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Select 5 poems by Emily Dickinson and analyze them - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Emily Dickenson’s Poems. Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886), is one of most popular poets of the American Romantic Movement. In fact, “she is now regarded as one of the two founders of American poetics, alongside Walt Whitman” (Poets…
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Select 5 poems by Emily Dickinson and analyze them
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Select 5 poems by Emily Dickinson and analyze them

The poems depart “from traditional forms as well as conventions of language and meter,” and are characterized by “her abstract, spare musicality and contemplative introversion” They encompass a wide range of emotions, from sorrow to love (Poets. org.). Emily Dickinson’s poems demonstrate her unique themes, style and use of poetical elements. In “I'm nobody! Who are you?” Dickinson uses her characteristic, unusual dash-like punctuation. The two quatrains are in iambic meter. The poem is satirical in tone and mocks a society which admires self-aggrandizement. Dickinson uses the simile of the frog to represent a self-important public figure. She goes on to use the derogatory word “bog” as a metaphor for a vacuous society which cannot identify true worth. By directly addressing the reader and using the word “us,” Dickinson establishes an immediate rapport and empathy with the reader and defiantly announces her self-identity outside social circles. There is a strong note of irony in the poem, as it is evident that the poet actually considers the “Nobodies” to be superior to the “some bodies” valued by pretentious society. In “It Sifts From Leaden Sieves”, Dickinson describes the great beauty of a winter landscape, giving it a sense of calm which soothes the reader. Nature here is seen as a source of peace and beauty. Again, Dickinson make effective use of several metaphors: the “leaden sieves” refer to gray, overcast winter skies, while “it” is the snow which dusts the landscape like flour; “Alabaster Wool” and “fleeces” represents snowflakes which are fluffy and white like wool and also cold like stone (alabaster); the earth is a face whose wrinkles and ups-and-downs are smoothed over by the snow. In a striking alliteration: “To Stump, and Stack - and –Stem” (Dickinson 13), the poet emphasizes every aspect of the snow-covered landscape. The snow is powdery flour, it is soft and fluffy wool, it is cold snow, it is a heavenly veil which covers the face of the earth, it is lace with ruffles the posts. The poem captures the beauty of winter through a wealth of imagery and metaphor. The poem, “I Like to See it Lap the Miles,” is in the form of a riddle. It uses metaphor to compare a train to a horse. The poet effectively conveys the image of the train as an iron horse which is voracious in its appetite for land and laps, licks and feeds itself. She also coveys the power of this ‘iron horse’ by metaphorically comparing it to the Boanerges, or sons of thunder. Dickinson uses weak rhyme in this poem, with words which have similar, but not identical, sounds: “up” and “step;” “peer” and “pare;” “while” and “hill;” “star” and “door.” There is an underlying strain of antagonism in the poem, as seen in the alliterative “horrid, hooting” (Dickinson 11). Dickinson is critical of the industrial invasion of the natural world by the railroad and feels that man’s closeness to nature is hindered by the effects of civilization. Dickinson’s poem, “Some Keep the Sabbath in Church,” clearly shows that she sees God in Nature. The quatrains show the traditional true rhyming pattern. The use of alliteration: “Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice” (Dickinson 5); “Sexton – sings” (8) and the capitalization of the keywords add emphasis to the poem. As is usual in her poems, Dickinson uses metaphor liberally: she compares the bobolink to the choir and to the sexton, the orchard to ... Read More
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