Emily dickinson personal response essay
Hope is always singing as we know from the first stanza but it sings the sweetest when the going gets rough, when the Gale starts to blow. So, when life is hard and things are thrown at us, the pressure relentless, there is Hope, singing through the chaos and mayhem. The personal pronoun I appears for the first time, indicating a personal connection to this subject perhaps?
Emily Dickinson thought of herself as a little bird a wren so the link is direct. The speaker has heard the bird during the hardest, coldest times, when emotions are churning and life surreal.
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But even when things are extreme Hope is still there and never asks for anything. Hope gives us much but never asks for a crumb in return. It is all inspirational, yet slightly mysterious.
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Hope wells up in the heart and soul yet who knows where it comes from? Philosophy, religion, psychology and even metaphor are not sufficient - there is an abstract nature to Hope. It can give us strength to carry on in the most adverse of conditions. Its voice can be heard, despite the noise at the height of the storm. Emily Dickinson used a lot of dashes in her poetry and this poem has a total of 15, which creates unusual syntax - the way the clauses fit together with punctuation, meter metre in UK and enjambment.
As with many of Emily Dickinson's poems, this one follows a basic iambic trimeter rhythm, with an extra syllable in the first and third lines of each stanza. To comment on this article, you must sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
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Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Andrew Spacey more. Opening Summary Full of figurative language, this poem is an extended metaphor, transforming hope into a bird the poet loved birds that is ever present in the human soul. Analysis Stanza By Stanza Emily Dickinson did not give titles to her poems so the first line is always given as the title.
First Stanza The first word is given special emphasis with speech marks inverted commas, quotation marks as if the poet wants to define that elusive word "Hope", and she does so with metaphor.
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Second Stanza The first line is unusual in the use of the double dash - there are two distinct pauses which the reader has to be careful with. Note the first mention of the bird in line 7.
It would take a hellish storm to embarrass or disconcert this bird sore - angry and abash - embarrass which protects many people from adverse situations. Hope is difficult to disturb, even when life seems hard. Third Stanza The personal pronoun I appears for the first time, indicating a personal connection to this subject perhaps? Syntax Emily Dickinson used a lot of dashes in her poetry and this poem has a total of 15, which creates unusual syntax - the way the clauses fit together with punctuation, meter metre in UK and enjambment.
It's as if, for every breath she took whilst creating and reading through her lines, she wrote a dash, instead of, say, a comma. In addition, certain phrases are enclosed in a separate double dash, which places particular emphasis on meaning. Note: - at all - in the first stanza, and -in the Gale - in the second, plus - never - in the final stanza.
More Analysis As with many of Emily Dickinson's poems, this one follows a basic iambic trimeter rhythm, with an extra syllable in the first and third lines of each stanza. But there are lines that do not conform to the iambic beat. Hope is the thing with fea thers - so we have an opening trochee followed by two iambs and extra beat or feminine ending. Austin Dickinson blew apart his family when he rejected his wife, Susan, who had long been the poet's keenest reader.
Who had they been before this happened, and why, earlier, did Dickinson speak of a "Bomb" in her bosom? The Bomb may refer to periodic explosions in the brain, but emotionally both Austin and Emily had an eruptive vein, which Emily channelled into poetry. Her letters show that she cultivated adulterous emotions, if only in fantasy, for an unnamed "Master". How did this affect her response to her brother's sudden outbreak into active adultery? She was a dressy urban beauty bent on maintaining standards in what appeared to her a negligible "village" full of retired clergymen and elderly academics.
Mrs Todd, extending an immaculate white glove, her smile sliding up one cheek, was invited everywhere and was in a position to choose whom to favour. In Amherst, the Dickinsons were like royalty: Mrs Todd was taken with "regal", "magnificent" Austin Dickinson and his wife's dark poise, set off by a scarlet India shawl, when they called on her. Behind Austin's back, Amherst children mocked his auburn hair, arrayed like a fan above his head, and his sniffy walk, tapping his cane as he went.
