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Set Poems
· 258 There's a certain Slant of light · 510 It was not Death, for I stood up
· 280 I felt a Funeral, in my Brain · 670 One need not be a Chamber ­ to
be Haunted ­
· 328 A Bird came down the Walk ­
· 712 Because I could not stop for
· 341 After great pain, a formal feeling
Death ­
comes ­
· 465 I heard a Fly buzz ­ when I died ­ · 721 Behind Me ­ dips Eternity ­
· 494 Going to Him! Happy letter! · 754 My Life had stood ­ a Loaded
Gun ­
· 501 This World is not Conclusion
· 986 A narrow Fellow in the Grass…read more

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There's a certain Slant of light
There's a certain Slant of light, None may teach it ­ Any ­
Winter Afternoons ­ `Tis the seal Despair ­
That oppresses, like the Heft An Imperial Affliction
Of Cathedral Tunes ­ Sent us of the Air ­
Heavenly Hurt, it gives us ­ When it comes, the Landscape
We can find no scar, listens ­
But internal difference ­ Shadows ­ hold their breath ­
Where the Meanings, are ­ When it goes, `tis like the distance
On the look of Death…read more

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There's a certain Slant of light
· In terms of structure, meter is mostly trochees, with alternations between
tetrameter and trochaic.
· Rhyme scheme is ABCB- Dickinson's general form with A and C generally
being slant rhymes.
· Could also be witnessed as a ballad poem due to the lack of focus on the
narrator and the repetition and brevity noticed in the poem.
· Different from other poems which held iambic tetrameter and trimeter, and
could be used because this lurching halting rhythm is viewed as unsafe
which the plague was.…read more

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There's a certain Slant of light
Themes prevalent in poem:
· Religion (also relates to This World is not Conclusion)
· Nature (A Bird came down the Walk, A narrow Fellow in the Grass)
· Death (Because I could not stop for Death, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain)
Key features:
· Use of pathetic fallacy `Winter Afternoon' sets setting of despair and death
· Alliteration `Heavenly Hurt' perhaps used as hyperbole. Dickinson questioning God- angry at him. Also
viewed as paradoxical due to oxymoronic statement. Heaven meant to be peaceful.
· Personification as `Landscape listens' Depicts nature as self aware and perhaps self destructing for it is
allowing this occur. Relates to Dickinson's agoraphobia
· Ambiguity with `Imperial Affliction' shows the lack of knowledge concerning the plague
· Metaphors of Cathedral Tunes emphasises the weight of religion and how it can harm more than do good…read more

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There's a certain Slant of light
Interpretations of poem range from:
· Subject of the plague
· Her depression and mental illness
· Representation of nature (filed under nature poems by Mabel Loomis Todd- this rubric followed for
more than half a century afterwards)
Context:
· Miasma theory- relating to the air where people thought they would get ill
· Dickinson had lost her cousin Sophia due to typhus which very much affected her
· Oppression of cathedral tunes could relate to Dickinson's later sceptical beliefs about religion
· Her agoraphobia
· Dickinson suffered from iritis which meant that ordinary light was often painful to her.…read more

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