarding her religious persuasions or indeed lack of these. This very ambiguity is what makes Emily Dickinson's poetry such a fulfilling experience. Her work lends itself to various interpretations and combinations, which will never become worn or repetitive.
Franke, William (2008, Autumn). "The missing all": Emily Dickinson's apophatic poetics. Christianity and Literature. Online database: findArticles.com http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb049/is_1_58/ai_n31041796/
Ladin, Jay. (2006, Fall). Meeting her maker: Emily Dickinson's God. Cross Currents. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2096/is_3_56/ai_n27002612/?tag=rbxcra.2.a.22
UXL Newsmakers (2005). Emily Dickinson. Online Database: Findarticles.com. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5221/is_2005/ai_n19136112/?tag=rbxcra.2.a.11
Yezzi, David (1998, Oct 9). Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief. Commonweal. Online Database: Findarticles.com: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1252/is_n17_125/ai_21227669/?tag=rbxcra.2.a.33
Zapedowska, Magdalena. (2006, March). Wrestling with silence: Emily Dickinson's Calvinist God. The American…… [Read More]
alt hitman and Emily Dickinson project, in their poetry, an individual identity that achieves its power from within, thus placing a premium on the individual self. Ironically, this premium on the individual self was very much in vogue in America at the time; from Emerson to the early pioneers of 19th century industrialism. As a result, their projections of individual power were greatly influenced by the culture in which they live in. This is just one way in which cultural power influences individual power. Another way this occurs in their poetry has to do with their treatment of gender. America during the late 19th century can be characterized as a time of great social upheaval, but also as a time when gender roles were still very much strictly prescribed. Both hitman and Dickinson, while challenging the cultural assumptions about gender in the late 19th century, also project an individual identity,…… [Read More]
Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson
The Poem Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson is both morose and whimsical. Making light of the speed at which people live their lives Dickinson thanks Death for think of taking the time to stop and pick her up by the side of the road. The whimsical language of the opening stanza;
Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
Gives the impression that the weight of the images of death and immortality is trivial at best. The whimsy continues as Dickinson describes the proverbial life flashing before her eyes as the landscape passes the carriage without haste. As can be seen from a critical analysis of the language of the piece, Dickinson whimsically plays with the heady issues of Death, Immorality and Eternity as if they…… [Read More]
In Emily Dickenson's poetry we share images that she sees, and hew viewpoint is often a bit odd, but useful in showing us what she feels. She often splits herself into the seen and the one seeing, as if part of her can observe from outside. In her poems, Emily Dickenson often pauses time and observes very small things, such as a fly and then she focuses upon one well chosen detail. In addition, Dickenson allows other things and people to see her, as in the "gazing grain" she passes in "Because I Could not Stop for Death" Her voice in these poems is calm, almost detached, just reporting what she sees and hears. These always seem to go together, as I do not recall much of her poetry which uses only one.
Dickenson uses imagery and sensory information to convey her meaning, never stooping to merely telling…… [Read More]
heard a Fly buzz" by Emily Dickinson
In her poem "I heard a Fly buzz," Emily Dickinson explores the moment just before the death of the narrator, as she watches a fly buzz about in the final moments before sight fails her. In comparing the human experience to the buzzing-about of a fly in the face of a mortal curtain, Dickinson presents a simultaneously clinical and emotionally subjective consideration of death that examines the minute physical details of a scene in order to extract some ultimate meaning before the finality of death. The fly serves as a reminder of the banality of death as well as the importance of the meaning bestowed by human perception.
According to Eric ilson, in his essay "Dickinson's Chemistry of Death," "Dickinson, avatar of Janus, takes a double stance […] she approves the power of the scientific method for exploring the corpse while undercutting the…… [Read More]
Death in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson
In many of her poems Emily Dickinson explores the theme of death. Death is the ultimate experience and reveals the truth about the nature of God and the state of the human soul. Dickinson personifies death in guises, from suitor to tyrant, and her attitude toward death varies from poem to poem, drawing no absolute conclusion about death's nature. The poet portrays death as a terror to be feared and avoided, a trick on humanity played by God, a welcome relief, and a way to heaven.
