Analysis Of The Poem ' My First Day Well ' Essay

Analysis Of The Poem ' My First Day Well ' Essay

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The other five autumn poems have references of Keats’s poem within them, yet they give much more than that. The poem Fr288 “My First Day Well – Since Many Ill” is written in ballad form with abundant usage of slant rhymes. While on the surface of the poem contemplates the passage of time, seasons, and illnesses, it actually describes an event in Dickinson’s life. In 1862, the year the poem was believed to be written in, she had been bedridden from an illness for months, which often left her wondering if her illness would end in death during the duration of her sickness (Mamunes 39). The Brazilian threads in the poem signify the red streaks of blood mingled in her sputum, but it can also signify the fall foliage. The final stanza reveals Dickinson 's insight into her life-threatening illness, where she looked the positives and decided it opened a path to deeper awareness of her own body. This poem has a lovely depiction of autumn and the poet is able to admire it, but thoughts of summer cast ponderous feelings of loss. In contrast, autumn hides death and decay. According to Kohler, “Dickinsons’ euphemistic colors and images echo those in Keats’s poem – he describes a rosy hue coloring the dead stubble; summer’s later flowers; the redbreast...” however, the imagery in Keats’ poem is a metaphysical description, while Dickinson’s is an illusory and conflicted description.
Given that 1862 is considered one of Dickinson’s most productive years, it is of no surprise that Fr 344 “Twas Just This Time, Last Year, I Died” was published that year. This poem is also a harvest and death poem. The posthumous speaker recalls the autumnal imagery and her funeral. While she imagines what this year’s season must feel like without her, she eventuall...


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...n Civil War occurred. In the same year as the poem, President Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and the famous Battle of Gettysburg ensured. These historical events of the war echo in her poem, though they are shrouded in poetic language. In addition to that, it displays the raw emotion of feeling survivor’s guilt for having survived one of America’s the bloodiest wars. This emotion coupled with grief creates a somber and bitter tone that judges whether or not these “pawns of liberty” and saviors of the emancipation truly knew the cost that they paid dearly in (Dickinson 238). This poem uses Greek references of Sparta’s famous 300 at the battle of Thermopylae and Cleopatra’s protest of wealth, as well as depictions of soldiers as Christ-like figures (Dandurand 20). These allusions present a somber, yet hopeful, literary response to the Civil War.

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