Explication of Emily Dickenson’s Poetry Essay

December 24, 2021 by Essay Writer

Glory is that bright tragic thing

That for an instant

Means Dominion –

Warns some poor name

That never felt the Sun,

Gently replacing in oblivion – (Dickenson)

This paper is aimed at discussing Emily Dickenson’s poem called Glory is that bright tragic thing. In particular, it is necessary to look at the themes that the author explores and stylistic elements that she uses. Overall, in her work Emily Dickenson focuses on the idea that glory or fame should not be the ultimate goal of an individual, especially if he/she is a poet or artist who is engaged in creative activities.

This is the central theme of her work. To a great extent, Emily Dickenson describes the experiences of many people who want to achieve the recognition or praise of others. These are the main questions that should be discussed.

First, it should be noted that this poem contains only seven lines and this brevity is a characteristic quality of Emily Dickenson’s poetry. This work represents some of stylistic elements that are typical for the workers of Emily Dickenson. In particular, one can speak about the use of capitalization, especially in the middle of the sentence.

For instance, it is possible to refer to the phrase, “That for an instant Means Dominion” (Dickenson). It seems that Emily Dickenson uses capital letters in order to emphasize the importance of fame for a person and his/her ability to achieve power through glory. Yet, even scholars cannot say for sure why this author uses capital letters in those places where they are not needed.

Additionally, one should not mention very unusual punctuation of the author. For instance, the poem ends with a dash, rather than a period. At first glance, it seems that the poem comes to an abrupt end. One should take into account that punctuation of Emily Dickenson is very difficult to interpret. There are several explanations of this technique; for instance, the poet could use the dash in order to stress the indefiniteness of her poetry.

Additionally, one should refer about poetic techniques that Emily Dickenson employs. First of all, the author prefers the so-called free verse. In other words, she does not follow a particular meter or line. For example, the lines of her poem represent different combinations of stressed and unstressed syllables. Furthermore, Emily Dickenson’s rhyme is not passed on any particular pattern.

Overall, the use of free verse is typical of Emily Dickenson. Yet, one can speak about other expressive means that the author includes. For instance, one can mention synecdoche when the part is used to refer to the whole thing. The author includes such an expression as “some poor name” (Dickenson).

In this case, the author refers to a person who is extremely concerned with glory or fame. Additionally, the author incorporates a very interesting metaphor by comparing glory to “the Sun” (Dickenson). It seems that in this way, the author expresses her ironic attitude toward people who want to achieve fame at any cost.

It seems that this poem reflects some of the issues that could be relevant to the life and work of Emily Dickenson. One should take into account that the majority of her poems were unpublished during her lifetime, and she did not achieve much recognition of readers or critics.

He works were unknown to Emily Dickenson’s contemporary. This is one of the reasons why I decided to focus on the theme of glory when interpreting this poem. Secondly, she attaches importance to such notions as glory and oblivion in order to emphasize the fragility and brevity of fame, especially if it is underserved.

On the whole, Emily Dickenson succeeds in showing how vane and senseless the aspirations of a person can be. One of the things that can greatly appeal to readers is the brevity of the poem. Emily Dickenson is able to express very complex ideas by writing only seven lines and very few poets can cope with such a task. Secondly, the metaphors that the author uses are very illuminating.

For instance, Emily Dickenson compares glory to the Sun that “warns some poor name”. In my opinion, she perfectly describes the experiences of people who are more concerned with fame, rather than creativity. On the whole, this poem does not leave me indifferent, because I also want to achieve the recognition of other people. However, this is not my ultimate goal.

Emily Dickenson’s use of stylistic elements eloquently illustrates some of the themes and ideas that can be important for many poets, writers, or artists. These people often strive for recognition of others, but in some cases, this goal is very difficult to attain.

It seems that the lines of Emily Dickenson do not leave many people indifferent. On the whole, her poem emphasizes the brevity of fame and one can say that this issue was important to the author. Although, this poem was written many years ago, it still appeals to many people.

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