Showing 1 - 10 of 11 annotations associated with Dickinson, Emily
This poem captures the last thoughts and sensations of a person on her death bed. Surrounded by mourners who are bracing themselves for her death, the narrator’s focus as she dies is on the most mundane of living creatures: a buzzing fly. The final ebb of consciousness is depicted as a loss of light and sight: "And then the Windows failed--and then / I could not see to see--."
The narrator describes the disorientation felt as she attempted unsuccessfully to organize her thoughts. The "sequence [of thoughts] ravelled out of reach / Like balls upon a floor."
The narrator, who has narrowly escaped death, feels as if there were "odd secrets . . . to tell" to the world of the living. She speculates about her next (and last) encounter with death, anticipating it with curiosity, and resigning herself to the "slow tramp [of] the centuries."
Summary:Death is compared to an "insect / Menacing the tree" in its insidious, covert actions. Although the reader is urged to fight death with whatever means are available, the poet recognizes that some circumstances are beyond hope.
Summary:This poem considers, from the perspective of one who is experiencing it, the overwhelming, apparent timelessness of pain. The author aptly states that pain "cannot recollect / When it began", and that "it has no future but itself."
Summary:The narrator delineates the needs of a human heart and soul: "pleasure," relief of pain, and finally, "the liberty to die."
Summary:The narrator distinguishes between madness and sanity: the beliefs of the majority constitute sanity, whereas those who dissent are considered insane.
Summary:From centuries beyond the grave, the narrator describes the peaceful process of her passing, in which Death is personified and escorts her in his carriage. During the leisurely ride, she passes many ordinary sights: a school house, fields--but finally realizes that the ride will last for all eternity.
Summary:The author feels "a funeral in my brain"--mourners treading, drums beating. They "lift a Box" and tread across her soul with "Boots of Lead" until "a Plank in Reason" breaks.
The poet tells of having suffered two great losses--losses so monumental that they are comparable to death. She wonders if another such devastating event awaits her in the future.