Symbolic Images: The Poetry Of Emily Dickinson

1173 words - 5 pages

The poetry of the Imagists is short, simple, and quite literal in its meaning in order to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. When they describe an object, it means just what they say. A tree is a tree, a flower is a flower, and a bird is a bird. Imagists have little use for abstract words or ideas, and tend to shy away from them as much as possible. Emily Dickinson doesn’t fall under the same category as the Imagists, as she doesn’t use the same techniques as the Imagists.
     Dickinson’s poems center on very vivid images, with very different takes on them. They very often contain abstract concepts, which are often given concrete principles and are incorporated as part of her images. She implants deeper meanings behind her images, and tends to rely on a different technique than the Imagists. The majority of her work relies heavily on a different type of imagery – symbolism.
     One of the poems where this symbolism is most evident is “My Life Had Stood – A Loaded Gun.” This poem is obviously based around a strong metaphoric image, as Dickinson is comparing herself to a gun belonging to someone else. In the poem, she uses the gun as a symbol to show her role in the patriarchal society she lived in. The first stanza shows this feeling:
     My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –
     In Corners – till a Day
     The Owner passed – identified –
     And carried me away –
In this stanza, Dickinson never explicitly mentions the owner to be a man, but as women didn’t use guns in those times, it is understood that the owner would be male, which she does clarify later in the poem. Even without an outright declaration of male ownership, these lines imply the role that women were supposed to take in Dickinson’s time, sitting silently in the background until a man wishes to take them away.
     In the last stanza of the poem, Dickinson echoes the same theme of needing a man to access her power.
     Though I than He – may longer live
     He longer must – than I –
     For I have but the power to kill,
     Without – the power to die –
These lines tell of Dickinson’s feeling of dependence upon a male figure. One can only guess which male figure Dickinson had in mind when she wrote this poem, but it is easy to see that whoever it is, she feels he must live longer than her, as she can’t do anything without him. The lines “For I have but the power to kill/Without - the power to die –“ sum up Dickinson’s feelings of the power of women. She obviously feels that women do have tremendous power, but in the heavily male-oriented society of her time, that power lay dormant without a man to use it.
     Another poem heavily laden with symbolic images is “The...

Find Another Essay On Symbolic Images: The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson and Interpretations of Her Poetry

1533 words - 6 pages Emily Dickinson and Interpretations of Her Poetry During Emily Dickinson’s fifty-six years she was able to produce many complex poems that contained deeply hidden meanings. When I consider the life she lived, this is not surprising to me. She was not only talented, but she also was born into a family and time that would provide much of her inspiration. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born into the Dickinson family on December 10, 1830 in

Emily Dickinson: Emotion Through Poetry Essay

2675 words - 11 pages on the poetry of Emily Dickinson (Online Lit).As a child, Emily Dickinson grew up in a well known family from Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, and she had an older sister named Lavinia. At the time of her birth, Dickinson's parents were too poor to take care of her. In order to ensure that she had all that she needed, Emily was sent off to live with her Aunt Lavinia, who lived about forty miles

The Theme of Death in Poetry by Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath

1319 words - 5 pages Death is a prevalent theme in the poetry of both Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson. They both examine death from varied angles. There are many similarities as well as differences in the representation of this theme in their poetry. Plath views death as a sinister and intimidating end, while Dickinson depicts death with the endearment of romantic attraction. In the poetry of Plath death is depicted traditionally, while Dickinson attributes

Emily Dickinson: Poetry of Pain and Beauty in Heartbreak

2870 words - 11 pages ' (6-7). As one critic has stated about Emily Dickinson, `writing was as necessary to her as breathing, and her poetry was not just what she wrote: it was who she was'. Emily's intent in her poetry was to capture the truth of life and human experiences and then retell them in her poems (37). What the gossips considered eccentric and peculiar, the literary world considers evolutionary. Emily's choice of words for the feelings she wanted to

Emily Dickinson, and Death as a Theme in her Poetry

807 words - 3 pages Although she lived a seemingly secluded life, Emily Dickinson's many encounters with death influenced many of her poems and letters. Perhaps one of the most ground breaking and inventive poets in American history, Dickinson has become as well known for her bizarre and eccentric life as for her incredible poems and letters. Numbering over 1,700, her poems highlight the many moments in a 19th century New Englander woman's life, including the

