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Emily Dickinson’s Original Approach to Poetry



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    “Emily Dickinson’s original approach to poetry results in startling and thought-provoking moments in her work” Give your response to the poetry of Emily Dickinson in the light of this statement. Support your points with suitable reference to her poems. Emily DIckinson is a wonderful, idiosyncratic poet, who’s original and powerful poetry is marked by startling and thought-provoking moments, defining Dickinson’s poetry. Dickinson describes in shocking detail, moments of utter elation, as demonstrated in ‘I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed,’ and ‘I Could Bring You Jewels. We see moments of depression and drastic desparation in ‘I Felt a Funeral in My Brain,’ and ‘I Heard a Fly Buzz. ‘

    Even these titles give evidence of startling, profound moments which are both shocking and exciting and provoke personal consideration. Dickinson’s poetry is extremely diverse and deals with many themes of human nature, in all its positive and negative cycles. We appriciate mesmorising moments of ecstacy in ‘I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed,’ in which DIckinson uses delightful extended metaphores to exclaim her love of life. Inebriate of Air – am I – And Debauchee of Dew -” Dickinson’s abstractions are often rendered vividly and imaginatively in her work. On one level, the piece can be understood as a piece on nature’s entertaining characters such as the ‘drunken Bee,’ and ‘Butterflies,’ However it becomes clear that Dickinson is instead communicating her intoxication, brought on by a joyous appriciation of life. “When Butterflies – renounce their ‘drams’ – I shall but drink the more! ” The poet can outdo the butterfly and bee in their joy.

    She will “Tipple” away until death: “Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats – ” I Could Bring You Jewels’ is a poem again relating to intense positivity where the poet is exasperated and spellbound by fine trivial joys. The English language is transformed and a new emphasis and meaning is placed on each important word. Compression is trademark in this evokative poem. “I could bring you Odors from St. Domingo- Colours – from Vera Cruz -” I find Dickinson’s composition compelling, her exploration of joy through the simplicities of life. Again in this poem, Dickinson’s originality is tangible through her delicate extended metaphores. All precious embodiments of love are considered, “Berries of the Bahamas. She explains however that, “The Meadow – Suits me. ” This is a thought-provoking statement, conveying that the beauties of the world could not rival the present moment. I think the sentament is particularly fitting, coming from Emily Dickinson who lives very much in the present moment. Her instant love is more precious than any foreign delicacy. Perhaps the most profound and thought-provoking element of Dickinson’s work is the precise contrast between the startling moments of ecstatic elation and the poet’s works centered around moments of desperation and acute anxiety.

    These qualities are particularly prominent in the poem “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain. ” In which poet explores psychological collapse. I believe the theme is depression and mental breakdown. This piece is startling in its description of an interior state in such distinct, memorable and physical terms. Dickinson opens with a formal feeling, declaring her mental state before progressing to concretise her explanations of psychological torment. “Then I heard them lift a box and creek across my soul. ” The moments are shocking and disturbing, Dickinson brings us into the moment, forcing us to imagine our own death.

    Frustration builds relentlessly in this poem, forcing her to lose her mind in the end, as “A plank in reason broke and I dropped down, and down -” This is the startling moment when the poet recognises her ultimate downfall and loss of all consciousness. The most astonishing example of startling and thought-provoking moments of Dickinson’s poetry comes in “The Sould Has Bandaged Moments,” where the poet’s two extremes of human emotion are dealt with in one poem; despair and joy. She opens with harsh moments of lonliness and grief – “With long fingers – caress her freezing hair. The ‘soul’, or spirit, is portrayed as wounded, damaged, needing to be wrapped in self-protective and restraining bandages, when the grotesque parody of love comes to prey on her. “Sip, Goblin, from the very lips The Lover – hovered – o’er -“

    Through immediate fluidity Dickinson’s poem reaches ecstacy “The soul has moments of Escape-” A full spectrum of emotion is observed here in its urgency. I think the most thought-provoking moment of the peice comes in the final enslavement of the poet’s spirit. When, Felon led along, with shackles on the plummed feet. ” She explain in so few words that the recapture of the spirit is more painful after a taste of freedom. I think it is clear through the exploration of Dickinson’s astounding, unconventional poetry that there are indeed startling moments and examples of thought-prokoving content. I think Dickinson is exceptionaly powerful in concretising and in communicating her personal and psychological feelings through her blatant language and structural study of the moments of life.

    Emily Dickinson’s Original Approach to Poetry. (2016, Nov 16). Retrieved from

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