Poem XXXV begins "I heard a fly buzz when I died;" (Dickinson, p. 153, Line 1). This poem presents death as painless yet gruesome. The image of the buzzing of a fly as the last conscious awareness of a dying soul is both disconcerting and quite possibly a reality. In poem XLV, which begins, "Because I could…… [Read More]
Purple is the color of dusk and twilight, a time in-between day and night, night and day. As such, purple symbolizes transition and transformation. Color is often a mystical symbol for Dickinson in her poetry. Silver and gold make frequent appearances; Dickinson writes about "An everywhere of silver," whereas gold is used in relation to sunlight in "Nature, the gentlest mother." In "Nature rarer uses yellow," Dickinson admires the sparing use of the hue in the natural world. For Dickinson, each color conveys a mood or meaning; its appearance in nature is never arbitrary. Her liberal use of color imagery suggests a deep contemplation of color as an interface between the mundane and mystical worlds.
Spiritual themes in the poetry of Emily Dickinson usually centers on religious awakenings, revivalism, and on personal relationships with God. In "ill there really be a morning?" The narrator is a "little pilgrim" crying out…… [Read More]
There are a number of points of comparison that exist between Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" and Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Both of these poems are highly similar in terms of their content, which thematically detail various aspects of death and dying. Some motifs are shared between each of these poetic works as well, such as the literal and symbolic focus on sunlight and light in general that are found within both manuscripts. But where the poems primarily converge from one another is in the poet's attitude and regard for the inevitable -- death. Whereas Dickinson's work suggests a sort of quiet assent to death, Thomas's poem argues staunchly against such compliant acceptance and urges people to rally as much as they can against their inevitable end.
Due to this principle distinction between both of these poems,…… [Read More]
Dickinson "I Felt a Funeral in My Brain"
Filled with words and phrases laden with imagery of death, drowning, and droning drums, Emily Dickinson's haunting poem "I Felt a Funeral in My Brain" provides insight into a fractured mind. The poet employs a plethora of poetic techniques such as alliteration, repetition, rhyme and rhythm to create mood and convey the central themes of emptiness and mental chaos. Alliteration and repetition reflect the motif of drums beating, while rhyming evokes the tonal qualities of the bells that the speaker hears. Therefore, in conjunction with the musical motifs in "I Felt a Funeral in My Brain," the poem is itself highly lyrical and rhythmic. The poet's use of repetition also creates the thematic tension much like the crescendo of a shaman's drums induces a trance. In addition to the poem's overt lyricism and musicality, Dickinson's work also includes powerful subtleties that contribute…… [Read More]
Dickinson writes in short lines, Whitman in long. Why do these choices seem appropriate for their particular subject matters. Refer to particular poems of each poet to exemplify your points and your own poems to suggest how what you learned in writing them might help you in understanding the choices of the poets. Don't forget, this is an essay and as such requires a thesis as to why the consideration of this topic matters, not in some perfunctory way but how you have found a way to view it meaningfully.
It is interesting that both Dickinson's poetry and Whitman's poetry mimic the character of the respective writers. Dickinson was introverted and abrupt to the point of eccentricity. Her poems too are abrupt and introverted. Whitman, on the other hand, was an extrovert… Verbose and chatty his poems are such too. The poems too may reflect Dickinson's expression of futility to…… [Read More]
Emily graduated from high school and attended college for one year (Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary) which was fairly unusual for women at that time. She remained at home in her parents' house all her life, caring for her invalid mother and becoming increasingly reclusive. t is from this quiet reclusive lifestyle that the many poems for which Emily Dickinson is so well-known today sprang, among them "Because could not stop for Death" (712); " Heard a Fly buzz -- when died (465)"; "The Bustle in a House" (1078); "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant" (1129); "There's a certain Slant of light" (258), and "After great pain, a formal feeling comes -(341). Each of these poems captures a distinct atmosphere, a frozen moment in time, a mood, or a fleeting impression, as if the poet is attempting to capture an ephemeral or temporary impression or subject and metaphorically examine…… [Read More]
The poet is in turmoil and he turns from his love in order to prevent tarnishing or "spoil" (Pound 2) her because she is surrounded by a "new lightness" (3). This poem reflects upon the importance of experience. Like the poets mentioned before, this poet wants us to consider every aspect of our actions. e should not only think of what we want to do but also how that desire and acting upon it will alter our lives. Robert Frost is focused upon the experience of nature. In "Dust of Snow," the poet brings poetry to life as if it were music. hen we read:
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree (Frost 1-4)
Here the poet wants to explore rather than embark on some discovery. These writers are different in their individuals styles but they each desire to connect with…… [Read More]
This is a thoughtful post about Emily Dickenson's personal life, adding depth and understanding to her poetry. You mention difficult themes such as death in a sensitive way, drawing attention to the way such hardships and suffering might have influenced Dickenson's writing. I had not realized yet that she had so many loved ones die within a short period of time -- and you observe correctly that these deaths caused Emily Dickenson to temporarily obsess about death in her writing. I agree with you entirely that losing a loved one is like losing a limb; and that an "obsessive theme of death" is completely understandable. If more people knew this about Emily's personal life, perhaps more people would appreciate her poetry as being able to provide some sort of spiritual guidance during difficult times.
