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View Full Version : emily dickinson and death



talal
03-23-2003, 04:40 PM
i want to know about dickinson's use of the images of death.

Shea
03-25-2003, 01:05 PM
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;

This is a great poem that I feel describes the way eternity is so difficult for humans to grasp. Though we keep on with our lives as if we won't die, eventually we do, and life everywhere else keeps on going on anyway.

Another good poem is "I felt a funeral in my brain" I like this stanza:

And when they were all seated,
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb.

If she's not talking about her own funeral is she empathizing with the deceased as her mind goes numb?

I also seem to remember a poem that I think starts out; "I heard a fly buzz when I died" but I couldn't find it. Can anyone help me with that?

Jinzi
06-04-2003, 01:41 PM
I heard a FLY buzz--when I died--
The STillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air--
Between the Heaves of Storm--

The Eyes around-- had wrung them dry--
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset--when the King
Be witnessed--in the Room--

I willed my Keepsakes--Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable--and then it was
There interposed a Fly--

With Blue--uncertain stumbling Buzz--
Between the light--and me--
And then the Windows failed--and then
I could not see to see

alatar
06-06-2003, 10:54 PM
If she's not talking about her own funeral is she empathizing with the deceased as her mind goes numb?

she is talking about a collapse of sanity, i would assume that it is not her own. she is describing how her control over her mind is being pounded out by the sound etc of this "funeral"

Paula
06-10-2005, 11:38 AM
In my opinion, she is expressing her frustration at her society and how they are slowly driving her insane. This is clearly shown in the lines
"Kept treading-treading till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through-"
and
"Kept beating-beating till it seemed
My Mind was going numb-"

Well, actually it can be clearly seen in the whole poem :)

Dickinson places blame on her opressive religion, Calvinsim. She gives a very depressing, faithless look on heaven, as if it of their faith, not hers. She feels as if she has been nailed into her coffin-her house, her soul-and all her spectators are ready to gossip. But they never will be ready to help her in any way. She feels as if she now has no-one else to turn to, all she is left with is silence. She has no ffeling left, no senses but her hearing-which she can only use to listen to all those who speculate about her.

The final insult comes, and they lift her coffin and tread across her soul, very ominous and heavy. This echoes Dickinson's wish that she be lifted straight from her house, through the barn and fields and to the family plot-that she exit her life as unobtrusive as possible, while always being in the view of the house.

Finally, in the last stanza, she has finally lost all reason and is falling through sanity. As she finally hits the ground, she knows that she will never be accepted by her community and gives up.

Mark F.
06-16-2005, 07:07 PM
she is talking about a collapse of sanity, i would assume that it is not her own. she is describing how her control over her mind is being pounded out by the sound etc of this "funeral"

I agree but I believe it is her own sanity she's talking about and that she's describing her own funeral.

amuse
06-16-2005, 08:17 PM
wow, Paula! what a gorgeous, mystical, romantic avatar! :thumbs_up