Emily Dickinson 3


Not anything is stale so long
as yesterday’s surprise -
How important is the idea of riddling in Emily Dickinson’s poetry? Cover a range of poems in your answer, and discuss at least four of them in close detail.
During the late nineteenth century, Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) featured as one of the few female poets in the largely male-dominated sphere of American literature. Although she authored 1800 poems, only seven were published during her lifetime - why? Emily Dickinson has always provoked debate; over her life, her motivations for the words she wrote and the interpretations of those words. It can be argued that Emily Dickinson herself, was as ambiguous, as ...

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was important to Emily Dickinson for several reasons. She wished to reason with her own feelings despite her contradictory beliefs - she wished to be one who "distils amazing sense / from ordinary meanings (#448)".
For her, life, nature and faith were all riddles in themselves. None of these three come with all the answers, although clues are given - her poems both deal with and mirror this phenomenon.
And through a riddle, at the last -
sagacity must go - (#501)
(In these lines Dickinson doubts the sense of religious claims about life, death and life after death). Her cryptic language thus became part of her search for truth and personal clarification. She couched her poetry in ambiguous, complex and multi-layered language - in this form it became both a defence, and a game. The riddles concealed her anarchy, her dissension and her audaciousness in questioning the status quo. She achieved her most audacious commentaries and attacks on American perceptions and ...

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the readers awareness and intuition. One of the important functions of her poems were to decode the riddles she perceived in life, and search for the answers to her questions. As a consequence her poems have an expository nature - parallelling the actions of the reader as she/he attempts to decode and expose the core of the riddle. It has been argued that for Emily Dickinson, because life was uncontrolled and manipulative, so was imagery. Imagery for Dickinson was expansive of feeling, understanding and possibility, and it is through imagery that she achieves her tricks of perception and her illusionary performances. Through an arsenal of masks and poses, (she) sanctions her ...

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Added: 4/3/2006 05:57:33 AM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2046
Pages: 8

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