In Emily Dickinson, ‘success is counted sweetest’ the idea of not having something increases our appreciation of what we do not have. This poem is more of a lyric poem since it typically expresses the personal feelings. It has a specific rhyming scheme and it depends on a regular meter based syllables. 1859 was the year that the poem was written and first it was published and republished secretly The person in lack seem to understand better the importance of having that something better than the person who is possesses it. In the poem, the loser understands better the meaning of victory better than those that are winners. The implication here is that the loser who later becomes a winner knows the struggles that she had undergone before acquiring that she possesses now, the anguish and the high price that he had to pay. Styles
In the first stanza the author repeats the ‘s’ sound and to a lesser degree ‘n’. This is alteration since the word ‘sorest’ is used with the older meaning of greatest. This causes us to think the similarity of the words and the associations of ‘nectar good, bad’ indifferent. In the second stanza the word ‘purple’ seem to signify royalty in relation to the robes worn by the kings and emperors which were purple. This is a connotation in the poem as well as the flag in a battle associated with victory. In stanza three there are words that are connected by ‘d’ sound and ‘s’ sound. Connecting these words brings emphases on those words. The author compresses the language and omits connections in the last three lines in the last stanza. The ears of a man who is dying are not forbidden instead the sound of victory is the one that is forbidden to him because his side did not win the battle. All the victory sounds that this man hears are not agonized although they seem clear to him instead he I agonizing from hearing the clear sounds of victory on the other side. The distance is literally far off and it is metaphorically not connected to his experience hence defeat brings the other side of losing which is distant from victory. The lyric poem has some meters. Iambic these are two syllables, the first one is unstressed while the other one is long and stressed. The reader believed that the poem was written by Emerson. It has three inexpressive quatrains that are written in iambic trimeter and five lines in iambic tetrameter. A Quatrain is a poem that consists of four lines in a verse. Iambic trimeter is a meter poetry that has three iambic units in a line. The poetry can be a quantitative meter if it has a line that consists of three iambic metre and each has two iambi. In line 5 of the poem it consists of four iambic feet while lines I and 3 ends with an extra syllable. The rhyme scheme fund in the poem is abcb. There is irony in the poem in the meaning of first stanza since those who fail to succeed appreciates success. The alliteration used enhances the lyricism in the poem. Stanza 1 is like just an observation made by the author so it stands alone. Military images are introduced in stanzas 2 and 3, a captured flag, a dying warrior and a victorious army. They also depend on each other for better understanding. Theme
In the poem the word ‘success’ is treated paradoxically. It creates an argument that has some inconsistency with logic, ‘only those who know the defeat appreciate success’ (Dickinson). The paradox brings in some themes in the poem like self-reference, circular definitions, confusion between levels of abstractions and infinite regress. Although the logical paradox may have an invalid argument it is still valuable in the promotion of critical thinking. Self-reference is seen in the 1st stanza of the poem that is written in a natural language. This idea refers to itself and it is expressed directly. The infinite regress is seen in the series of proposition in the poem in a way that the truth of one proposition needs the support of the other. This brings out the circular definition where the terms that are used are defined as a prior understanding of the term being used. The audience knows the key terms that are used. Abstraction is also evident in that there are classifications of literal concepts, the aspect acts as a categorical noun for all the subordinate concepts used and groups related concepts. Critique
Success is among the manuscripts poems that Dickinson wrote and among the poems that were published in her lifetime. She only published seven poems. Harold Bloom said that the theme of the poem made the author return to it during her literary career. This can be referred to as a masculine poem that places specific emphasis on the power of an urge and this desire is equated with triumph. In a Christian point of view, the bursting that the dying warrior hears in his ear may be the heavenly music as he goes to his eternal rest. Although most of Dickinson poems are written and read as losing romance, the popularity of this particular poem has a message that can be applied in any situation where there are both winners and losers.