Emily Dickinson's Poetical Poetry

Better Essays
Emily Dickinson is one of the most disputed and sophisticated poets of the mind in American Literature. Her challenging and ambiguous poems never cease to amaze with their complex messages and subtleties. The silenced selves and skepticism represent the key which keeps readers coming back to her verse, searching for new and innovative interpretations. Her cryptic poems are filled with ellipses, which make up the magical “rich silence” of her poetic style. And while some people might argue that her poetry is distasteful, others think that this “silence” and rebellious style create an unexpected vision and are a revolutionary method of expressing oneself. The aim of this essay is to analyze Dickinson’s poetical writing, with regard to three…show more content…
I believe that every poem is close to this term in some way. Yvors Winters stated that poetry is “a statement in words about an experience”. Emily Dickinson never wrote poetry to make a living or for the sake of writing. She chose to write poetry because she could not live or express her life experiences without it. The poems which I selected are hopefully representative for the meaning behind her peculiar poetic style and the reason of her work. The first poem I intend to analyze is “Some Keep the Sabbath going to Church” (poem 324; all her poems are untitled, so the first line is considered to be the guide). Dickinson was known for her openness and rejection to religiosity. It was her skepticism that made poetry her only religion. Between religious emotions and poetry, Emily chooses poetry and actually transfigures those emotions into…show more content…
The laconic messages make it difficult to interpret and each reading may bring new discoveries, provoking readers to wonder and thrive to decipher the poetic message. For example, another critic, Miller finds a peculiar ambivalence in the first verse “This was a Poet-It is That”, which she considers could be replaced by “It is He”, while others state that the phrase “It is that” is proof of Dickinson’s “definition of the poet as a nearly suprapersonal asexual force” (Passion, 324). Thus, the line can have these two readings. The metaphoric ambiguity, irregular shape and lighthearted tones are a trademark of Dickinson’s poetry, though it is difficult to stick to a fixed interpretation or to analyze it in a didactical way. The third and last poem I wish to discuss is “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” (poem 340), a self-reflective poem of crisis which reveals an ars poetica. It is a considerably disputed poem with regard to its autobiographical roots. Dickinson may have been inspired to write this synaesthetic poem as a cause of her excruciating headaches or because of her fear of losing her mental
Get Access