March 20, 2013
Critical Analysis of Poetry
Emily Dickinson's poems, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant" and "After great pain, a formal feeling comes “are two poems that share similar structure and symbolism. Both heavily use metaphors and often look at the bright side of things rather than the negative. Even though both poems maybe different they do carry more similarities than differences.
In both the poems there is an element of being overwhelmed. In "Tell all the truth but tell it slant", it is the truth that can be overwhelming for some people and in “After great pain, a formal feeling comes" it is pain that is overwhelming. Emily Dickinson in her poem "Tell all the truths but tell it slant" explores the concept of truth. Dickinson suggests the truth should be told in full but also slant. Why should one tell the entire truth slant? Dickinson uses similes and metaphors in the second stanza to explain the first stanza. She proposes that all the truth at once told bold as brass will be too bright and dazzling for people to hear. With the truth comes a distinct element of surprise. The remedy for which, Dickinson suggests, is to tell the truth with a kind explanation as one would explain to a child. It must be watered down and made simpler so that it dazzles gradually without blinding everyone. To illustrate these concepts, Dickinson uses a simile to compare the truth to lightning as seen by children. It is a frightening phenomenon and too bright for a child to understand. In the same way, the truth is also bright and startling. The telling of the truth should be with kind explanation "As lightning to the children eased." Through metaphor, Dickinson compares the truth to a bright light, a light that is too bright to delight us. An indirect or implied comparison that can be drawn is the comparison of the truth to the sun because it is a "bright" light that can "blind" us. She uses symbolism to show...