By Harold Bloom (Editor)

ISBN-10: 0791096130

ISBN-13: 9780791096130

This article places Dickinson in a category with Whitman, Frost, Stevens, Eliot, and Crane. Analyzed are "There's a undeniable Slant of light," "Because i couldn't cease for Death," and "Tell the entire fact yet inform it slant." additionally featured is a accomplished biography of Emily Dickinson, a user's consultant, exact plot summaries of every novel, extracts from very important serious essays, an entire bibliography of Dickinson's works, an index of issues and concepts, and editor's notes and creation via Harold Bloom. This sequence, Bloom's significant Poets, is edited by means of Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the arts, Yale collage; Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Professor of English, big apple college Graduate tuition; preeminent literary critic of our time.

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Additional resources for Emily Dickinson (Bloom's Modern Critical Views), New Edition

Example text

P–1084] Like much of Dickinson’s poetry, these lines allow for a certain latitude of interpretation, but their central thrust is clear. For an unusually specific period of time, the neutrality of space and “silent Sky” is transformed by the song of a bird. “Presence” is the word Dickinson gives to this musical interlude. Its opposite condition—the silence that precedes and follows—is not (as common sense might suggest) “absence” but “place,” not a condition of emptiness but a setting into which the bird’s song has already once introduced itself and where it may yet again at any time.

The extremity of the speaker’s emotions becomes extremely puzzling: “retrieveless blame” and “Great Nature’s Face / Passed infinite by me” suggest a psychological depth that the literal situation doesn’t call for. The reader is left wondering what so extreme an emotion could be evoked by, and what the hidden connection between the flower and the unknown symbolic referent could be. One is led, when reading such a poem, to a state of presque vu about the poet’s intentions and private associations. The powerful suggestiveness of the poem results from its being a demotivation of a hypotext that was more explicit about these associations.

In “At Half past Three, a single Bird,” the movement, rising to the fulfillment of “silver Principle” before lapsing into the suspenseful mystery of Place and the final satisfactions of Circumference, is a bit more complex. Dickinson overcomes the obstacles of vacancy and distance by means of a direct application of personal charm in the first instance and by means of an attentive and appreciative ear in 28 Douglas Anderson the second. Both strategies replace a deadening vacuity with vivid presence.

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Emily Dickinson (Bloom's Modern Critical Views), New Edition by Harold Bloom (Editor)


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