Friday, March 23, 2012

Journal 27

Many of Emily Dickinson's poems were written to the tune of church hyms and other religious songs. This is not at all surprising, considering her deeply puritan childhood and her own religious devotion. Generally speaking, there is a sort of continuum between musicians and poets, and rarely do you ever see a musician with no appreciation for poetry or a poet without a fondness of music. Generally, a poet will almost sing their poem as they are writing it to keep a steady rhythm. All things considered, it really only makes sense that some of her poems would sound like popular church music.

Honestly, I wish I had taken the time to read more of Emily Dickinson's poetry before we started discussing it. I have only read a few of her more popular poems so far, but I can already tell that the way she writes takes a lot of time to become easily understood. The language she uses is different from the type of language I hear every day, and she uses a lot of symbols. She puts her verbs in places that most people would not, like after a predicate adjective. The symbols themselves make the poetry a little bit difficult to understand at first, but they also make it much more interesting.

Dickinson spent her entire life trying to decide how life works. Her philosophy is quite literally her life's work. She believed that every aspect of a person's life was connected to every other aspect. One could not have religion without love, or love without loneliness, or loneliness without some consideration of death. A great deal of her poems start out on one theme but end on another that seems entirely different at first. Through reading the poem, Dickinson can share how the two are really connected despite the original impression of their not being at all related. It really is amazing how well thought out all of her poetry is, and even stranger is that she did not want them to be published.

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