AS English Literature: Poetry Revision- Emily Dickinson

I have my mocks coming up so for revision I thought I would take eight of Emily Dickinson's poems and go through them, picking out key quotes as I did, and briefly analysing them. I will most likely be adding the rest of the studied poems to the powerpoint at a later date. 

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"Because I could not "He kindly
stop for death" stopped for me" Speaker experienced a natural death.
Speaker was too busy for
death.
Death was painless.
"t'is centuries"
Shows the necessity of dying. "T'is"- archaic language reflects
time period poem was written. Also
shows how much time has elapsed.
"We slowly drove,
Time is not an object. he knew no haste" "labour and leisure"- dichotomy; represents "My labour and my
pleasure of immortality vs the
"He"- personification of death. stress of mortality.
leisure too, For His
"Horses' Heads... "Horses' Heads"- death's
Civility"
toward Eternity-" carriage, a hers. Death leads her to give up what made her
so busy.
"toward Eternity-"- poem
itself enacts eternity
by trailing out, shown by "His" potentially meaning God.
the hyphen. The poem
continues with the life.
"Because I could not stop for death"
We passed... children "Fields of Gazing Grain...
"We passed"- anaphora showing the Makes death appear natural.
trove... Recess in the Ring" monotony of life. the Setting Sun"
"Grain"- reflects a cycle. Seed
"children strove"- reflecting is planted, grain grows, it's cut, and
the process repeats. "Setting Sun" sun rises at beginn
back on childhood.
and
sets at the end of the day, a
"Recess"- makes death appear cycle.
less sinister.
Speaker has stopped being an
"Ring"- ring, circular, a cycle. active agent and has become part
Cycle of life, we're born, we live, of the landscape.
we die, and it repeats.
"dews... quivering... chill"- shows the coldness of
death. Also shows a physical death by referring
"House...swelling of the
to things we feel and do. "House"- referring to a coffin. ground...cornice- in the
"Gossamer"- a silk gown worn in a coffin.
"Dews quivering and chill... only ground"
"Swelling of the ground"- ground
my Gossamer" immersed the deceased's body.
"only"- implies something barely there.
Flimsiness of fabric proves her vulnerability.
"Cornice- in the ground"- burial.…read more

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"felt a funeral in my "mind was going
"felt"- past tense of feel,
brain" no longer feels anything,
numb" "Mind"- mental deterioration.
speaker is now dead.
"Going numb"- not completely lost
"funeral in my brain"- metaphor feeling yet. Part of her is still alive.
for mental deterioration.
"Box"- referring to a "lift a Box and creaked
"treading-treading" coffin. across my soul"
"sense was
"Sense"- trying to
Repetition and rhythmical,
make sense of her
breaking through" "creaked"- under strain.
like a funeral march.
religious conflict.
"my soul"- death of her
(Death is context physically and spiritually.
of poem)- only in
death can she make a
`break through'.
"I felt a funeral in my brain"
"As all the Heavens were "Plank in Reason, broke,
"Heavens were a Bell"- ringing in ears, deafening? and I dropped down and
a Bell, And Being but and heavens presence after death is deafening?
"Plank in Reason"- her
Ear" reason for denying down"
the existence of
"Bell"- door bell, ringing with the hopes of an heaven and hell.
invitation. Heaven is ringing waiting for the
deceased to let it in(relates to religious conflict). "broke"- no
longer argue for
"But an Ear"- can't see who it is, only hear it is time. their lack of existence".
Loss of all other senses, towards the end of physical life.
"dropped down and down"- because
she denied existence of heaven and God she
"Finished knowing- went to hell.
"Finished"- the completion of her physical death. then-"
"then-"- the hyphon shows a continuation of the poem, "knowing"- died with her conflict resolved.
this presents a dichotomy as the life of the person has Confirmed the existence
"finished" and yet the poem continues as if there is of God and heaven and hell.
the promise of an afterlife.…read more

