Poetry Essay Question - Emily Dickinson What are some of the emotions conveyed in the work of Emily Dickinson which you have studied? Explain in your answer what techniques were used to communicate them. In the poems I felt a funeral in my brain, There came a wind like a bugle, Because I could not stop for death, and After a Great pain, Emily writes to a common themes, death and suffering. The emotions that Emily Dickinson conveys in these works are, depression, insanity, instability, victimisation, sadness, misery, hopelessness, dejection, powerlessness and many more. She reaches out to her readers stimulating an arousal of deep emotion. Emily Dickinson uses techniques such as imagery, symbolism, personification, structure and punctuation to communicate and stimulate emotion in her poems. Emily's use of condensed imagery and language catalyses her communication and expands on the portrayal of her poems.
Imagery empowers the reader to understand and reflect on poem, searching for the deeper and sometimes hidden meaning. 'Boots of lead', have the connotations of diving, drowning, weight, holding you down and heaviness. The Image parallels with depression, becomes an emotion. Her variety of images incorporated within such a short poems gives depth and perspective. Approaching the end of the poem After a great pain, the image of the 'Hour of lead' creates the sense of a numb state, this is re-enforced by the previous image 'A Quartz contentment, like a stone', it adds to the quality and appreciation of the endless, melancholy, dull and heavy endurance that is created through the pain experienced. We sense this feeling even further emphasized through the image 'Freezing persons', finally creating the no longer painful, numb, desensitized state.
It is through language and imagery that Emily is able to create the world of the poem. The images cause the reader to experience the pain, and sense what the person in the poem is feeling. Often Emily personifies her emotions, events, nature, and things around her. 'Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me'.
In this poem Emily personifies Death, 'We slowly drove. He knew no haste', 'For his civility'. Death becomes her companion, a friend. She gives death human qualities that the reader can relate to, catalyzing the stimulation of emotion within the reader, emotions that as the reader, we do not normally associate with death. There came a Wind like a Bugle is a poem that uses personification to great extent, 'It quivered through the grass', 'Doom's electric Moccasin', 'panting Trees', 'Fences fled away', 'Houses ran'. The personification of the storm, wind, trees, fences and houses threatens the reader, leaving you powerless at the mercy of the storm, as the familiar becomes intimidating, and frightening.
Personification is a technique that enhances the poems, giving images characteristics, to further create the overall picture. Emily Dickinson uses structure, punctuation and grammar extremely cleverly. Even in the structure of stanzas, Emily is able to stimulate emotions within the reader. In There came a wind like a Bugle the disregard for stanzas is characteristic to the storm within poem. It creates constant movement to the poem, leaving the reader to be swept along by the storm, inescapable, trapped.
The unique use of the dash (-) to Emily's punctuation, invites the reader to pause, reflect and consider what has just gone on before, stimulating thought, and allowing the reader to feel. Emily Dickinson effectively communicates her emotions and is able to stimulate emotions through her unique techniques. It is through her condensed imagery and language, personification, structure and punctuation that Emily is able to communicate her emotions so effectively and intensely upon the reader. By using condensed imagery, personification and the use of dashes Emily allows the reader to picture, relate and reflect on the poems as they are reading them, allowing the reader to feel as they read. This stimulates and catalyses emotion within the reader effectively and efficiently.