Emily Dickinson Symbolism Essay

Emily Dickinson Symbolism Essay-5
We seek critical essays by undergraduates from institutions of all kinds, focusing on Dickinson’s poems or letters. To submit an essay for the prize, copies of articles as anonymous word attachments were sent, plus a cover letter with contact information to the following address by May 1, 2015: [email protected]The essays were distributed electronically to a panel of nationally recognized scholars for judging, and Rebekah Davis, a senior English major at Seattle Pacific University, is our first undergraduate essay prize winner.

We seek critical essays by undergraduates from institutions of all kinds, focusing on Dickinson’s poems or letters. To submit an essay for the prize, copies of articles as anonymous word attachments were sent, plus a cover letter with contact information to the following address by May 1, 2015: [email protected]The essays were distributed electronically to a panel of nationally recognized scholars for judging, and Rebekah Davis, a senior English major at Seattle Pacific University, is our first undergraduate essay prize winner.

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As the speaker crosses an eerie, misty meadow, he describes the laugh of a loon “that seemed to mock some goblin tryst” (8).

Lowell uses the goblin as one of many images to conjure up a frightening landscape that would fit in many a fairy tale or myth.

It appears adjectivally in “If you were coming in the fall” (Fr 356) and “Did you ever stand in a cavern’s mouth” (Fr 619), but the goblin also makes more significant appearances as the personification of a fright that harasses the speakers of “The Soul has Bandaged moments—” (Fr 360), “It would never be Common – more – I said –” (Fr 388), “‘Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch” (Fr 425), and “I think to Live – may be a Bliss” (Fr 757).

Though the goblin’s appearance is scattered across six different fascicles, R. Franklin dates all the goblin poems as written in the same year of 1862.

A quick perusal of her collected poems reveals the nonchalant way in which her subjects can switch from birds hopping down a path in “A Bird, came down the Walk –” (Fr 359) to a soul being assaulted by a terrifying fright in “The Soul has Bandaged moments –” (Fr 360).

Out of the number of Dickinson’s poems that treat themes like suffering, pain, grief, and death, six poems in particular depict a maddeningly ambiguous encounter with horror while featuring a specific image unique among Dickinson’s other poems: the goblin.In Dickinson’s time, a goblin was defined in Webster’s Dictionary (1844) as “An evil spirit; a walking spirit; a frightful phantom.” In 1858, Ralph Waldo Emerson demonstrates a less terrifying version of a goblin in his poem “Two Rivers,” published in The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine Dickinson is known to have read.Emerson describes the Musketaquit River in fantastic terms as “a goblin strong / Of shard and flint makes jewels gay” (13-14).The image of the frightful goblins, whether persisting from the childhood threats or presented in other poems and stories Dickinson read, was significant enough to become part of Dickinson’s poetic repertoire, and she enlists the goblin as a supporting character in poems that depict extreme psychological torment.The terrifying creatures of her poems stand in stark contrast to the harmless goblins invoked to warn young Dickinson of the forest’s dangers.The goblin is not the only image or diction they share.Collectively, the four poems record what Maria O’Malley describes as the “sequential reactions of the soul to a traumatic moment: paralysis, escape, and reincarceration” (70).Prescott Spofford’s short story “Circumstance,” which features a young woman being kidnapped by a monstrous black panther.Dickinson biographer Cynthia Griffin Wolff sees the goblin of “The Soul has Bandaged moments” and “‘Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch” as representing a cruel, uncaring God (36).Dickinson was not the only poet to feature goblins in the nineteenth century, and a brief look at some of the goblin’s other literary appearances provides a sense of context for the term.As Daneen Wardrop details in her study of the goblin, it was “A miscreant present in literary history as early as the fourteenth century…

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