Poems by Emily DickinsonConsidered by many to be the spiritual mother of American poetry, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was one of the most prolific and innovative poets of her era. Well-known for her reclusive personal life in Amherst, Massachusetts, her distinctively short lines, and eccentric approach to punctuation and capitalization, she completed over seventeen hundred poems in her short life. Though fewer than a dozen of her poems were actually published during her lifetime, she is still one of the most widely read poets in the English language. Over one hundred of her best poems are collected here.
There's a certain Slant of light
However, in this edition, the poem was altered and it was published in its original form in The poem alternates lines of seven and five syllables in a trochaic pattern of four stresses and three stresses. However, the metric unit of each line ends in a monometer. The rhythm and the stressing will vary through the poem, but this is the general pattern. Notice the dashes and the commas in the middle of the lines. These are used by Dickinson in order to slow down the pace of the poem and control the rhythm and the musicality of the stanzas.
This poem focuses only on the effect of a certain kind of light that the speaker notices on winter afternoons. What kind of oppression this is, exactly, is what the rest of the poem describes. Thus while this slant of light is oppressive, while it creates difficulty for the speaker, the diction makes it clear that it is also uplifting. This difficulty is, however, one that leads to greater understanding, and thus perhaps uplifts her, and in so doing takes her closer to God. The importance of this painful transformation becomes even clearer in the third stanza. This painful transformation has a better side to it implied throughout the poem, a certain uplifting that makes it worthwhile, that makes those who have lived through it members of a select club.
To interpret Dickinson will stay a challenge and a never-ending task. Her poems are so deep and full of meaning that every word in them carries the multiple of its normal weight; her poems are at the same time precise and not precise at all. If we try to pin them down to a specific meaning it seems to lose some of its colorful variety, which in some of her poems is even visible by Dickinson's practice of leaving alternative word choices next to each other without choosing one. Robert Weisbuch gives in his essay "Prisming Dickinson; or, Gathering Paradise by Letting Go"  the helpful triple advice: "Don't point; don't pry; don't settle for one truth. Emily Dickinson's words shine in various colors and so do the possible interpretations.
Emily Dickinson It was not available in its original form until Thomas H. On the surface, the poem explores the depression that light deprivation may inflict upon the mind during winter. And yet it also opens out to a cluster of associations that are specific to Dickinson herself. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, , in Amherst, Massachusetts, the second of three children to respectable, upper-middle-class Puritan parents. She would later describe her father as domineering and her mother as emotionally distant.
Emily Dickinson The slant gives the speaker a heavenly hurt. It is not physical suffering, but the suffering of the spirit. Man helplessly must endure this suffering, because the sources of suffering are so mysterious and powerful. The forces of nature which send affliction on man are so powerful that even landscape shudders at their approaching footsteps, and shadows suspend their breath with fear. When they go away, it is like a look of death going away from us. The season, as well as the day, are suggestive of death.