Style in Poetry

Emily Dickinson

GABRIELLE MCLEAN

Big image

"I Can Wade Grief"


"Give Himmaleh--

They'll Carry -- Him!" (lines 15-16)

Language Style

All Three of Emily Dickinson's grief poems share the use of personification and symbolism.

PERSONIFICATION

"I Can Wade Grief"


"But the least push of Joy

Breaks up my feet--" (lines 4-5)

-Dickinson is saying that surviving pain is easy because it is the usual, but when someone is kind it is hard to handle. Suddenly defenses are dismantled. She uses the personification "push of Joy" (line 4) to show that kindness throws one off balance. It makes one unstable.


"Let no Pebble -- smile--" (line 7)

-Dickinson tells the pebbles, who are the witnesses of her fall, not to mock her. This shows that she thinks of joy as a weakness that she wants no part of.


"As Imperceptibly as Grief"


"Or Nature spending with herself

Sequestered Afternoon--" (lines 7-8)

-Here, Emily shows how "Nature" (line 7), which is really her happiness, starts to leave her and spend time in isolation. Happiness has become something that she can see, but for the most part, is left out of.


"Our Summer made her light escape

Into the Beautiful" (lines 15-16)

-Dickinson personifies her happiness fleeing from her. She uses a tone of light cheerfulness, but it is not for her. It is leaving, and grief has overcome the light.


"I Measure Every Grief I Meet"


"I wonder if when Years have piled--

Some Thousands -- on the Harm--" (lines 17-18)

-Emily personifies years piling one on top of the other to create the effect of hopelessness. She wonders if time can heal pain or if it will go on forever.


"To note the fashions -- of the Cross--

And how they're mostly worn--" (lines 37-38)

-Emily says that she observes how different peoples' pain is expressed. She does this to show how diverse pain can be and how so many things can cause it.


SYMBOLISM

"I Can Wade Grief"


"Give Balm -- to Giants--

And they'll wilt, like Men--" (lines 13-14)

-This means that kindness can soften the hearts of even the toughest and meanest people. Dickinson reveals the antidote to pain, but she says that grief is a better thing to have because at least she can control it.


"GIve Himmaleh--

They'll Carry -- Him!" (lines 15-16)

-If one presents challenges as big as mountains, another will always rise to meet the challenge. This gives the effect that hardships aren't always bad things. They can make one stronger.


"As Imperceptibly as Grief"


"The Summer lapsed away--" (line 2)

-Emily is saying that her happiness is leaving her like seasons that come and go.


"The Dusk drew earlier in--

The Morning foreign shone--" (lines 9-10)

-Here, Emily is saying that grief is overtaking her life. The dusk (pain) is coming earlier and morning (her happiness) is weak and far away. She wants us to see that the change may not be obvious just a little worse each day, but we must be aware so we can stop it before it's too late.


"I Measure Every Grief I Meet"


"An imitation of a Light

That has so little Oil--" (lines 17-18)

-She says that even if people get over their pain, they never fully recover. This gives a sad effect that there is no going back.


"To note the fashions -- of the Cross--" (line 37)

-Dickinson symbolizes pain as the cross of Christ. She does this to give added weight to the statement.

Big image

"As Imperceptibly as Grief"


"A Quietness distilled

As Twilight long begun," (lines 5-6)

Syntactical Style

All three of Emily Dickinson's poems use Enjambment which means that she continues the sentence without a break at the end of the line.

ENJAMBMENT

"I Can Wade Grief"


"But the least push of Joy

Breaks up my feet--" (lines 4-5)

-Dickinson uses enjambment here to connect the push to the unsteady feet to show that joy can make people unstable.


"As Imperceptibly as Grief"


"A Quietness distilled

As Twilight long begun," (lines 5-6)

-Here, quiet diffusion and long-spreading pain are connected. She combines these two lines to make the pain seem even stronger without the line pause.


"I Measure Every Grief I Meet"


"A piercing Comfort it affords

In passing Calvary--" (lines 35-36)

-Emily uses enjambment to compare comfort and horrible pain. This shows that when she sees others in pain it comforts her to know that she is not alone.

Big image

"I Measure Every Grief I Meet"


"I wonder if They bore it long--

Or did it just begin--" (lines 5-6)

Thematic Style

The theme of these three poems is that grief comes slowly like a disease, and it grows but never leaves. In "As Imperceptibly as Grief" Dickinson shows happiness slowly fading, "Too imperceptible at last// to seem like Perfidy--" (lines 3-4). It comes so quietly and so slowly that one doesn't realize it, but it pushes out happiness. Emily shows that as time goes on, one starts to accept grief, even cling to it. In "I Can Wade Grief" she says, "I can wade Grief--// Whole Pools of it--" (lines 1-2), but those in pain start to hate joy because they can't control it like they have learned to control the pain. Joy makes them weak because they can't respond to it with evil. Emily Dickinson starts analyzing pain in "I Measure Every Grief I Meet". She says, "I wonder if it hurts to live--" (line 9) so long with pain. She explains the various types of grief: death, loneliness, poverty, etc. She describes those that have suffered long, who wonder if it will ever end and says that even those who have healed are scarred forever. In all the hurt though, she says, there is comfort knowing that those who suffer are not alone. So life goes on, but the disease of pain stays forever to haunt people. In this way, Emily Dickinson shows the progression of grief via these three poems.