Emily Dickinson's I Felt A Funeral, In My Brain

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Emily Dickinson’s “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” creates a puzzling situation in the very first line which causes analysts’ opinions to diverge. Many different interpretations arise depending on if they interpret the funeral literally or metaphorically. Emily Dickinson’s poem depicts a funeral, which occurs in the speaker’s mind. This funeral is not a typical funeral because the proceedings of the ceremony affect the speaker. Her “mind was going numb” (Dickinson 8) from the beating of the drums, and she felt people “creak across my Soul” (Dickinson 10) which implies a painful and uncomfortable experience. Goldfarb argues the speaker moves “into a new realm of perception,” Moran asserts she loses her sanity throughout the poem and Pineiro reasons the speaker passes into an endless world after death. When analyzing Emily Dickinson’s “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” critics acknowledge something dies, but many differences are present, and the extent to which their theories diverge demonstrates the power of diction to create complexity.
The way in which a critic interprets the first line develops the interpretations of the rest of the poem and the differences in the topic among the analysts prove the power of diction to create intricacy. Although Goldfarb and Moran both interpret the first line as a metaphor, the
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If Dickinson had used simple and plain words throughout the poem, the analyses would all be the same. There would be no variance. This poem demonstrates effective poetic techniques to create a piece of art, which can take on many different meanings depending on the reader. Even with all the criticisms in the world, no “right” answer exists, just different interpretations leading to different conclusions coming from different
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