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"Brain has Corridors- "safer... Stones a'chase...
"Brain has Corridors"- "Stones a'chase"-
surpassing Material one's a'self encounter...
personifying the thoughts. "need not be a Chamber--flogging.
Place" lonesome place"
to be haunted" "self encounter"-
"surpassing Material Place"-
in a spiritual realm. facing your mistakes,
secrets.
"lonesome"- unable to
justify actions. No
support.
"safer... Midnight Meeting
"Midnight"- rising
of dead at Halloween.
External Ghost... interior "need not be"- it is irrelevant.
confronting... Cooler Host" Rather be stones to
"to be haunted"- in your mind. One's death than face who
"External Ghost",
exterior says nothing about their you are and your mistakes.
"safer"- a ghost is
mental state.
less terrifying than
your innermost "behind ourself"- our true "ourself behind
thoughts/spirit. character is never revealed. ourself"
"One need not be a Chamber"
"Assassin hid in our
Apartment Be Horror's "He bolts the door"
"He"- may be God. God knows the secrets
"Assassin"- killer. Metonym
least". for the truth. Revealing true
that lie behind the bolted door.
character and secrets will
"Door"- door to the mind, to what truly
destroy/kill a person.
lies within the mind.
"hid in our Apartment"- hidden
May be on the outside or inside of the door. May be
away, "Apartment" metonym for
outside locking the inner daemons away forever, or locked
false display of character.
inside ready to confront them.
"Horror's least"- "Horror" may
"O'erlooking a superior
be guilt. Anticipation/the way things spectre" "O'erlooking"- not looking directly at it.
appear in your mind are worse Trying to ignore it. Or looking out over something so massive that one can't
than the reality. look directly at all of it.
"superior spectre"- something much greater than them, not just in size.
Metaphysically superior also.…read more

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"slant of light" "oppresses... weight...
"slant"- a diagonal, in one
direction goes up, in the other goes
cathedral tunes." "oppresses"- weighs down.
down. Implicit of a deterioration.
"cathedral tunes"- funerals.
metaphor, day after day, religious
"light"- provides knowledge and ability
connotations. "cathedral tunes" play
for existence.
every
day, people experience death in one way
Deterioration in the quality of life, or
or another every day.
deterioration to death.
"Heavenly hurt... we
"winter afternoons" can find no scar" "Heavenly hurt"- dichotomy.
"winter"- season of death and dying.
Last season of the year, end of life. Heaven is a place without pain.
Alliteration makes it sound almost
"afternoons"- approaching the end of the day, soothing.
final stages of life.
"We"- more than one, all experience
death together.
"no scar"- internal damage, no external scar.
"There's a certain slant of light"
"none may teach... t'is the deal, "imperial affliction"
"none may teach"- one cannot despair" "imperial"- relating to an empire, a great power.
be taught the feeling of A religious empire, God?
death. Can only experience
it to know. "affliction"- causes pain or harm.
"t'is"- archaic language. A great power causing great pain and harm through
death.
"seal, despair"- seal, permanence. "landscape listens, shadows...
not to be opened. "despair", pain of knowing hold their breath" "shadows... breath"- personification.
once you die you can never live again.
"hold their breath"- everything stands
"sent us of the air" still. Lack of breath left.
"sent us"- again plural, more than one.
"of the air"- oxymoronic; lack of air when Dichotomy between death and breath. "t'is like the distance on the look
of death."
dying. "distance"- duration of life. "t'is"- archaic language
"on the look"- looking back over life, looking upon death.
"air"- natural, natural death. Full stop at the end, end of life. No hint of a continuation
into an afterlife.…read more

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"mystery pervades a "Residing in a jar... just
"pervades"- subsequent to the word "mystery". his lid of glass"
well"
"well"- long dark shaft sunken into the ground, can't "jar"- transparent. Know
see the bottom, how far down it is, it is a "mystery". its contents, can't get in.
"lid of glass"- transparent,
see it. "lid"- something
stopping you from getting
"neighbour from "none"- no one who is alive. inside. "lid" could
Reiterates idea one has to be be metonym for life. Cannot
"neighbour"- religious another world" be with God and be inside
dead to be with God truly. "limit none has ever
connotations, `love thy heaven unless one is dead.
neighbour'. seen"
"seen"- seeing is a sense we
have when alive.
"another world"- Heaven?
Referring to God.
"limit"- God is omnipotent and
"grass"
transcendent.
"he is floorless"
"floorless"- play on words, `flawless'
no floors, no hierarchy, everyone is equal in God's eyes. Metonym for ghost, or a spirit.
"What mystery pervades a
"related somehow...
well"
"stand so close and look so
bold... awe to me" "stand so close"- close relationship
with God through religion.
sedge stands next the
sea" "related somehow"- not blood
"awe"- implies some lack of understanding. relation, spiritually related.
Doesn't truly understand God. Shows admiration
for him, in "awe" of him. "sedge.. next the sea"- metaphor used to
show the compare the closeness of the
"never passed her sedge and the sea to the closeness
between God and his people.
"passed"- walk past, gravestone. haunted house...
Alternate meaning passed, died. simplified her ghost"
"know her, know her less"-
"those that know her
"haunted house"- coffin.
paradox,never truly understood know her less... nearer
"simplified"- even through death unable the deceased. her they get"
to make sense of something.
"those who"- implying she did
"ghost"- spirit, passing of a loved not know the deceased personally
one, Dickinson's mother possibly. herself and is referring to
others who did.…read more

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