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Imagection Of 'Before I Got My Eye Put Out'

Good Essays
Temmy Batoyun

Professor Pingel

English 121

25 October 2017

Poem 327: Before I Got my Eye Put Out

America’s greatest, most original poets of all time, Emily Dickinson, suffered from iritis - an inflammation of the fine muscles of the eye that causes blurring of vision, difficulties with prolonged periods of reading, and headaches. In 1862, Dickinson expressed her reflection of losing sight through the poem, “Before I got My Eye Put Out” (327). She emphasizes the importance and power of sight through her raw, visceral imagery in the poem. The poem can be divided into three different parts: before the narrator got her “eye put out” (1), the possibility of regaining her sight, and accepting her fate in the end. Emily Dickinson uses imagery, alternating tone, and capitalization to create a sense of uncertainty, deep meaning and tension in her poem, “Before I got My Eye Put Out” (327).

The poem starts with Dickinson admitting to her unawareness of the struggles faced by those who cannot see in the first stanza by stating, “Before I got my eye put out / I liked as well to see- / As other Creatures, that have Eyes / And know no other way-” (1-4). The overall tone of the first stanza is slow and mellow, for she is mourning over her loss. She uses the imagery of having her “eye put out” (1) to express her loss of sight. The unique expression grabs the attention of the reader in an interesting way immediately. Dickinson then goes on to explain how she took her sight for
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