The Burden of Grief's True Weight
Poetic Style Analysis on the works of Emily Dickinson
In ¨I Can Wade Grief - ¨, metaphors can be found repeatedly relating happiness to weakness. On line 4 it reads, ¨But the least push of Joy / Breaks up my feet-- / And I tip-- drunken--¨ (4-6). Another example includes, ¨Give Balm -- to Giants-- / And they'll wilt, like Men--¨ (13-14). The former claims joy intoxicates those who feel it and the latter how nourishment serves no challenge and weakens those of strong character.
¨As Imperceptibly as Grief - ¨ includes on lines 2-3, ¨The Summer lapsed away-- / Too imperceptible at last¨ and on lines 12-13, ¨A courteous, yet harrowing Grace, / As Guest, that would be gone--¨. These both relate to the grace of happiness and its disappearance as a season of nourishment retreated.
¨I Measure Every Grief I Meet¨ also contains metaphors, such as ¨I wonder if It weigh like Mine-- / Or has an Easier size.¨ (3-4) and ¨An imitation of a Light / That has so little Oil--¨ (15-16). These relate to the illusion of happiness and the severity of grief among various people, including the narrator's.
Both found ¨I Can Wade Grief -¨, ¨But the least push of Joy / Breaks up my feet--¨ (4-5) and ¨Power is only Pain--¨ (10) give characteristics to emotions. These include joy being able to 'push' a person to intoxication; or power containing only pain while also showing the prominence of the emotions together.
¨As Imperceptibly as Grief -¨ has examples of its own such as, ¨The Summer lapsed away-¨ (2) and ¨The Dusk drew earlier in--¨ (9). These examples are of times of a given day or year allowed the ability to physically fade away or draw closer as a replacement.
Examples in ¨I Measure Every Grief I Meet¨ include, ¨Death--is but one--and comes but once--¨ (27) and ¨Or would [years] go on aching still / Through Centuries of Nerve--¨ (21-22). Death is given the impression of actually arriving to some and serves as one of the many causes of grief; while years are said to ache through centuries, arguing that pain does not heal over time.
In ¨I Can Wade Grief -¨, these such lines can be spotted on almost every line. For example, the poem begins with ¨I can wade Grief-- / Whole Pools of it--¨ (1-2), in this case to expand upon the previous line.
Yet in ¨As Imperceptibly as Grief -¨, it is used at ¨Sequestered Afternoon -- / The Dusk drew earlier in --¨ (8-9) to incite contrast between two forms of figurative language at the point of a shift.
These can also be found in ¨I Measure Every Grief I Meet¨, where again they spark contrast in presented thought, ¨At length, renew their smile-- / An imitation of a Light¨ (14-15)
No matter where they are found across her works, line breaks serve as necessary pauses interrupting the readers's normal reading flow and causing them to dwell on emphasized phrases.