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I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

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by

Viviana Martinez

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

I Felt A Funeral, in my Brain
by Emily Dickinson

FONTS
Dividing the poem
Rhyme Scheme

Syllable Breakdown

Sentence Breakdown

Speech Acts

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -
Tone
The tone of this piece is morbid, lonely, and hopeless. Dickinson portrays the character as unable to do anything about her macabre situation although surrounded by others. The tone is also anxious because it almost seems that the character knows what is about to happen. When repeating sounds, the character seems to also dwell on her circumstance, feeling bothered and helpless, yet as a matter-of-factly because of it.
Meaning
The meaning behind this poem has to do with the unnoticed pain one endures despite not being physically hurt and how no one can ever fully understand another person's pain through the use of an extreme case, such as a deceased person's funeral. Those around the person could possibly be mourning, but they yet have a chance to understand the hopelessness of seeing all these mourners not acting against one's burial as a result of the presumed death. In this case, Dickinson even bears the question, do we feel and observe even after death?
Theme
A
B
A
B

C
D
C
D

E
F
E
F

G
H
G
H

I
J
I
J
9
6
9
6

7
6
8
6

8
6
8
6

8
6
8
6

8
6
9
6
Here, the speaker is talking about how much her head hurts and how those around her just seem to pace, as if to correspond with the pounding in her head.

The people around her are not aiding her pain, but rather acting as an audience.


She says that she feels a coffin top come over her and that she was closed in, hence the lack of space.

She was closed in by herself, hearing the pounding of everything above her.


She was put into the ground when she probably shouldn't have, since the reason she was buried was due to lack of reason. Then she died without having finished the poem.
Analysis by Viviana Martinez
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -
Even when our pain is unseen, and our battle takes place in the depths of our "mind", we feel that the world is crashing down on us causing us to "sink" into a state of death, "silence" and solitude, while the rest of the world could be oblivious of our internal state despite being present physically. Thus, the theme is pain and suffering (internal).
The speaker is listening,
feeling,
rationalizing,
sharing an account,
suffering,
and dying.
Full transcript