A Comparison of the Poetry of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost

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The Poetry of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost

The poetry of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost contains similar themes and ideas. Both poets attempt to romanticize nature and both speak of death and loneliness. Although they were more than fifty years apart, these two seem to be kindred spirits, poetically speaking. Both focus on the power of nature, death, and loneliness. The main way in which these two differ is in their differing use of tone.

The power of nature is a recurring theme in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. Dickinson uses this theme in her poem " `Nature' is what we see -." The power of nature is strongly portrayed in this poem by Dickinson's articulation of what the speaker see's in nature. "
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Frost's poem is recalling the speakers childhood. "So was I once myself a swinger of birches. / And so I dream of going back to be" (472-473). Nature held such power over the speaker as a child that he dreamt of going back to relive being one with nature and swinging in the trees.

Dickinson and Frost both used death and loneliness as main themes. In Emily's poem "my life closed twice before its close -" it has been interpreted that the speakers life closed twice when two lovers died leaving the speaker alone. The speaker also refers to her own death when it is said, "If Immortality unveil / A third event to me" (278). The third event is referring to the speakers own death. In the last two lines of the poem, "Parting is all we know of heaven, / And all we need of hell"(278). The speaker is talking about heaven being the relief of seeing pain end for the loved one. The interpretation of hell is the pain and grief that one feels after a loved one has died.

Like Dickinson, Frost also conveys the themes of death and, even more so, loneliness. In his poem, "Acquainted with the Night" the speaker "outwalked the furthest city light" (466). The narrator of this poem has walked outside of society. He has "walked out in rain-and back in rain"(466), this symbolizes that the speaker has endured a lot. Frost's poem "Fire and Ice" not only speaks of the end of the world, but also the end of the speaker himself:

Some say the world will end
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