How Emily Dickinson Communicates Her Ideas Through Her Poetry
Poetry is a beautiful way of writing. It is different from all other writings out there which makes it special. The way poetry is written differently from other writings is what makes it so unique; for instance, poetry is about how it is written, unlike novels that are more about the story. An author that is known for her amazing poetry is Emily Dickinson. She was an American poet born on December 10, 1830. She grew up in a reserved and very strict religious family. When she grew up, she was a very reserved person. She spend most of her time between the walls of her house. She was never married but was rumored of having many relationships, which were also likely to be mentioned in her poems.
She never had any fame while she lived. After her death her poems were published and she became known worldwide. Nowadays she is considered one of America’s greatest poets. Her style of writing is studied by many scholars because of how unique it is. She writes by using different grammatical rules that other poets use, and uses the theme of death recurrently throughout her works. She also set a standard for many poets that followed her. Some elements she incorporates in her writing that makes her stand out is the use of dashes, metaphors and capitalization of certain nouns. They help highlight her ideas and themes which helps her show what they are more effectively.
One thing that her poems have that distinguish her from other authors is the use of dashes. The dashes help show important aspects of the poem and separate different ideas and themes inside a verse. A Poem in which this can be seen is “Water, is Taught by Thirst”; here she uses dashes to highlight what she is comparing. In this poem, she talks about how one misses things once they are gone. She uses examples of this to show this emotion. Dickinson shows this emotion of missing what you once had when she writes,“Water, is taught by thirst./ Land – by the oceans passed” (“Water” 830). Here she uses a dash to separate land and ocean; therefore, she is giving more attention to these words by separating them. She separates what one has with what one had and misses. Dickinson uses another example of this when she writes, “Transport – by throe -/ Peace by its battles told -” (“Water” 830).
Here she uses dashes to separate different ideas. In this example she separates the struggle people endure and the change they welcome when it happens. That what she means with “Transport by throe” and “Battles told”. She uses dashes to separate words in order to emphasize the important ideas of the poem. With the dashes one can clearly see her ideas of missing what one once had using the themes of loneliness, sadness and repentance. Another poem in which this technique is incorporated is “Some things that fly there be”. In this verse it is stated that, “Some things that fly there be – / Birds – Hours – the Bumblebee -” (“Some Things” 830). The dashes serve as bridges between sections of the poem. They also are a different form of punctuation. They separate each word in this verse as if they were commas. “Birds”, “Hours” and “Bumblee” are all words that are separated by the use of dashes. Emily Dickinson did not want to use conventional punctuation; for this reason, she used her own which helped her highlight her ideas and themes and be effective in showing what they are.
Another unique element in her work is the use of capitalization on certain words, which helps give an emphasis and explain the meaning of her ideas and themes. A poem in which this can be seen is “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church”. In this poem she capitalized certain words that help convey the meaning. This poem is about how instead of going to church on the Sabbath she contemplates her belief in God in her house. This capitalization can be seen when Emily Dickinson states, “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church -/ I keep it, staying at Home -” (“Some Keep”833).
Here, she capitalized “Church” which shows what the poem is about and in the next verse she capitalized “Home” to show what she does. Her habits of religion are seen as staying home and reflecting instead of actually spending Sunday at a church. Both church and home are the main ideas in this verse, and the capitalization Dickinson uses helps show that. Another verse Dickison uses to show that is, “Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice / I just wear my Wings” (“Some Keep”833). Here, “Sabbath”, “Surplice” and “Wings” are capitalized to show that others wear their religious outfits while she just trusts in her angels. She had a different approach to religion than other believers. She believed that going to church was not necessary but that she could just interpret her beliefs how she wanted to. This use of capitalization can also be seen in the poem “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers”. Here Dickinson writes, “untouched by Morning/ and untouched by Noon -” (“Safe” 831). Here, “Noon” and “Morning” are capitalized to show that they are important words that the reader must get from the text. They are set apart from other words in these verses. Even if one just skims the poem they notice this capitalization, making the words and ideas behind them stand out more. The capitalization shows key words that convey Dickinson ́s ideas and they draw the reader’s attention.
Another aspect that helps Dickinson communicate her ideas is the use of metaphors in her poems. In the poem ““Hope” is the Thing with Feathers” she uses an extended metaphor to compare hope to a bird. This can be seen when she wirtes, “ “Hope” is the thing with feathers –/ That perches in the soul – /And sings the tune without the words – /And never stops – /at all –.” (“Hope” 834). She shows how the bird sings and gives courage to the spirit of the person. The bird does exactly the same thing hope does.
This metaphor of the bird communicates the main idea of her poem, which is hope.“My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun” is a poem that also shows this use of metaphors. Dickison communicates, “My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun – /In Corners – till a Day / The Owner passed – identified – / And carried Me away –” (“My Life” 832). In these few verses it can be seen how the gun is a metaphor for the dangers women face. Women typically experience more risk in situations when they are walking alone that is what the poem is referring to. Showing how her life is a loaded gun or a life full of danger, she must load her gun in order to protect herself. The metaphor in this poem helps show what she wants to communicate about life. Here Dickinson uses metaphors yo help the main ideas of her poems be seen clearly.
One of the aspects that make Emily Dickenson so unique is her use of metaphors, dashes and the capitalization of certain nouns in her poems. All these aspects of her writing help Dickinson’s ideas be expressed. She is an explendid American author. She has a unique style and mysterious backstory which many scholars love to study. Both of these are effective since they help the themes and ideas in Emily Dickinson ́s poetry be seen. This makes her an important author to study about because she writes in a way other poets do not she has a unique style that makes her stand out from other writers. Emily Dickonson lived a mysterious life, and an isolated one as well. Her life experiences are what made her poems so different from other poems.
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