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Free Essays: Nature in Dickinson’s Poetry Biography Biographies Essays

2016-03-31 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

Nature in Dickinson’s Poetry The Imagery of Emily Dickinson, by Ruth Flanders McNaughton, in a chapter entitled "Imagery of Nature," examines the way the Emily Dickinson portrays nature in her poetry. Dickinson often identified nature with heaven or God (33), which could have been the result of her unique relationship with God and the universe. There are a lot of religious images and allusions used in her poetry, such as the rainbow as the sign of the covenant God made with Noah. Dickinson always held nature in reverence throughout her poetry, because she regarded nature as almost religious. There was almost always a mystical or religious undercurrent to her poetry, but she depicted the scenes from an artistic point of view rather than from a religious one (34). One of the most obvious things that Dickinson did in her poetry was paying minute attention to things nobody else noticed. She was obsessed with the minute detail of nature—paying attention to things such as hills, flies, bumble bees, and eclipses. In these details, Dickinson found "manifestations of the universal" and felt the harmony that bound everything together (33). The small details and particulars that caught her eye were like "small dramas of existence" (39). Each poem was like a tiny micro-chasm that testified to Dickinson’s life as a recluse. Dickinson’s created "dramas" were not static, but everything from the images she used to the words she chose for impact contributed to a "moving picture" (39). In the following poem, Dickinson writes how nature acts as a housewife sweeping through a sunset: She sweeps with many-colored brooms, And leaves the shreds behind; Oh, housewife in the evening west, Come back, and dust the pond! You dropped a purple ravelling in, You dropped an amber thread; And now you’ve littered all the East With duds of emerald! And still she plies her spotted brooms, And still the aprons fly, Till brooms fade softly into stars— And then I come away. Dickinson artistically shows the "sunset in terms of house cleaning" (36). The themes of domestic life and housewifery are displayed in the preceding poem. Only somebody with the observational powers and original creativity like Emily Dickinson could see something so unique and refreshing in a sunset. Dickinson also saw nature as a true friend most likely because of her time spent alone with it. She describes nature as a show to which she has gained admission. Dickinson saw friendship and entertainment in the world of trees, bees, and anthills. "The Bee is not Afraid of Me" is an excellent example of Dickinson’s communion with nature. The bee is not afraid of me, I know the butterfly; The pretty people in the woods Receive me cordially. The brooks laugh louder when I come, The breezes madder play. Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists? Wherefore, O summer’s day? Also, consider the minute detail that Dickinson pays the world of bugs and insects. Convicted could we be Of our Minutiae, The smallest citizen that flies Has more integrity. And part of another poem: And then he drank a dew From a convenient grass, And then hopped sidewise to the wall And let a beetle pass. Each of the previous four lines creates images and scenes from a kind of "miniature painting" that Dickinson works to create (39). More is achieved through the use of precise description than could be done by examining the philosophical aspects behind a nature. Dickinson always felt as if she were one of them, the creatures of nature, and she felt more at ease with her world of crickets, dew, and butterflies. Even though spending life as a recluse seems like undesirable to most people, our world owes a debt of gratitude to Emily Dickinson for the way she introduced us to her world of nature in such a different and special way. All preceding critical material came from: McNaughton, Ruth E. The Imagery of Emily Dickinson. University of Lincoln, Nebraska, 1949.

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