Analysis Of Emily Dickinson 's Poetry

1168 Words Feb 21st, 2016 5 Pages
Emily Dickinson’s poetry arose during a time of much deep questioning going on in the literary world. Many of her poems lend themselves to various interpretations, as Dickinson looks at the world through a variety of perspectives. Dickinson wrote concisely and broke the traditional rules of writing poetry, and in doing so often wrote in one way but meant something entirely different. Poem 340, or “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” is one of these such poems that has no clear answer and is ultimately left ambiguous for the reader to interpret. This essay will highlight how this poem can be interpreted in the formal elements of rhythm, rhyme, assonance, and alliteration, and how these elements can affect the meaning of the poem. The rhythm of Poem 340 is much like Dickinson’s other poems. This poem has a regular meter, very similar to her other poems, in that it is iambic. It has a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. This can be seen, for example, in the first line: “I felt a Fun-eral, in my Brain.” The poem’s rhythm is somewhat hymnal as this meter has an eight-syllable line followed by a six-syllable line throughout. However, this rhythm is not precisely consistent throughout the whole poem. A dramatic break in this meter appears on line sixteen with the word “Wrecked” being accented for emphasis. This break in the meter seemingly works to show the drop off in the poem, like a ship hitting an iceberg. This break could also be interpreted to be the place in…
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