Dickenson was a recluse, and by turning inwards she probed some of the darkest…… [Read More]
The poem by Emily Dickenson, titled It feels a Shame to be Alive, it is talking about the opposition that many people had directed at the government and the Civil War itself. This is because a large number of women in society were considered to be second class citizens and did not have a voice in these matters. Dickson is challenging these views by showing her opposition to the war and the carnage it caused. What drew us to the post is that these ideas were questioned, as they believed that there are greater sacrifices from war. Moreover, many of the ideas that are presented are illustrating the way Dickinson is questioning the status quo through using it is a form of civil disobedience. This is highlighting how she wanted to voice her concerns about current events and challenge the views of traditional society. The questions being asked were…… [Read More]
This is emphasized by his regret that he cannot take both roads and be one traveler: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / and sorry I could not travel both / and be one traveler..."(Frost,122) Also, when he decides for one road, he hopes he can take the other later, but afterwards realizes that this is no longer possible since one decision leads to another, and there is no going back. Frost thus discusses life ironically, realizing that one decision can change one's whole life, without the possibility of going back and taking a different road.
In Auden's poem, the Unknown Citizen, the irony is even plainer to see. The death of the citizen who had lived like a saint in the "modern sense" of the word is very ironical. To live as a saint in the modern way, is to be a social character, who lives only according…… [Read More]
Death and Immortality in Dickinson's Poetry
Death and Immortality in Emily Dickinson's Poems
Emily Dickinson was an American poet whose unique lifestyle and writing have helped to establish her as an important literary figure. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830 and died in the same town she lived her entire life in 1886. During her lifetime, despite her many attempts and multitudinous volumes of poetry written, only seven poems are believed to have been published during her lifetime, "all anonymously and some apparently without her consent. The editors of the periodicals in which her lyrics appeared made significant alterations to them in an attempt to regularize the meter and grammar, thereby discouraging Dickinson from seeking further publication of her verse" ("Emily Dickinson"). A recurring theme in many of Dickinson's poems, which were mostly distributed among her closest friends via personal correspondence, is that of death and immortality. These…… [Read More]
Dickinson, however, approaches art and nature in a much different way. She does not attempt to assert herself or set herself up as "Amerian Poet" the way that hitman does. Instead she wrote her poetry without ever once doing so for fame or fortune. She meditated on her relationship to her surroundings, her understanding of beauty, her admiration for truth, her appreciation of the essence of things. "The Sailor cannot see the North, but knows the Needle can," she wrote in 1862. She considered Death and Judgment as actual realities, doorways to Eternity, rather than the ending of existence. Dickinson looked beyond the here and now, beyond the fleeting feelings of transcendental poetry, to the Infinite. Her fascination with mortality produced vivid images and verses: "Because I could not stop for Death, / He kindly stopped for me; / the carriage held but just ourselves / and Immortality." Because she…… [Read More]
Death in Thomas and Dickinson
In many ways, Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night" and Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for death" are ideal texts to consider when attempting to examine human beings anxieties regarding death, dying, and the longing for permanence, because they make vastly different points in strikingly similar ways. That is to say, while they share some elements of form, style, and topic, the commentary they give on the topic could not be more different. As the title suggests, Thomas' poem is a vocal entreaty to struggle for every bit of life in the face of impermanence, while Dickinson's poem takes a positively lackadaisical approach to the concept of death, viewing it as a transition into immortality rather than a fall into obscurity and darkness. However, despite their nearly oppositional statements regarding death, one can actually view the two poems as…… [Read More]
Perspectives of Death
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is one of Dylan Thomas's most recognized poems. In the poem, he urges his father to fight against death even though it is something that everyone must at some point in his or her lives have to accept. On the other hand, Emily Dickinson, in "Because I could not stop for Death," accepts death as a natural part of life and unlike Thomas, does not combat it. Dylan Thomas and Emily Dickinson approach the topic of death from different perspectives with Thomas attempting to rebel against the inevitable and Dickinson passively submitting to her end.
