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Emily Dickinson Nature Poetry

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Presentation on theme: "Emily Dickinson Nature Poetry"— Presentation transcript:

1 Emily Dickinson Nature Poetry

2 General statements. For Emily Dickinson… Nature explores the relationship between natural and human world (like Romantic poets & Transcendentalists) Nature is a source of joy and beauty, which (unlike R&Ts) can without warning and without obvious cause become threatening and dangerous. Nature is at times concerned with: (1) death, annihilation, (2) a regenerative, restoring force (3) indifferent to humanity

3 328 A bird came down the walk (1862) Glossary: Walkpath Anglewormearthworm, usually used as bait to catch fish Dewsmall droplet of water And rowed…the oceanand carried himself home more smoothly than if he were a boat in the sea Too silver for a seambecause of the mirror-like effect of silver, it is impossible to create a seam in it Banks of noonthe sides of a river at midday Plashlesssplashess (when butterflies jump into water they do not splash) Analysis sheets

4 328 A bird came down the walk (1862) The poem contrasts the awkward, comical, anxious bird on the ground with the graceful, beautiful bird in flight. Bird represents/symbolises for the quick/lively ungraspable wild essence that distances nature from human beings who desire to tame it Note the lack of interaction possible natural and human worlds Showcase of EDs poetic powers of observation and description These images may be associated with the physical and spiritual aspects of human existence Two breath-taking descriptions of flying (rowing and swimming) evokes the delicacy and fluidity of movement Precise, clear, concrete details Iambic trimeter, varied with one tetrameter with occasional four-syllable lines> stanza one to emphasise bird hopping Loose ABCB rhyme scheme: typical of EDs poetry Dash –for slight pausing? Bird movements? Shock at way dinner is consumed? Conversational tone: amphora Change in enjambment & language: alliteration and assonance, imagery

5 986 A narrow fellow in the Grass (1865) the threatening nature of nature A description of a snake and the fascination and fear it can induce Description of snake and recollection of boyhood snake encounter, only creature which entices fear 1st stanza sibilance to echo creatures hiss From aural suggestions to visual images: spotted shaft, whip lash Rather playful tone changes with final line. A sudden constriction in breathing and a hollow, numbing coldness emphasised by the chilling assonance of final phrase. Shift from slant rhyme to exact rhyme What of the biblical and historical associations of the snake and temptation? As Lucy B, suggests the snake is representative of the temptation of interacting with the natural world in much the same way it tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden and set in motion the fall of man. (?) and the danger of this encounter.


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