Emily Dickinson’s poetry mostly reflects her feelings towards death and the projected events after death. As a poet, she was a very inward, and wrote about feelings that came from deeply within her–unlike other poets of her time whose societies were directly shown in their poetry (i.e.-Walt Whitman).
Of course social and historical values shaped her personality, but in her poetry alone little can be derived about either the time period she lived in or the political and societal issues during her lifetime.
Emily Dickinson was a very unique poet for her time. Her poems were mostly written in four line stanzas that have the voice of a hymn or psalm. Her scheme was usually an ABCB rhyme scheme. Her poems have short pauses interjected by dashes, which interrupt the rhythm, typically done in iambic pentameter. One of her greatest assets is her ability to write about subjects that all audiences can relate to. She introduces topics that will never be outdated because of changes in society, changes in politics, or changes in technology. She writes of spirituality and godliness, of death and afterlife, these subjects will never cease and therefore her poetry is immortal. It will survive years to come due to its revolutionary ideas and its universality.
In one of her poems, “I died for beauty, but was scarce”, one can obviously see the theme of death and the ABCB rhyme scheme.
EMILY DICKINSON: DEATH TAKES LIFE IN POETRY Emily Dickinson is regarded as one of the greatest American poets that have ever existed. (Benfey ... getting used to the coming season and is aware that change was occurring before she truly noticed it. These lines ... religion although she did write about religion without mentioning death. Life in a small New England town in Dickinsons time contained a high ...
“I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.
He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth,– the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.
And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.”
-Emily Dickinson poem #449
The speaker claims that she died for beauty but was not in her burial ground for long before someone was buried beside her. This person had died for truth and claims that truth and beauty are the same. The speaker says that they met at night as “kinsmen” and talked between their tombs until the moss reached their lips and covered their names on their tombstones. It even portrays images and words that suggest martyrdom–“I died for beauty”.
This poem states a reality, which is death. The end all which no one can escape–everyone must face it and deal with it. It suggests that death gradually erases all–identity (as the moss covers their tombstone names), human feelings and functions (namely in this case her ability to speak “until the moss covered our lips”).
And by the speaker’s voice (who is untroubled by the state in which she finds herself) seems to be even comforting and accepting. This poem is just another example of her uniqueness as a revolutionary poet. A revolutionary thinker is an essential ingredient for any poet to be successful.
For who would look at a tomb and have a story like this evolve in ones mind. Emily Dickinson’s perception of what an average person would see completely different–is what makes her poetry so unique. The symbolism and imagery suggested here is very deeply thought out even though the poem itself is short, the idea behind it can be discussed and debated for hours. So it is Emily Dickinson’s perceptions and train of thought as the story in the poem evolves which is what classifies her as revolutionary. She was taking a stand against the barriers of female limitations, her conservative New England limitations, and the traditional Protestant limitations.
... can say that Emily Dickinsons sole purpose in this poem is to show no fear of death. Emily Dickinsons poem, "Because I could not ... a Fly Buzz" reflects this theme, describing with beauty and simplicity a dying person's impressions at the moment of death. Often her poems ... of Death in Emily Dickinson Poetry Not one of Emily Elizabeth Dickinsons readers has met the woman who lived and died in Amherst, ...
Another poem by Emily Dickinson, “I heard a fly buzz when I died”, is also about death and her unique ability to create unforgettable, timeless images. In this scene the images created here are specifically about the moments before death, the signing of a will, and the tunnel into the next world (the window).
These predicaments are something that everyone must do in life, and therefore are timeless.
“I heard a fly buzz when I died;
The stillness round my form
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm.
The eyes beside had wrung them dry,
And breaths were gathering sure
For that last onset, when the king
Be witnessed in his power.
I willed my keepsakes, signed away
What portion of me
Could make assignable, – and then
There interposed a fly,
With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
Between the light and me;
And then the windows failed, and then
I could not see to see.”