At first, all the Dickinsons bar Emily, who kept to her room warmed to Mrs Todd's accomplishments: her solos soared above the church choir, she painted flowers to professional standard and published stories in magazines. She soon won the friendship of the bookish Susan Dickinson, before it became apparent that she was flirting with Susan's son, year-old Ned, who fell painfully in love. This happened just before his father became a rival.
Austin's love for Mabel Todd was to last for the rest of his life. The result was what came to be known as "the War between the Houses". Austin turned against his children when they sided with their distraught mother. New evidence reveals that, far from withdrawing from the feud, Emily Dickinson took a stand. Unlike her sister Lavinia, who sided with the lovers, she refused to oblige her brother by signing over a plot of Dickinson land to his mistress. In August the poet wrote to her nephew Ned, confirming her resistance.
When she died, Mabel got her land. Three weeks after the funeral the deed was signed and the Todds' house rose on the Dickinson meadow — a venue for future assignations. This might have been a routine story of a femme fatale were it not for the presence of mysterious genius. As the feud sharpened its focus on the poet, it would be seen how Mabel had quickened to the poems of Emily Dickinson and how willing Mabel would be to undertake years of toil with difficult manuscripts. She was to show herself ready in other ways, one of only three people during the poet's lifetime to recognise Dickinson's genius.
The name of Mabel Loomis Todd will always be associated with the poet. Mabel appears to act out a familiar plot — the seduction of a man in power — but what differs here is the presence of another and grander form of power, that of a poet who selects her own society, then shuts the door. To Mabel Todd, with her discerning taste, that shut door, and the elect intelligence behind it, offered an irresistible challenge. So, on 10 September , accompanied by Austin, Mrs Todd knocked on the Homestead door, and had herself admitted to the parlour where she sang to Lavinia and Austin.
As she did so, Mabel imagined the poet listening in her fastness upstairs, captivated, as the trained voice trilled through the house. Over the years to come Mabel was to re-enact this scene, fantasising a bond with the invisible poet. On this initial occasion, the poet sent in a glass of homemade cordial together with a poem, which Mabel told herself had been composed spontaneously as a tribute to so pleasing a guest.
Then, within 24 hours, on 11 September, there was a declaration of love for Austin — the "Rubicon" where he abandoned marital fidelity at the gate of his home before the pair entered to play a game of whist with the unsuspecting Sue. Mabel's entry into the Homestead looks politely innocuous beside this initiation of adultery, but it was to present a parallel and more lasting threat to family peace.
So it was that an eruptive poet sending out her "bolts", "Queen" of her own existence, would be subject to a false plot acted out in the unstoppable momentum of Todd's takeover. A new and prolonged phase in the war between the houses began with the poet's death in and her sister's discovery of a lifetime's poems in her chest of drawers. Within a short time, Austin persuaded Lavinia to hand over the papers to his mistress.
Yet Austin must have been aware that in his own home, his estranged wife treasured a separate collection — poems Emily had given her over the years. Fuelled by adultery, antagonism between Susan Dickinson and Mabel Todd mounted over possession of the poet, with the success of Todd's four editions of Dickinson two co-edited with Higginson, two put out on her own during the s followed by the poet's growing stature in the course of the 20th century.
Insistent legend continued to wrap her in the image of the modest, old-fashioned spinster. But the bold voice of the poems can't be categorised: "I'm Nobody," she says, "— who are you? The feud fed into a succession of increasingly public conflicts, starting with a court case in when Lavinia Dickinson changed sides and took a stand of her own against the Todds' further claim to Dickinson land. At the heart of the trial is Mabel Todd's assertion that this strip of land was due to her as compensation for her years of toil in bringing a great poet before the public.
Poems had sold 11, copies in its first year. Her defence turned on her undoubted feat in transcribing, dating and editing piles upon piles of unpublished manuscripts. Hatred did not die with the deaths of the first generation. The daughters of the feud, Susan's daughter Martha Dickinson and Mabel's daughter Millicent Todd, did battle through adversarial books during the first half of the 20th century. At its height in the s, the feud turned into a conflict over the sale of the Dickinson papers.