Poem Anaylsis to Dying Emily Dickinson

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  • Topic: Poetry, Syllable, Pitch accent
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  • Published : May 2, 2013
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Death to a new Beginning
All poems have underlined meanings, many are not straightforward, and sometimes what you think is happening, is the exact opposite. Emily Dickinson’s poem “Dying,” is a perfect example of this idea. In her poem she talking about the idea of death and what happened before she died. Obviously she is not dead because she wrote the poem. Here in this poem, she uses the idea of actual death to symbolize rebirth; the ending of old way of living and the struggle of creating a new way to life. Ironically, the entire poem is a huge metaphor for a different meaning. This is done by the usage of diction, tone, rhythm, meter, and, most important for a metaphor, imagery; all of which are in a way connected. Imagery is the expression of sense in the form of writing. Visual and auditory are the main types of imagery considering human’s strongest senses are sight and sound; this is how everyone understands and explains how they interpret the world. Perception of an image is based on the attitude in which the speaker articulates the though, this is known as tone. Auditory tone, the way something sounds, shapes the visual image and provides an auditory image. The way something sounds is controlled by the rhythm of which the words are said and the diction of how the words are said. Rhythm is the wave-like sound produced by words; the words either flow in harmony or have discourse and interruptions. Diction has many different subcategories that explains everything between the meaning of a word to sound produced by the combination of different types of syllables. When these different syllables are combined, in pairs of two or three, they make a foot in a line. Different combination of unaccented and accented syllables in a foot gives them their meaning. A meter is the sum of the feet in a line. Describing the little ideas that are happening in a poem are all connected just like storyline the telling of them. Freytag’s triangle is the primary way of outlining a plotline by establishing key points and positions that happen in every story. They all contain exposition, rising action, complication, climax, perception shift, falling action, and resolution. The use of Freytag’s triangle will help explain the metaphor Dickinson is portraying. First stage of Freytag’s triangle is exposition. The first stanza covers this by establishing the setting of the poem and the initial characters in the poem. The first line introduces the fly, and makes the fly’s presence in the poem strong and firm with great use of diction, meter, and rhythm. Dickinson’s first line is an iambic tetrameter because the majority of the feet in the meter are iambs, which is the most common way of writing in poetry. An iamb is when the syllables in a foot forms from an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable. However, Dickinson interrupts the natural flow of the line by inserting a spondee in the middle of the line. Both “buzz and “when” are strong-accented syllables, when this happens the foot is known as a spondee; thus, separating this foot from the rest of the feet in the line. “Buzz” is also an onomatopoeia; meaning the word’s meaning mimics the sounds produced. Dickinson is not through with separating the action of the fly in the first line. By placing a dash in between the words “buzz” and “when” forces the reader to slightly pause, which alters the way the poem is read and the rhythm. Combine this pause with the current foot being a spondee; the reader is drawn into the action of the fly and its importance in the poem.

Before this lines ends, the tone of the rest of the poem is established when the protagonist of the poem is cited as dead. This is the first occurrence with the idea of dying in the poem. Dying is very serious in American culture; no one laughs at death or the idea of it. When the speaker of the poem states that she is dead, imagery of the poem’s setting becomes serious. The rest of the...
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