A Closer Look at Emily Dickinson's Poems

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Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” as well as “I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain” and “The Soul selects her own Society” all showcase similar themes. These three poems were only written a year apart and they all present Dickinson’s theme of death and reclusiveness. “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” shows more of a reclusive theme whereas a year later when she writes “I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain” and “The soul selects her own Society” focus on death. Looking at Dickenson’s poem “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” it differs from the other two in that it’s theme is reclusive and not about death. Dickinson’s How dreary - to be- Somebody! How public - like a Frog - To tell one’s name - the livelong June - To an admiring Bog! (5-9) Dickinson’s thoughts on being somebody shows how she dreads being noticed and wants as much seclusion as possible. According to Academy Of American Poets , “By the 1860s, Dickinson lived in almost total physical isolation from the outside world” (Dickinson 1). Her poems reflected her life in the fullest, she wrote exactly how she felt at the time and did not hide her emotions from her writing. Reading her poem about preferring to be isolated quickly transited to being a lot more depressing in her latter poems. “I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain” shows a darker side to Dickinson’s writing. “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,/ And Mourners to and fro “ (1-2). Dickinson writes about a funeral and describes it as if it were her own. Her dark tone speaking of death lead her literary mentor Thomas Higginson to “ advise her not to publish her work because of her violation of contemporary literary convention” (Dickinson 1). Her poem in a way makes it seem like she wants to die. It is a very depressing thing to read about feeling “a Funeral, in my Brain”

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