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" was written for Thomas's dying father and is stylistically structured as a villanelle where only two sounds are rhymed. The poem is composed of 19 lines, rhyming the first and third lines, with an alternation…… [Read More]
However, in line with the Paz prompt at the outset of this discussion, Keats merely uses this tradition as a bridge on which to extend toward motivation on behalf of the evolving form. The subject matter is where this work takes a step toward modernity. The manner in which Keats describes the reality of dying is startling for its time primarily because it lacks religiosity. In describing death, the poet tells, "where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; / here but to think is to be full of sorrow / and leaden-eyed despairs; / here beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, / or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow."
The notion of discussing death from a decidedly humanistic rather than spiritual perspective is more daring and innovative than perhaps we are won't to give credit for. It is remarkable that the poet would invert a steadfastly traditional form…… [Read More]
In "Do not go gentle into that good night," Thomas argues that "old age should burn and rave at close of day," implying that individuals should not give in to death easily (Thomas line 2). In order to prove his point, and convince his father to fight for his life, Thomas provides various examples of men from all walks of life, who regardless of their past fought to live for as long as they could. Thomas writes, "wise men at their end know dark is right…Do not go gentle into that good night," "Good men…Rage, rage against the dying of the light," "ild men…Do not go gentle into that good night," and "Grave men, near death…Rage, rage against the dying of the light" (4,6,7,10,13). Thomas's fears are emphasized when he addresses his father and pleads, "Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray," which can be taken to…… [Read More]
Because society compromises the value of the woman, it is allowed the life of domesticity and life. The speaker however remains forever beyond this because she chooses self-realization instead.
In Heaney's "Punishment," feminism can be seen from the male viewpoint, as it were. The corpse of a bog girl, an adulteress, educates the narrator regarding issues of gender and politics. The narrator, far from the conventional male reaction of disgust, instead becomes infatuated with her. It is as if he is the male representative of the feminist viewpoint; that women offer value and education rather than objects of sex or symbols of domesticity. The intimacy between the speakers involve no blame. Instead of man and woman, they are equals, in strong contrast with the society that would condemn them both for their actions and their association.
Academy of American Poets. A Close Reading of "I Cannot Live With You."…… [Read More]
Sister Buried in a Trunk" by Aaron Barth-Martinson evokes the loneliness of death and the fear that the living must encounter when death strikes down one they love. That is the case in Barth-Martinson's poem, as the narrator calls for Emily and begs her to come down to walk with him rather than die alone in her room.
The blank verse poem makes allusions to two famous Emily's of literature: Faulkner's Emily in "A Rose for Emily," and Emily Dickinson, the famous hermit poet, who died virtually unknown, with all of her poems under her bed unpublished. The allusion to the first Emily is made by the last line, "I shed a tear for Emily," as the narrator cries for the recluse. Allusion to Dickinson is made in the lines referring to the poems found in the trunk: "I found a trunk full / Of slanted verse / And I…… [Read More]
The poems of Emily Dickinson have been interpreted in many ways and often it is hard to separate the narrator of her works with the woman who wrote them. Dickinson lived such a small and sad little life that it is easy to see these feelings of loneliness and despair in the words she writes. She never married and spent her days isolated from her primarily Christian community for her family's beliefs in a less rigid and more spiritual idea of what God is and how they could communicate with Him. People have speculated about Dickinson's mental state. She became known for wearing only white and for living a reclusive existence until she finally died. Her poems came not from a desire to sell, but from her individual need to express herself. Emily Dickinson never intended to publish her poems. Rather the poems we have were found among…… [Read More]
"Because I Could Not Stop for Death," Emily Dickenson shows that death is not the end of anything, but the beginning of eternal life. The poet addresses death directly, presenting death as a character without going so far as to anthropomorphize death. Death is a "he," but he also appears as more a disembodied spirit or abstraction than a person. Nevertheless, the speaker is on intimate terms with death, who is presented as a kind companion or counterpart to life. Death is contrasted with life, with the latter being fleeting and the former being eternal. Whereas life is hurried and harried, death is calm and slow. Death represents eternity, whereas life remains trapped in time. Dickenson's attitudes toward death conveyed in this poem help readers to overcome their fear of death, and urge readers to reconsider how they live their lives too.
