Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886), one of the passionate poets of American literature, has written beautiful poems that deal with her passionate life and themes related to it, including love, beauty, death, sickness and inspiration. …
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Thus, a careful reader can easily find traces, in her poems, of the physical isolation, loneliness, and eccentricities which she experienced in her personal life and these poems contain hints to her unfulfilled dreams. By and large, Dickinson’s poems are subjective in nature, short and unconventional in quality, and they were mainly for private circulation rather than large-scale publishing. The unique quality of her poems such as short lines, lack of titles, unconventional capitalization and punctuation, use of slant rhyme, etc have attracted readers of the subsequent generation, although Dickinson was almost unknown as poet during her lifetime. Dickinson’s poems mainly deal with her mysterious life which is presented to the readers through her mysterious verse. Through the various themes in her poems, Dickinson presented the startling aspects ordinary human life which includes the mysterious actuality of death. It is also greatly remarkable that she dealt with two recurring themes, i.e. death and immortality, in her poems (as well as her personal letters) and the poems discussed in this essay focus on such themes as death and immortality, love, beauty, sickness and inspiration. ...
However, a careful reader can find a connotation to the poet’s failure in achieving the real meaning of beauty which is hinted by the words ‘died’ and ‘scarce’ in the opening line. It is important to recognize that the major concern of the poet in this poem is to bring out the link between beauty and truth which she achieves through the effective use of diction – for example, words like ‘adjoining room’, ‘kinsmen’, ‘brethren’, etc reveal this link. To analyze the use of versification in the poem, it is clear that the poet uses rhyming words such as “tomb – room”, “replied – said”, “rooms – names”, etc to illustrate the musical qualities of her poems. Similarly, one can find the use of figures of speech such as metaphor, personification, metonymy, etc. The use of metaphor in “We brethren are” compares the two unlike things – i.e. beauty and truth, whereas these concepts are personified in the poem when they are given human qualities. The poet is effective in the use of metonymy when she refers to ‘our lips’ and ‘our names’. In short, “I Died for Beauty, But Was Scarce” is a typical poem by Emily Dickinson in which a reader can find elements of her poetry such as common themes, lyric qualities, unconventional capitalization and punctuation, striking use of figures of speech, and connotative language. Another poem dealing with the theme of death is “Because I could not stop for Death” in which Dickinson personifies death as a gentleman caller or suitor, and the poem incorporates all the major characteristics of Dickinson-poetry. In this poem, the poet celebrates the theme of death and establishes how dearly she
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Before Zonya, her caretaker, wakes her up, she would see the smile on the princess’s face so she kissed her rosy cheeks as if the baby was her own child. The princess would wake up and smile at her. These moments have been most precious to Zonya for she didn’t have a child.
”, “I heard a fly buzz when I died”, “Safe in their alabaster chambers”, “I died for beauty, but was scarce” and “The bustle in a house” which deal with themes such as love, beauty, death, pain, separation, and ecstasy. To Dickinson, the ultimate experience of human life is death and it is the absolute touchstone of her poetry.
Death is the departure of soul from the body and eventually the decomposition of the body. She illustrates such death in her poem ‘A clock just stopped’. The poem shows death is inevitable. Doctors cannot save the person from dying. One can only watch as their loved ones slowly slip away and their clock finally stops ticking.
However it is observed that along with feminist concerns a major thematic concern that she incorporates in her poetry is the theme of death. Moreover the poetical manner in which she deals with this theme does not reflects at the poet’s fear of death in fact it represents her desire for an escape from the world of strictures who has the power of stifling and belittling her existence.
Additionally, her themes seem to have been much influenced by her life of solitude and depression, a life that if continuously depicted in her famous collection of poems. While she is keen to show the reality of death and its presence in the people, she shows high hopes in a life after death.
In Dickinson's case it was this urge that continuously made her express her deepest thoughts in verse, as she hardly got any public acclaim during her lifetime. Her poetry remained unread and unrecognized, except by a close circle of family and friends.
The amazing simplicity of the language and brevity with which Dickinson conveys her thoughts is arresting.
Values can apply to any aspect of life as well, such as feeling dedicated to the principles of beauty and art or to the solid facts and figures of truth. These are the values compared in Emily Dickinson’s poem “I Died for Beauty”. In Dickinson’s poem, the narrator says she died for beauty but her graveyard neighbor died for truth.
The poems written by Dickinson usually talk about death. These four poems: “My life had stood-a loaded gun”, “I heard a fly buzz when I died”, “At half past three a single bird” and “I died for beauty -but was