Emily Dickinson - If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking

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If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. This poem by Emily Dickinson is about how to make sense in life, or how to prevent living in vain. She starts the poem with “If I can stop one heart from breaking”. Often times, when someone’s heart has been broken, it’s because of love if someone has left you or died. Already in the first line, one of Dickinson’s major themes, which are death and immortality, has approached. Dickinson continues the poem with “I shall not live in vain”. Vain means doing something without being successful, but with the first two lines combined she is stating that if she can stop or prevent someone from suffering from heartbreak, she will not live in vain - her life make sense or at least it will have some sort of meaning. Dickinson continues “If I can ease one life the aching”. Easing means making something that is really painful will become less painful, and in this case the pain is the heartbreak. “Or cool one pain” “or help one fainting robin unto his nest again”, Dickinson repeats the ways, differently, to help someone ease the pain. And then she makes an example of helping, when she states that helping someone could be helping a robin, which is a bird, with getting back into the bird’s nest again. - Because the bird has fainted and apparently fell down from the nest. Most likely because of a sickness, and lack of oxygen or maybe the bird’s mother has left the nest and the little bird wanted to go look for his mother, and while doing this the bird fell down. - And be easing the pain, Dickinson continues “shall not live in vain”. With all of this Dickinson wants the reader to know that we can give our own lives meaning, by helping others who needs it. This point is close to one of

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