Emily Dickinson

Topics: Poetry, Soul, Verse Pages: 3 (965 words) Published: May 23, 2014
“Dickinson’s poetry is deeply personal and striking original “ Discuss

In her poetry Dickinson explores her sharply contrasting moods in her renowned unique manner. Themes such as mental breakdown, despair , hope and love are always related to the poets personal experience. Her poems are attempts to understand the essence if her own widely varying often extreme states of mind. Few poets are as instantly recognizable as Dickinson. Concise and fresh use of language, unusual images and unconventional punctuation are the most obvious hallmarks of her work. It is Dickinson’s ability to think in images, which enables us to share in her understanding of the peaks and valleys of her own spiritual and emotional landscape. Perhaps more than any other poet, she startles and challenges the reader with her intensely personal themes and distinctive style.

A perfect example of the challenging nature of Dickinson’s poetry is “I felt a funeral in my brain”. In this poem Dickinson could be imagining her own funeral, but I am inclined to read this poem as an account of mental breakdown or psychological death. The repeated use of the first person underscores the deeply personal nature of this poem; “I felt …I thought...I heard…I dropped…” Dickinson’s effective use of funeral imagery, such as the mourners “marching to and fro”; the service and the carrying of the coffin evoke the different stages of mental collapse .The poets use of sounds is very effective because it is commonly known that a person is suffering mentally finds harsh sounds particularly oppressive. The steady increase in the volume of such noise ( “ treading – treading”, “beating-beating”) is suggestive of a mind under increasing strain , while the idea of space “tolling” like a bell while she is “but an Ear” is particularly striking. The aural image of a plank snapping ( “And then a Plank in Reason broke ,/And I dropped down and down-”) is open to different interpretations , suggesting both the breaking of...
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