Analysis of Language, Imagery, and Diction of Dickinson’s Poetry

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Language, Imagery, and Diction in Emily Dickinson's Because I could not stop for Death, A narrow Fellow in the Grass, and I felt a Funeral in my Brain

All good poets use the basic literary techniques of figurative language, imagery, and diction in their poems. However, only great poets use these techniques to transmit an experience to the reader; Emily Dickinson was one these poets. She used these techniques to bring the reader a new perception of life, and to widen and sharpen the readers’ experiences.

Dickinson’s poetry strongly affects the minds of her readers because she uses many forms of figurative language, such as, irony, personification, paradox, and similes. For example, in her poem “Because I could
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Dickinson’s use of figurative language allows her to bring her ideas to life in the mind of the reader because her words capture the senses, emotions and the imagination.

Dickinson writes elaborate imagery by using her words to recreate the impressions of actual experience. For example, in Dickinson’s poem, “I felt a Funeral in my Brain,” she writes, “And then I heard them lift a Box / And creek across my Soul / With those same Boots of Lead, again” (Lines 9-12) Through the use of auditory imagery, Dickinson brings the reader into the funeral scene. The reader can hear the casket creaking as it is lifted and the heavy footsteps that walk across the floor. In addition, in her poem, “Because I could not stop for Death,” Dickinson writes, “We paused before a House that seemed / A Swelling of the Ground- / The Roof was scarcely visible- / The Cornice-in the Ground” (Lines 17-20) The imagery in this passage is powerful because Dickinson describes the tombstone in such a way that the reader can almost reach out and touch it. This passage doesn’t describe a simple tombstone, rather, it paints a detailed picture of an important edifice, the solemn graveyard in which it sits and the forlorn mood of its surroundings. Furthermore, in the poem, “A narrow Fellow in the Grass,” Dickinson writes, “The Grass divides as with the Comb- / A spotted

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