When he shows us his Home, we turn away, but when he confides to us that he is 'acquainted with Grief,' we listen, for that is also an Acquaintance of our own. As far as we know, death usually waits for nobody. Her diction has two corresponding features: words of Latin or Greek origin and, sharply opposed to these, the concrete Saxon element. Hyperbole -- an exaggeration which demonstrates significance. It helps the reader dig deeper into the poem. The subtle emphasis in the poem on a growing cold mimics both the process of dying, as if the dead one were dying even more, and our earthly answer to the mystery that separates the warm living from the cold dead.
Does this change as the poem progresses? I thought perhaps you were dead, and not knowing the sexton's address, interrogate the daisies. Mather would have burnt her for a witch. Perhaps the carriage had turned heavenward after all and made a celestial pass by the sun. The speaker, in correcting herself, may have come to understand that whereas the sun, depicting circular time, will keep revolving, her own journey is destined to come to an abrupt, irreversible halt. One's own nonbeing is utterly unimaginable.
Joanne Feit Diehl In a most attenuated, urbane vision, Dickinson crosses the threshold between life and death, yet she retains the power of speech to assert an audacious authority over all experience. Its theme is a Christian one, yet unsupported by any of the customary rituals and without any final statement of Christian faith. Imagery -- a grouping of words which appeal to your senses. Works Cited Adventures in American Literature, Pegasus Edition. What a shock it was to first open the first edition of Poems by Emily Dickinson after having known the poem first in the version published in 1955. The speaker enters the carriage as a believer, immortal soul intact, but the adult Dickinson was not such a one in the conventional sense.
Now that she sees her small, damp, eternal home, she feels cheated. Personification of Death: One of the central poetic devices Dickinson uses in the poem is the personification of death. This stanza may be read as a symbolic allegory for the natural progression of life. Dickinson did not leave her room and stayed in bed during the week after the meeting. So, to her surprise in terms of marriage and ours in terms of death and the afterlife , despite everything everyone has told her and us, it turns out that the state being described is one of utter emptiness. There is, of course, further sense in which death stops for the speaker, and that is in the fusion I alluded to earlier between interior and exterior senses of time, so that the consequence of the meeting in the carriage is the death of otherness. It's a way of not giving all the information at once.
The questions, Dickinson implies, persist. The speaker is in the cemetery, left to wonder at her progress from the moment of her first encounter with Death, with his promise of immortality, to her present situation. And tell each other how we sang To keep the dark away. Every eighth beat reminds us that, behind an before the words, there is the demand of rhythm. The identification of her new 'House' with a grave is achieved by the use of only two details: a 'Roof' that is 'scarcely visible' and a 'Cornice,' the molding around the coffin's lid, that is 'in the Ground.
The whole idea of the Bride-of-the-Lamb is admittedly only latent in the text of this poem, but in view of the body of her writings it seems admissible to suggest it as another metaphor for the extension of meanings. Redemption for Emily Dickinson is too synonymous with immortality to receive much individual distinction. I think lines 17-20 best show her effective use of imagery. Read in this way the poem is flawless to the last detail, each image precise and discrete even while it is unified in the central motif of the last journey. Although the speaker wishes to discover a means of converting inevitability into active choice, the poem's strategy is complex, going beyond a simple shift in sexual identification. It is no small wonder that a common theme in Dickinson s poetry is death. She speaks of Death's coming for her, yet has him arrive in a carriage to take her for an afternoon's drive.
She has trimmed down its supernatural proportions; it has become a morality; instead of the tragedy of the spirit there is a commentary upon it. He is not only seen as a gentleman, but as kind and patient. Annie and Katie--are they below, or received to nowhere? These are intensely felt, but only as ideas, as the abstractions of time and eternity, not as something experienced. There is, in spite of the homiletic vein of utterance, no abstract speculation, nor is there a message to society; she speaks wholly to the individual experience. On the way to Death's house, which is driven by Immortality the coachman? Figurative language is also used as Dickinson creates two instances of perfect rhyme.
In other poems, she seems to see Death as something frightening and demanding of one's faith. This poem not only reflects what Dickinson's feelings were at the time it was written but also her unique poetic style. By personifying death as a physical figure, and one that is kind and courteous, the poet subverts traditional notions of death as terrifying or evil, to instead present death as a natural and inevitable part of life. By comparison, Christian mythology crowds its sublime moments with images that reflect earthly realities--God as King, the Son at his right hand, the choruses of the blessed singing their praise, and so forth. Emily Dickinson can be reasonably named the greatest poetess of the United States of all times. The familiar and comforting words that, for her, spell everyday life are used to mask unrealized abstractions.
The seemingly disparate parts of this are fused into a vivid re-enactment of the mortal experience. Out-of-stanza both die and dead are rhymed with each other once. Alliteration is used several times throughout the poem. In each stanza the first line has 8 syllables, the second has 6 syllables, the third has 8 syllables, and the fourth has 6 syllables. Allusion is a reference to a previous literary work or historical event. Indeed, his graciousness in taking time to stop for her at that point and on that day in her life when she was so busy she could not possibly have taken time to stop for him, is a mark of special politeness.