-Emily Dickinson poem #465
In the first stanza the speaker hears a fly buzz while she lay on her deathbed. This fly may seem to be irrelevant in a time of death, because as the last line suggests, she does die (“I could not see to see”).
But this weird distraction becomes the figure of death itself as the fly’s presence cuts the speaker’s sight off from the light of the window and his deathblow is the (“blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz”).
This deathbed scene also describes the signing of a will at the last moment -(“what portion of me be assignable”).
Her will is a symbolization of all of her materialistic accomplishments and what her life has amounted to. This is a time when family members are false and she is crying (“the eyes beside had wrung them dry”).
This deathbed scene is an endless image, which will happen time and time again–in the sense that usually if you are on the verge of death or are very ill you will be surrounded by family members, some of which you probably haven’t seen for awhile and will take advantage of this as a last chance to make amends with you (or to get more out of your will).
The Theme of Death in Poems Death is a common theme in many poems. It is viewed so differently to everyone. In the poems, 'Because I could not stop for Death,' 'First Death in Nova Scotia,' and 'War is kind' death is presented by each narrator as something different. To one it is a kind gentle stranger while to another it is a cold cruel being. A kind gentleman stranger personifies death in, ' ...
The last poem also addresses the issues of death and the events that precede it.
“Because I could not stop for Death–
He kindly stopped for me–
The Carriage held but just Ourselves–
We slowly drove–He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility–
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess–in the Ring–
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain–
We passed the Setting Sun–
Or rather–He passed Us–
The Dews drew quivering and chill–
For only Gossamer, my Gown–
My Tippet–only Tulle–
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground–
The Roof was scarcely visible–
The Cornice–in the Ground–
Since then–‘Tis Centuries–and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses Heads
Were toward Eternity”
-Emily Dickinson poem #712
In this poem’s first stanza, death is portrayed as a kind gentleman who stops and escorts the speaker. This expresses the unpredictable, undiscriminating, and inevitable nature of death. Even though this is a fact, not everyone can come to terms with it. Then, we embark upon a journey through the narrator’s life, from the schoolyard (childhood) to the “house” at the end (the speaker’s tombstone.) We then find out that the narrator has been dead for quite some time (“since then–’tis centuries”).
The last line does suggest some sort of afterlife, which probably comes from her Protestant influence. Even though she does have revolutionary perceptions of event and objects she still can’t entertain the idea of a nonexistent afterlife–which would truly be a revolutionary idea. But she was a very religious person, which was shaped and instilled in her due to the influences of her environment, of her setting, and the period of her lifetime.
Her revolutionary views of death and the events that precede it have to, in some way, be contributed from outside influences. She always had a reader in mind even though she only published less than ten of her poems of her 1,776 during her lifetime.
Mass Media Comparison Assignment I am going to do my comparison between the network of ESPN and ESPN's website. Both of these types of media are things that I use, and use quite often. For sports lovers' around, these medias supply the true answers to get all the days's ports and highlights. The sports station called ESPN (Entertainment Sports Production Network) is a channel that provides views ...
This does not suggest that Dickinson’s writing was a solitary endeavor, but rather that she was limited by what society accepted during that time. She was living ahead of her time–for her poetry was not appreciated in her own lifetime and was, in fact, rejected. Though she is portrayed as a reclusive individual, she was actually an active member in Amherst social events and entertained many guests at her house. She was not anti-social but rather more isolated than the average person due to the environment in which she lived in. Her world was bounded by her home and its surrounding countryside, so in turn the great events of her time were never seen in any of her poetry. This is why her poetry is so universal and widely read.
Her outside influences directly correlate to her unique perceptions of death and the projected events after death. If one can take a look at the bigger picture than you can understand the author’s point of view. The why, what, when, where, how questions all come together as you delve deeper into the authors ideas behind her poems and the influential factors of the author’s life. You cannot analyze one without analyzing the other even though they might seem irrelevant at times, their relevance and correlation is of the utmost importance when attempting to search for the roots of her revolutionary thoughts and when attempting to describe a deeper analysis and meaning behind an author’s poetry.