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Hollowness in Emily Dickinson's Poetic Discourse Essay example

Assignment id 1002592
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 3324
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Hollowness at Emily Dickinson's Poetic Discourse Much has been said about Emily Dickinson's mystifying poetry and private life, particularly during the years 1860-63. Allegedly it was during those years the poetess, at the most prolific phase of her career, came from society, began to wear her "characteristic" white dress and suffered a series of psychotic episodes. Dickinson tended to "theatricalize" herself by talking through a host of personae in her poems and by "fictionalizing" her internal life as a Hindu love (Gilbert 584). Assuming that a poem is "the best words in the best order" (to quote S.T. Coleridge) and that all the poems stemming from a single consciousness bring about surface unique facets / expressions of the same personal mythology, I will firstly disregard biographical details in my interpretation of Dickinson's poems 378, 341 and 280 and second place them in a sort of "continuum" (beginning with 378 and ending with 280) to show how they try to describe a "dip" into the Unconscious and a lapse into insanity (I refrain from using the term "travel," for it implies a "telos," a goal that, whether or not not, is something non-existent in the poems in question. Faced with the issue of articulating and concretizing internal psychological conditions, Dickinson established a completely new poetic discourse which lacks a transcendental signified and thus can dramatize the three stages of a (narrated) psychological collapse: existential despair, withdrawal in the world of the senses and "death" of consciousness. In poem 378 the reader is introduced into the mental world of a speaker whose relentless questioning of metaphysical "truths" has led her to a state of absolute "faithlessness": l.. .

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