The first two lines of the first stanza state that Dickinson had never seen a Moor, nor had ever seen the sea. These simple lines may be grazed over by the average reader when reading the poem for the first time. There, of course, is a greater significance than ten English words. These lines explain that Dickinson knows she is ignorant and naïve; she has never happened across a Moor or the sea, nor has she set out to find and see these things for herself. Why would she admit this? This seems to be a strange confession that she wanted to relay to the reader before any other groundwork was set. These two statements are followed up by two more lines: “Yet know I how the Heather looks” and “And what a Billow be”. To many modern readers, the meaning of these two lines can be inferred, but it is vital to examine exactly what is being said to understand fully. Dickinson claims that she knows “how the Heather looks”. What or who is Heather? Dickinson is referring to the Heather pl...
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...fficult to predict, yet we can infer this unpredictability by knowing that it is their nature.
I Never Saw a Moor, by Emily Dickinson, is a very small poem that contains an incredibly large amount of meaning. It is difficult to explain and defend the concept of faith, and even more difficult to explain and defend the concept of faith in less than fifty words. By starting the poem with an analogy, Dickinson circumvents any confusion from what may arise during the second stanza. By choosing to compare Moors and Sea, the author briefly covers the unpredictability and fleeting nature of humanity itself. By revealing the author does not claim to know everything, the ending message becomes much more sincere and powerful. Emily Dickinson shows it is acceptable to not become familiar with all topics, and that a sense of faith is a good supplement to understand the unknown.
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