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Comparison of Poems by Emily Dickinson

  • Date Submitted: 05/04/2010 06:12 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.8 
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Emily Dickinson is an outstanding poet; she had seven poems published while she was living and many more after her death. Her poems are widely known today. Such as, “The Soul Selects her own Society” and “Because I Could not stop for Death.” Dickinson has her own unique use of diction, punctuation, subject matter and form; they each contribute to conveying the theme in her poetry.
A poet’s use of diction refers to the individual choice of words, ranging between conversational and standard levels. Diction can vary throughout the decades. In Dickinson’s time period the words that were used commonly then but not now are being used frequently in “Because I Could not stop for Death” such as tippet, tulle, cornice, and gossamer; these words are called archaisms. These particular archaisms are being used to evoke a different feeling or meaning from the reader, as opposed to just saying shawl instead of tippet and net-like fabric rather than tulle. The use of these words also helps portray the time period the poem is set to be in. archaisms also used in “The Soul Selects her own Society,” but much less frequently. Dickinson also uses connotation in her poem “The Soul Selects her own Society,” as she says, “an Emperor be kneeling / from an ample nation / close the Valves of her attention” (7, 9, 11). The use of connotation in this poem forces the reader to think deeper and analyze in order to determine the true meanings. Many forms of imagery are used in “Because I Could not stop for Death,” such as “We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain / We passed the Setting Sun” (11-12). These two lines contain visual imagery that paints a picture in my head of an actual wheat field, its grains blowing in the wind as the sun is setting. It adds to the meaning of the poem by reminiscing life, as it comes to an end. The choice of words in each poem along with their specific uses each help to convey their theme.
The poems “The Soul Selects her own Society” and “Because I Could not stop...


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