“Why do I love”, you sir?
- A Critical Analysis -
When a person thinks of 19th century poetry, he thinks of a transitional movement towards romanticism and the type of meter it brought to poetry. During this time there was an expression of emotions accompanied by flowing imagery and excellent choice of similes. Many poets that are famous today of what they composed then, arose during this time and paved the way for a poet unlike any others. Her name was Emily Dickinson and though most of her work was done during the latter part of the 19th century, most of it was not published until the peak of the century, after her death in 1886. Her poem “Why do I love”, you sir?, is a perfect example of the use of unconventional diction and figurative language, which in turn compliments the overall theme.
In this poem Dickinson uses a good variety of diction and figurative language that supersedes poets of her time. In all of her stanzas she uses personification such as, “The Lightning-never asked an Eye Wherefore it Shut,” (Aries 1) is one example of attributing human characteristics to non-human entities. Other examples of Dickinson’s figurative language used within her poem are her use of similes. In her first stanza she writes, “The Wind does not require the Grass To answer-Wherefore when He pass She cannot keep Her place,” (Aries 1), which provides a perfect example of comparing the inability to remain still and reserve during physical and emotional pressure metaphorically. By Dickinson writing in this manner, she is able to keep the reader engulfed through imagery provided by her poetic language.
One technique new to its time that was used by Emily Dickinson was her odd arrangement of syntax through the diction she used. Throughout her entire poem “Why do I love”you sir?, she uses hyphens in her short phrases to portray a statement that may be incomplete, but then afterwards continues to finish the sentence as an answer to the original question. The diction she...
Cited: Aries, DC. "Poetry analysis: "Why do I love" You, Sir?, by Emily Dickinson ." Helium Literature (2011): 2.
Baid, Rashmi. "Summary of “Why do I love” You, Sir? by Emily Dickinson." essay. 2013.
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