Emily Dickinson: Poetry Impact

Essay by Mattchew17High School, 12th gradeA, February 2010

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Emily Dickinson has had quite an impact on me over the short time I have been reading her poetry. Her poetry is recognisable at a glance and it leaves you without ever fully understanding what she intended within her poetry. Emily Dickinson's poems often repeat a lot of the same features such as capitals, dashes, short phrases and onomatopoeia.

The first poem I studied was "Hope is the thing with feathers", this poem uses metaphors to convey its message and the entire poem is a metaphor. Dickinson begins her poem by comparing hope to a bird, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul" these lines describe hope as a bird that lives in the human soul. A bird is used as a symbol of good. The following lines extend this by comparing the feeling of hope to the song of the bird, by saying, "And sings the tune - without the words, And never stops at all," This part of the poem also says that the bird never stops singing meaning hope is felt at the best and worst times of life.

The next line states "And sweetest - in the gale - is heard" this line is saying that hope is felt strongest, and greeted most happily at the worst of times. Later on in the poem Emily Dickinson continues to provide more imagery and descriptions. "And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird" this is stating that only in the worst times can hope be defeated or damaged. Dickinson creates a sense that hope is always there and also creates a feeling that it is everywhere. "I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea" this passage creates the idea that hope is everywhere at all...