When the speaker claims she "could not stop"…… [Read More]
Presidency and Congress
Evaluate Dickinson's thesis, in the light of the evidence he provides in his article, and the evidence I provided in lectures. Is Congress now a nationalized legislature? Or is it still a collection of representatives of local and special interests?
Matthew Dickinson's article provides a fascinating take on the state of the U.S. Congress as society knows it- Dickinson states that "all politics are local" and that 'Congress had entered a new, more partisan area of increasingly nationalized politics"; but, though fascination, Dickinson is far from the mark. Congress remains partial and politics is very much apparent at the national level, in addition to the local level.
Foremost, the fundamental underpinning of Congress is that it would be a collection of representative from local districts and states, with each district and state fostering special interests. The reason that individuals elect certain people to Congress is to represent…… [Read More]
hitman and Dickinson
During the conflict and celebration period in America, different authors started to write differently than what had been written by other people. They embraced modern writing styles and broke them with traditional writing styles. Emily Dickson and alt hitman are among these writers. They adopted new styles of writing to express American ideas uniquely. Although both writers are regarded as modern writers, their writing styles can be contrasted and compared in many ways (Moores, 22).
There are more differences in the styles of writing used by hitman and Dickinson than similarities. To begin with, a significant difference can be observed in the structuring of their poems. Looking at hitman, his poems appear to run repeatedly. His poems do not have set lengths, lines or even stanzas. On the other hand, Dickinson's poems have been written using a definite structure. She has written her poems using ballad stanzas…… [Read More]
It is impossible for science to "overtake" the light but not impossible for humans to experience it. hile light is pleasing, it is not lasting for the poet. hen it is no longer present, what remains is something that is almost opposite to light. The poet describes the experience as a "quality of loss / Affecting our content, / As Trade had suddenly encroached / Upon a Sacrament" (17-20). Here we see the emergence of despair and loss when the light is gone. The light is a severe contrast with the darkness alluded to in the other poems mentioned here but above all, the contrast demonstrates the poet's ability to write about diverse topics.
Death is a source of inspiration for Emily Dickinson and while this make seem creepy to many readers, it is actually brave for the poet because death, even today, seems taboo for many artists. This may…… [Read More]
representation of Death and the impermanence in the short story "A Father's Story" by Andre Dubus, and the poem "Because I could not stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson. These two works were chosen because both speak of Death and impermanence, yet these authors employ different literary forms, characters, settings and plots. "A Father's Story" follows the format of a short story, being prose written in concise paragraphs with a main point or moral and portraying its characters by the way they speak. "Because I could not stop for Death" follows the form of poetry, being structured in shifted lines and using language to evoke imagination or emotion in the reader. In addition, the two writers substantively approach Death very differently. Comparison of these distinct forms shows how writers can make very different styles and statements about Death and impermanence through different devices, including but not limited to the short…… [Read More]
The fly is a gruesome image because flies gather around decaying corpses. However, while this image is startling, it is still shocking that the poet is not more in shock of dying, of being dead, or witnessing just a fly upon her death.
The poem consists of four stanzas, which include slant rhymes on the second and fourth lines. The lines alternate between six and eight syllables. Dashes in the poem force the reader to slow down and take time to read each phrase. The tone of the poem is lyrical but the message of it is somber. Dickinson uses a simile in the poem In the line, "The Stillness in the Room / as like the Stillness in the Air" (2-3). This image is important because it reveals the poet's notion that there is nothing special that awaits us after death. The still air is a stark contrast to…… [Read More]
picture Dorian Grey" ilde. Then, refer poem "One a Chamber --
The Picture of Dorian Grey: The conflict between the interior and exterior
The Picture of Dorian Grey is a tale of concealment. The titular protagonist Dorian begins the novel a beautiful and innocent young man. The portrait that the painter Basil Hallward creates of Dorian and Dorian's real image is the same in the first chapter of the work. However, author Oscar ide suggests that through the power of art, the created image is so lifelike it takes on the real, physical burdens of aging. As Dorian grows dissipated and cruel, he does not physically change, although the painting changes. The painting becomes a kind of secret, true self for Dorian, hidden in the recesses of his home. No one is allowed to see it, except Dorian. The painting is a living, realistic depiction of Dorian's inner life, versus…… [Read More]
Listen to Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God preached. Discuss in the discussion group.
