Uncovering Emily Dickinson

603 WordsJan 28, 20182 Pages
Uncovering Emily Dickinson The poem “Taking off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes” By Billy Collins, amplifies the conflict of Emily Dickinson’s inner feelings being revealed as a result of her poetry being published (Emily Dickinson wanted to keep her poetry private). The speaker is aware of this and he shows a lot respect for Dickinson and her poetry throughout the poem. Respect is shown by the speaker by constantly referring to Dickinson’s poems. The speaker references Dickinson’s work in a way that is easily noticed. The speaker preserves Dickinson’s more complex thoughts and feelings. The title of the story suggests that uncovering Emily Dickinson would be offensive and inappropriate but instead the speaker makes the entire line reflect on the beautifulness of woman. Phrases such as: “The complexity of woman’s undergarments/ in nineteenth-century America/ is not to be waved off” (20), “the bow undone with a light forward pull/… and so tiny and numerous that it takes forever/ before my hands can part the fabric/ like a swimmer’s dividing water/ and slip inside’ (5, 9-12), reveals Dickinson’s inner secrets as well admiration from the speaker. Undressing in the poem symbolizes metaphorically, the real Emily Dickinson, while the clothing symbolizes poetry itself. The speaker is actually the author of the poem. And he admires Dickinson’s privacy in the story while still metaphorically undressing her, due to the amount of respect he has for Dickinson. In an interview done by

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