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Emily Dickinson was a poet who used many different devices to develop her poetry, which made her poetry quite unique. A glance at one of her poems may lead one to believe that she was quite a simple poet, although a closer analysis of her verses would reveal the complexity it contains. Dickinson’s poem “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”, is a prime example of complicity exemplified by simple style and language. In this piece, Dickinson chronicles mental fall. The use of many different devices such as sound, metaphors and repetition all help to develop the craftsmanship of the poem.
Like all of Dickinson’s poems, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, is condensed and packed with striking imagery, the poem creates a clear picture of what is happening in Emily’s mind, with the use of her words “treading”, “breaking”, “seated and “drum”. All of these words help to tell the story of what is going on in her mind during the time she wrote the poem and amplifying her distress. Emily also shows her perspective of her current situation by the use of her movement in the poem.
The poem uses a slow rhythmic movement throughout the poem, which develops the meaningfulness of the words Emily has used to help inscribe the emotion and imagery into the readers mind, e.g. when using the word “creak”, it sends out the imagery of an opening casket. The use of slow rhythmic movement affects the user by allowing them to open up their mind to the thought and emotion of the poet. The sounds used in the poem is a strong aspect in creating the craftsmanship of the poem.
I felt a funeral, in my brain uses alliteration such as “felt” and “funeral”, “treading”, “treading” and “till”. There are a few good examples of onomatopoeia in this poem, like “beating, beating” which was used to describe the sound of her heart, raising the anxiety of a reader as they read through the poem.
Like many of Dickinson’s other poems, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” explores the ability of the human mind under stress and attempts to demonstrate the stages of a mental breakdown through the overall allegory of a funeral. The known rituals of a funeral are used by Dickinson to mark the stages of the speaker’s mental collapse until she faces a destruction that no words can articulate As the metaphorical funeral begins and progresses, the speaker’s “mind” grows “numb” until her final remark stops in mid-sentence, e.g. the ending of the poem,. “-then-“. I felt a funeral in my brain uses concrete language and imagery to explore mental issues of the poet. The incident that the funeral is used to describe, however, does not have to be interpreted as a mental breakdown. The poem allows for other readings of what establishes the “funeral,” such as an actual funeral in which they are consciously awake during the funeral itself or the idea that the poet has lost a part of her that she un able to retain therefore saying goodbye to a part of herself.
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