Death, a Theme in Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman´s Poetry

1450 words - 6 pages poetry is rather long and quite simple and Emily Dickinson's are often short and complex, the theme of death strongly ties their works together. To begin with, both Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson spoke about not only a person dying, but the people who were left to live through that person’s death. Whitman aims his attention on the people who have to suffer through the death of a loved one and says that the one who dies no longer has to suffer

Religious Influences on Emily Dickinson: Puritanism and Transcendentalism in Her Poetry

1424 words - 6 pages secluded herself and her poetry from the rest of the world. The two types of religions present in Emily Dickinson's life, Puritanism and Transcendentalism, had great influence over her poetry. Puritanism allowed Dickinson to remain grounded in her faith of God, while Transcendentalism permitted her to release herself from limiting conceptions of humanity which enabled her to view herself as an individual with an identity. To understand the

Poetry Analysis on Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson

552 words - 2 pages Poetic Analysis on Because I Could Not Stop for DeathIt is known that Emily Dickinson had a natural fear and obsession for death and her contemplation of her death is reflected in her poem, Because I Could Not Stop for Death. In Dickinson's works, she personified death, the central theme of the poem. Instead of describing death as a place of being or a state of mind, she describes death as a person or spirit coming to retrieve her soul. This

two essays on Hamlet; main idea /themes, and "To be or not to be" speech. Plus a couple of junior school poetry essays, one shorter essay on Emily Dickinson

2547 words - 10 pages army and people fear what is about to happen. The apparently calm day suddenly has a "green chill" and something "ominous" has happened. Dickinson has used this simile very effectively.In the middle of the poem we are shown the destructive effects of the violent storm."On a strange mob of panting treesAnd fences fled awayAnd rivers where the houses ranThose looked that lived that day"The trees are exhausted by the thrashing storm. Fences and houses

The Works of Emily Dickinson

978 words - 4 pages ending leaves readers to question whether truth and beauty are mortal or immortal. Her poem,“A Day”, is a great example of the major characteristics Dickinson shows in all of her poetry. Dickinson’s writing is lyrical with a single speaker (Emily Dickinson Museum). “A Day” uses many of the same techniques as “I Died for Beauty.” “I Died for Beauty”’s question of the immortality of beauty is almost parallel to Lana del Rey’s song, “Young and

The Secluded Life of Poet, Emily Dickinson

1150 words - 5 pages dieing shortly after. Emily Dickinson followed a religious path. She idealized religion in most of her poetry. She decided to stay in the house at all times and focused on her poetry. Many people didn't understand her actions of being distant from the rest of the world. How does one justify the importance of one's contributions to the world with a distressful belief? Emily stayed in her families house, rarely meeting others from the outside

Similar Essays

The Poetry Of Emily Dickinson Essay

1158 words - 5 pages ! Dickinson's Poetry !! Emily Dickinson was a poet, but because the nature and the purpose of her poetry often was to edify her readers, Emily Dickinson was also a teacher. She did not teach math or science. She did not teach geography or history. Through her poetry, she taught - and still teaches - something of a far greater value: life lessons. In four of her poems, Dickinson uses the common theme of perspective as a means to illustrate

The Life And Poetry Of Emily Dickinson

2132 words - 9 pages Emily Dickinson is one of the most influential American authors, whose works transformed the way people view poetry and female authors. Her exceedingly complex life has proved a tremendous influence on her instrumental poetry, creating its originality and distinguishing her from other great poets of the nineteenth century. As well, her use of symbolism and imagery has continued to make her work celebrated. Although Emily Dickinson lived a

Essay On The Poetry And Life Of Emily Dickinson

1466 words - 6 pages The Poetry and Life of Emily Dickinson        Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830. She was from a small town in Amherst, Massachusetts. One hundred and seventy-one years later people enjoy reading Emilyâs poetry. There is intrigue behind both her poetry and her life. Emily Dickinson remains a popular poet; her poetry has stood the test of time. Dickinson shunned public attention and during her life, she refused to have

Emily Dickinson: Poetry Impact Essay

1460 words - 6 pages 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