Essay on Emily Dickinson: Untitled, Unregulated, and Unchained

Decent Essays
You know her name. You’ve seen it following quoted lines of poetry; printed on greeting cards, cross-stitched and framed on your grandmother’s bathroom wall, and engraved into silver lockets. Regarded as one of the greatest American poets, you are no stranger to her work. You know her name. Say it.

Emily Dickinson.

And boy, was she a wierdo! …admittedly, most geniuses are. Emily Dickinson dedicated most of her privileged, reclusive life to her art. She employed a brilliance for lyricism, unconventional form, syntactical experimentation, and set the course for possibilities of poetic craft. The use of fragmentation in her poetry cuts away excessive wordiness, and gets right to the heart of the matter. This compressed lyric utilization
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In fact, in the poems we were guided to alone, there is a number of repeating images/words: blue, Bees, sky, sea, Butterflies, Eye, air, Angel, Heaven, and even the mention of a Spider. These presented natural occurrences are included as a tribute to their liveliness and beauty, and can be interpreted as small-scale representations for the meaning of the universe. The subjective nature of poetry leaves room for interpretation, which effectively allows each reader to create their own meaning.

Dickinson also uses elements of the natural world metaphorically in her writing to express a range of different ideas. From her poem #207,

“I taste a liquor never brewed-
From tankards scooped in Pearl-
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air- am I-
And Debauchee of Dew-
Reeling- thro’ endless summer days-
From inns of molten Blue-

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door-
When Butterflies- renounce their “drams”-
I shall but drink the more!” (p.1667)

In the second stanza of this poem, Dickinson refers to herself as an “Inebriate of air” and a “Debauchee of Dew”. These self-proclaimed titles signify Dickinson’s resistance to traditional means of living. This could be taken to mean she doesn’t require alcohol to become intoxicated, rather, Dickinson thrives in her ability to obtain a natural high of sorts. Furthermore, calling herself the “Debauchee of Dew” really showcases her drive to be one with nature, and unrestrained by
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