It Sifts From Leaden Seives - ED

Decent Essays
Emily Dickinson’s poem “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves” at first glance appears to be a simple riddle, with the obvious answer being snow. As is typical of Dickinson’s poetry, there is much to be found within for contemplation and her profound perspective of nature, life, and the human condition shines forth. Written in simple, mostly monosyllabic words and with a masterful use of poetic devices she produces some powerful themes within the beautiful imagery. Though the words are simple and the poem is among the easier to understand of her almost 1800 poems she produced during her lifetime, it is a technically complex poem that has at least two meaningful and powerful themes hidden within.
As is typical of much of Dickinson’s poetry most of
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The repeated sounds of word interior consonants, or consonance, also plays a role in adding to the verbal flow of the poem with the sounds of the words “all, fills, alabaster, wool, wrinkles, and stump, stack, stem, and wrists, posts, ghosts” More of the beautiful imagery of the poem is obvious when it is paraphrased and also reveals the emotional theme of the peace and tranquility that is experienced in the leaden silence of a heavy snowfall. This is the poem paraphrased-Snow falls silently from dark and heavy clouds and sprinkles the forest and roads that are blanketed in white, it fills in and equals out the mountains and the valleys in a continuous blanket covering fences in a heavenly sheet, all the remains of the summer’s harvest in the fields with covered with snow and showing not a clue, beautifully highlighting the remaining exposed features, then vanishing in a vapor, leaving no traces of their presence. It instantly reminds anybody that has ever experienced a winter storm of this beauty in nature, and of the peace and beauty in the purity of the clean snow. Dickinson also makes the reader subliminally realize the perceptual pleasure and heightened imagery of the scene by associating the scenes with other things normally associated with beauty such as the application of powders and makeup to a person’s face, celestial veils, and the ruffled ankles of a Queen.
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