An Explanation of Haunting Thoughts in Emily Dickinson's Poem 670

An Explanation of Haunting Thoughts in Emily Dickinson's Poem 670

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An Explanation of Haunting Thoughts in Emily Dickinson's Poem 670


Poem 670 is about the inner workings of your mind. The beginning of this poem addresses everyone. She does that by saying, "One need not be a Chamber....One need not be a House." This is saying whether you are small like a chamber or big like a house you will be haunted in your mind. The phenomenon of haunting thoughts, in your brain, exceed anything externally at that moment. Your mind becomes totally focused on the inner dealings that external people or actions are perceived as ghosts. It is literally an internal takeover of your senses. Anything external from there becomes warped and then a part of the haunting in the tunnels or corridors of your mind. We all know this as being scared or getting spooked.

In life we've all been spooked! Regardless of our upbringing and/or size, we have all been caught jumping at that last moment. Why is this? Emily Dickinson addresses this in her poem. She says whether you are a small chamber room or a large house you will be haunted. The haunting comes from within...the corridors of your brain. When we sit in a movie, attend a haunted house, sitting in the dark, or just sleeping, our minds shift into creative mode. Stop and think for a moment about those times you have been spooked...okay times up! It's that moment your blood reaches a fast pumping pace, and you think you are about to jump out of your seat. All of this is created by the mental images you have formed regarding what your visual and aural senses have taken in as unknown or uncertain. Your adrenaline is pumping and you start to wonder what will happen next. Will the killer come from behind the door, under the bed, out of the bathroom? You start to anticipate the outcome and think you have figured out the next move, and then the storyteller brings the killer in from a totally different direction. We all know that there is nothing better than the feeling of adrenaline pumping through every "corridor" of your body. This reaction is not a result based on our surroundings in fact, quite the opposite. Dickinson says that our inner thoughts "surpass material Place." The spook is a direct reflection of how creative we let our brains become. Weaving together sections of complete thought to create other ideas, leaves us wondering what will be next.

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Is this something we can control or eliminate? Do we not have control, does the storytellers have complete reign over manipulating our thoughts? I would say that, while we cannot control what our mind does to process a haunting situation, we can control our release of the information in our minds. Lately, it has been my finding that I laugh more in scary situations than get spooked. I try to process so much that my release is comical instead of horrific. So yes I did control the "spook factor" but I still had to deal with the games being played in my mind. Despite the form of release your body has, you process the haunting situations in one way-mind games. Laughter became my release. Each of us, however, deal with our mind games through different emotional and physical release. How do you deal with you inner toil for the unknown? Is it laughing, crying, hiding, or maybe even the dreadful peeing of the pants? I challenge you the next time you watch a movie, tour a haunted house, ride a roller coaster, or sleep, to see if you cannot manipulate your typical response to these situations. Start by re-reading the poem and change your surrounding. Let your mind wonder in and out of the corridors that make up our complex brains. See what kind of changes you have in how you release your thoughts. The result could be one that is a surprise ending....
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