Emily Dickinson's poem 'A slant of light' seems to be a religious poem as it has links to Cathedrals which are religious buildings, "Cathedral tunes" are typically played at funerals, so this suggests the service is taking place in a Cathedral even though it hasn't been confirmed. In general has reference to things you would associate with religion ie, light, The religious theme runs through many of her poems, this could suggest that she has expereinced a fair few deaths, which could be the reason that her poem seems depressing, as she may have been through some tough times, which she has presented in the poems. "We can find no scar", could suggest that there is no physical pain, but metaphorical pain on the inside and soul which makes it clear to me this poem is about a funeral, and not a wedding which some other people seem to think it is about. I think she is watching a funeral from afar as the last line says "on the look of death" which could suggest she is on the outside looking in, showing that she is a distant person.

Sophie Gerring :)
Gemma Jewell ;D
2/6/2012

The important, reoccurring themes seen within Emily Dickinson’s poem are of death, love and resentment. At an early age Dickinson got engaged, however, this was short-lived as her father didn’t see her partner as acceptable, so put a stop to the relationship. Dickinson’s poems may reflect the feelings felt at this moment in time, as it could have caused her to feel resent towards her father. Her father and granddad were also respectful politicians, putting pressure on Emily Dickinson as she was constantly in the public eye. Emily would have been against this, as she was a well-known recluse, so her poems may also highlight the pressure she felt growing up. Death is also a constant theme seen within Emily Dickinson’s work; during her teenage years her cousin and close friend died of typhus, traumatising Dickinson; it may be because of this that leads to her using these emotions inside her poetry.

Two poems that reflect these themes are 258 and 520. Emily Dickinson’s poems both seem very literal to begin with, for example, at first glance poem 520 seems like a poem about a woman walking her dog. However, if we look closely we can make connections from her life to her poems and create deeper meanings for them. In poem 258 we get an understanding that a women is at a wedding and she’s talking about the pain connecting with love. Within the line ‘Tis the Seal Despair- An imperial affliction’ it is suggested that she may be saying that the contract of marriage is a pain that won’t go away, highlighting the resentment she may feel towards people that in love, as her true love was taken away from her at a young age.

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