Emily Dickinson was a mid to late nineteenth century American poet who wrote thousands of short poems known as fascicles. All of her work was published after her death starting five years after she died from 1890 to 1955. Dickinson typically spoke about nature, death, and religion throughout her poems and tended to be only around ten lines each. Another characteristic of her writing was the fact that her poems were void of a title with only a handful of them having a proper one. Throughout Dickinson’s writing she utilizes poetic devices such as metaphor, alliteration and personification to stress the themes such death, religion, and nature.
In Dickinson’s “This is my letter to the world…” she expresses feelings of loneliness and struggles to communicate with nature and the world as a whole. She is writing a letter to the world, personifying it, and explaining that the world doesn’t respond back to her because she tends to stay inside her house and not experience the world.
In the poem, “Success is counted sweetest…” she utilizes alliteration of the “s” and “n” sounds to convey the idea that success is appreciated by people experience failure to a great extent. She compares this feeling to something sweet like nectar. The use of poetic devices in this poem help convey the overall idea on how people take things for granted based on their past experiences.
In, “Much madness is divinest sense…” Dickinson talks in a way where she believes that what is typically perceived as being crazy may be sane and that the people that are viewed as normal may be the ones that are actually mad mentally. She says, “To a discerning eye” which helps show that what is perceived is not what is true. This kind of goes hand in hand with the popular saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” which can be applied to her overall point here where what is seen on the outside as being normal is more insane than those that are perceived as being mad.
In “I taste a liquor never brewed…,” Dickinson utilizes a metaphor of being drunk to help express her obsession with the world. Dickinson is drunk on air. This poem consists of four stanzas, in which the second and fourth lines rhyme. This poem could also be interpreted as referring to the temperance movement that was occurring during Dickinson’s lifetime.
In “Some keep the Sabbath going to church,” Dickinson details how she keeps the Sabbath day by being at home and taking in the wonder and beauty of nature. She uses a metaphor in which she compares a bird to a choir, and Church to orchards. In the poem, Dickinson reflects on her thoughts about religion and how she believes in following down her own path opposed to he ways of the Church. The rhyme scheme is an abcb pattern.
It is a pity that Emily Dickinson poems was not appreciated until after her death.