Jonathan Edwards gives us a perfect example of the Calvinist beliefs of the Puritan settlers in early New England. Edwards studied theology at Yale University -- where today there is still a dormitory named after him -- but then became a noteworthy preacher in the Great Awakening, which exhorted an entire generation to renew their Christian faith. Edwards' skill in preaching lies in using literary imagery to get across abstract theological concepts. Calvinist theology believes in "total depravity" -- in other words, because of Adam and Eve eating the apple, human beings are fallen, and stained with "original sin." The most memorable image in Edwards' sermon -- the image of the spider being held over a fiery pit -- is meant to be a metaphor to enable the listener to imagine how…… [Read More]
Diehl also points out that the poet's retrospective outlook cannot be overlooked, for "by placing this description in the realm of recollection, the speaker calls into question the current status of her consciousness" (Diehl). Here we come into contact with vivid imagery of the poet losing her faculties. Another interesting aspect we find in this poem is how it represents a personal experience. The poet's thoughts are coming from within. After all is said and done, we read "And the windows failed, and then/I could not see to see" (Dickinson 16). Obviously, the poet does not crack the mystery of death but she does seem to come to terms with it, at least.
The poet takes us on another journey in "I heard a Fly Buzz hen I Died." e are told about the "stillness of the air" (3) to the grieving to the distraction of a fly. The poet…… [Read More]
All of these scenes indicate that there might be little more than nothing after life. This poem allows us to see that Dickinson was not happy with accepting the traditional attitudes toward death and dying.
Another poem that examines death is "The Bustle in the House." Again, we see death is uneventful. Elizabeth Piedmont-Marton claims that in Dickinson's poetry, "the moment of death seems often less momentous than ordinary" (Piedmont-Marton) and it is "one of the most disturbing and powerful characteristics of Dickinson's poems" (Piedmont-Marton). "The Bustle in the House," demonstrates this assertion very well with its idea of humanity continuing to get along with the "industries" (the Bustle in the House 3) of life after a loved one dies. The heart of the dead is swept up (4), making it seem like the process of death needs a clean sweep and that is it. Mourning is nothing more than…… [Read More]
hatever the significance of the phrase "He kindly stopped for me," the speaker does not dread Death, as personified by the kindly carriage driver. This poem also suggests that the speaker's perceptions of time and space are different in death; centuries may pass, yet it still Feels shorter than the Day first surmised the Horses Heads
ere toward Eternity -- (Lines 22-24)
In both "465" ("I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died"), and "712" ("Because I could not stop for Death -- ") death is a theme. In neither poem is the speaker afraid or resisting death. In the first, the speaker simply awaits death while family and friends anxiously mark the "onset" and arrival of the "King" (which never comes). In the second, Death, is a kindly carriage driver, and welcomed. Neither poem contains inference of fear of death. Both poems may therefore underscore Emily Dickinson's own…… [Read More]
Dempsey gives a modern interpretation of Emily Dickinson's "We Grow Accustomed to the Dark." He raises uncertainties regarding the meanings of the various images and words, rather than providing clear meanings to clarify the meaning of the poem as a whole. Indeed, this appears to be a requirement with regard to the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Her images are vague, arbitrary and highly personal in ways that raise poetry to the art form it deserves to be. The images in this particular poem are no exception, as will be seen by the various interpretations offered by a variety of authors. Especially problematic is the image of "Darkness" that is found throughout the poem, and that appears to be dichotomized with the concept of "Light."
According to Dempsey then, the post-modern reading method applies the content of poetry primarily to the reader rather than the author or the context of the…… [Read More]
The spider is working upon a canvas, referring to it as an "Arc of hite" (Dickinson 3) and the mood of the poem is that the spider is quite content to be this way. The spider is working at night and it is the only thing that can contribute to his project. The spider is grounded in his task and while it might look as though there is no planning involved, the poet realizes the spider does have a strategy. The spider is not simply building a bridge but it is also creating a legacy. The mention of the "ruff of dame" (4) and "the Shroud of gnome" (5) illustrate this. It is also worth noting that the spider is projecting itself into its work and this is its "physiognomy" (10). The work is well done so that it seems permanent, like out personal efforts in the world should be.…… [Read More]