Emily Dickinson's Success is Counted Sweetest: Universal Aphoristic Truths

Topics: Poetry, Emily Dickinson, Meaning of life Pages: 2 (719 words) Published: January 18, 2013
Emily Dickinson's "Success is Counted Sweetest" has been penned in iambic trimeter with the exception of the first two lines of the second stanza. The poem highlights aphoristic truths that are universal. In the first stanza, Emily Dickinson endeavors to define the true essence of success. The general impression is that success can be 'counted' by only those who have experienced it numerous times. Nevertheless, it is more precisely evaluated or counted by those who have never succeeded as they can apprehend its true value. In another poem, "I Had Been Hungry, All the Years", Emily Dickinson writes that "Hunger-was a way / Of Persons outside Windows- / The Entering-takes away-".  For the true experience of life, failures are inevitable. For, what we learn from our failures, success can never teach us. The alliteration with the repetition of the 's' sound lays emphasis on 'success'. Success also tastes sweeter to the person who has persevered very hard for it, than to a person who has found success effortlessly. The former is also more thankful to God, and cherishes his accomplishment. The word 'nectar' here implies water. However, it is perception that renders it 'nectar'. To the thirsty ones with parched throats, a drop of water tastes as sweet as nectar. Here 'sorest' is utilized with reference to its old meaning ,that is 'greatest'.Only the one in the direst need, can treasure any sort of sanction. Not one of all the purple host

Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory!
Some people define success by virtue of positions that they acquire and assume in life. The poetess asserts how none of the purple leaders who took the flag to-day could describe what victory actually meant. The act of victory in such a stance of winning a battle is limited to the act of taking away a flag. It also points to the worldly act of hoisting a flag. Arundhati Roy in "The End of Imagination" toys with the word 'successful'.She echoes how the meaning of...
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