Emily Dickinson

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Emily Dickinson The life of Emily Dickinson seems to be one of simplicity. After all, she only lived in two houses her entire life. Even though her life might have seemed plain, her mind was fully understanding to a multitude of ideas and feelings. In her poetry you can see her dealing with many concepts and how she feels about certain things in her life. A couple themes I found particularly interesting were death and nature. Death can be a complicated issue for many people. However, for Dickinson it seemed to consume her, and therefore is evident several times within her poetry. A clear example of this is in her poem 280 when she writes, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,/ And Mourners to and fro/ Kept treading-treading-till it seemed/ That Sense was breaking through-” (Dickinson 176). The whole poem goes on referring to what I believe her to be talking about, is her own funeral. Reading only that poem alone would make Dickinson seem to be depressed, but I think it is more that she is scared senseless about her death. In the end of the poem she writes, “And the a Plank in Reason, broke,/ And I dropped down, and down-/ And hit a World, at every plunge,/ And finished knowing-then-” (Dickinson 176). Dickinson seems to be afraid of what will happen after death, and that when the end comes she expects it to be a horrible ending to what could have been a great life. Contrary to this however Dickinson may want to embrace death since it seems inevitable. In a critical essay by Ralph Joly he writes, “On one hand, she seems nearly to celebrate it as an anodyne to life, as in “Because I could not stop for Death,” where death appears in the guise of a suitor and the grave is a “House” in the ground” (“Emily Dickinson”). Dickinson seems to think about death a lot, and because of this it would seem ignorant for her not to look at it in other ways besides negative. Death is a thought provoking subject, and for Dickinson it was one that was far from being overlooked. While Dickinson might have overly agonized about the issue of death, it is still a subject that we should address within ourselves, and to familiarize ourselves with our feelings on death. Nature is a subject that deserves glorification, and Dickinson made sure of this in many of her poems.

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