305 Reasons to Love Emily Dickinson
The difference between Despair
And Fear—is like the One
Between the instant of a Wreck
And when the Wreck has been—
The Mind is smooth—no Motion—
Contented as the Eye
Upon the Forehead of a Bust—
That knows—it cannot see—
Dickinson's poetic accomplishment was recognized during her time, but never has she been more acclaimed than she is toady. Readers immediately discovered a poet of immense depth and stylistic complexity whose work cannot be categorized. For example, though she frequently uses the common ballad meter associated with hymnody, her poetry is in no way constrained by that form; rather “she performs like a jazz artist who uses rhythm and meter to revolutionize readers' perceptions of those structures” (Crumbley).
Emily Dickinson contributed a great deal to the world of literature, far beyond what her early editors considered unconventional lines. With her contemporary, Walt Whitman, she helped to usher in a new age of poetry, with her revolutionary way with words. Her isolation, in that "room of her own" gave her more than just time to right and reflect. Dickinson had a unique perspective on life, death, love, nature, and friendship.
In poem #305, Emily Dickinson contemplates two very common and very strong human emotions of fear and despair. She begins her poem by establishing the unique relationship of these two emotions to one another and continues to apply the concept of these two basic emotions to her struggle as a woman. It can even be applied to the general plight of all women. Dickinson creates the idea that as a woman she feels both fear and despair working in different ways to establish the dual nature as a woman in society. As a result the poem is marked by duality and double meanings. Dickinson achieves this duality through poetic elements such as the structure of the poem, the use of the two main similes to create the connection between fear and despair.
Cited: 1. Crumbley, Paul. "Emily Dickinson 's Life." Modern American Poetry. He Oxford Companion to Women’S Writing in the United States. 5 May 2008 .
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