Emily Dickinson Poem 465

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Emily Dickinson’s collection of poems in The Norton Anthology of American Literature is quite extensive, making my poem selection choice challenging; my grappling over so many poems led to choosing two that I most enjoyed, but also struck me as profound, moving my emotions. The two poems to be interpreted are poem 465 (page 6 of the packet) and poem 214 (page 10 of the packet). In my explicatory comparison of these two poems, I will compare the poetic strategies of both, but also elucidate how they both speak to Dickinson’s opinions surrounding the power and weight words have: on the reader, the responsibility of a writer and the powerlessness she must have felt to control her own thoughts. Structurally, poem 465 has two stanzas with…show more content…
But when the words are printed in a book “perpetual seam” or after words are written then they could potentially be bound for others to read—“When folded in perpetual seam”—the writer is responsible for the mistruths or lies or exaggerations they have written. The final line in the first stanza, “The Wrinkled Maker lie” evokes Dickinson’s belief that writing without thought or consideration of what one’s words might manifest is careless or something for writers to caution. Dickinson is warning readers about considering not only what they write, but how long their words could influence readers, “The Wrinkled Maker lie” the writer, or the more mature writer or an old writer could lie, but could also die, with their words being discovered for future readers with potential consequences. This interpretation comes from reading the Anthology’s description of how Dickinson put her poems into fascicles in her drawer found only after her death (1662). With not having more than a few poems published in her life, and those published poems edited to fit the popular form, this first stanza could be a warning to herself that her poetry after her death might be read by others and be open to misinterpretation, or that her poetry could…show more content…
Knowing that Dickinson wrote hundreds of poems that were never read by anyone during her life and that she created fascicles that were found in her drawer reconfigures this poem’s meaning moving it to mean more than solely the force of nature. As poem 465 was about the power of a writer’s words, this poem also speaks to that; if a thought can “ignite” like a “Fire” and not be put out and can be go about in the “Night” as writers are often thought to be deep thinkers lost in their heads and write at night, Dickinson could be talking about her thoughts as a writer or a writer’s methods. The second stanza further supports this analysis. “You cannot fold a Flood,” “And put it in a drawer,” “Because the Winds would find it out,” “And tell your Cedar Floor” can be a description of the words that take over her mind come at her with such force that she cannot contain them. Even if she puts them in her fascicles in her drawer, they are never safe there—just as they were found after her death. The last line speaking of “Cedar Floor” is interesting, because she lived most of her life in her family’s home, making the “Cedar Floor” maybe her bedroom floor or a place where she kept poetry in a floor board, or a floor of her home where she felt

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