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The Last Night That She Lived

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Emily Bailey

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of The Last Night That She Lived

Emily
Dickinson

The Last Night That She Lived
By Emily Dickinson
Project by Emily Bailey, Zunny
Padilla, and Maria Villa
Biography
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst , Massachusetts . As a teenager, she had an active social life but over time she became reclusive, rarely leaving her home after the age of 30. She dedicated all of her time to writing poetry, and she communicated with letters. She didn't publish many of her works during her time. When Dickinson passed away, her sister found over 1000 poems , Dickinson left instructions for the poems to be destroyed. Her family didn't grant her wish and shared the poems. Dickinson's early editors diminished the power of her verses and changed them to more common known language. In 1995, Thomas H. Johnson published the original work, after this publication Dickinson's poetry became fully appreciated, and she was then acknowledged as a visionary who was far ahead of her time.
The Last Night That She Lived
The last night that she lived,
It was a common night,
Except the dying; this to us
Made nature different.

We noticed smallest things,—
Things overlooked before,
By this great light upon our minds
Italicized, as ’t were.
That others could exist
While she must finish quite,
A jealousy for her arose
So nearly infinite.

We waited while she passed;
It was a narrow time,
Too jostled were our souls to speak,
At length the notice came.
She mentioned, and forgot;
Then lightly as a reed
Bent to the water, shivered scarce,
Consented, and was dead.

And we, we placed the hair,
And drew the head erect;
And then an awful leisure was,
Our faith to regulate.
Unknown Words
italicized-typing is slanted to the right
arose-to awaken, to rise up, ascend
infinite-immeasurably great, unlimited or unmeasurable in duration of time or boundaries of space
jostled-to bump, push or shove; to unsettle or disturb
consent-to permit, approve or agree
leisure-free from the demands of work or duty
Rhyme Scheme
Slant-words don't rhyme but sound mildly similar

ABCB- "night" and "different"
DEFE- "before"and "were"
GHIH- "quite" and "infinite"
JKLK- "time" and "came"
MNON- "reed" and "dead"
PQRQ- "erect" and "regulate"
Analysis
The last night that she lived,
It was a common night,
Except the dying; this to us
Made nature different.
Stanza 1: The last night of the character's life isn't special. To the rest of the world, it feels like nothing has changed and that it is just a regular night, but to her, the world and nature feel different.
We noticed smallest things,—
Things overlooked before,
By this great light upon our minds
Italicized, as ’t were.
Stanza 2: The mind see's differently when it is close to the state of death and our perspective on the world has changed. We notice things we never noticed before when we are vulnerable and when soon we won't be able to soak up any more knowledge.
That others could exist
While she must finish quite,
A jealousy for her arose
So nearly infinite.
Stanza 3: That her and her life were coming to an end while the rest of the world would keep on going bothered her to her core. She wasn't permitted anymore time on earth but it seemed the Earth didn't even notice or care.
We waited while she passed;
It was a narrow time,
Too jostled were our souls to speak,
At length the notice came.
Stanza 4: Her loved ones were with her as she lay upon her death bed, ever inching towards the end. The ones who mattered to her were too wracked with pain and sorrow to even morn.
She mentioned, and forgot;
Then lightly as a reed
Bent to the water, shivered scarce,
Consented, and was dead.
Stanza 5: At first, she felt the need to argue and to fight, and then gently, with one finally breath, she finally game up the fight and passed on into death.
And we, we placed the hair,
And drew the head erect;
And then an awful leisure was,
Our faith to regulate.
Stanza 6: Her family sees that she is gone and they all say their good byes and now that it is all over, they are left with the difficulty of having to find a way to move on after the passing of a loved one.
Literary Devices
Alliteration:

"We waited while she passed"

This is an example of alliteration because the "W" sound is being repeated throughout the line.
Simile:

"Then lightly as a reed
Bent to the water, shivered scarce"

In this line, she is being compared to the lightness of the reed, includes the word "as" differing it from a metaphor.
Personification:

"Too jostled were our souls to speak"

This is an example of personification because the soul cannot actually speak in the way we think of speech.
Amplification:

"We noticed smallest things -
Things overlooked before,
By this great light upon our minds
Italicized, as 't were"

Dickinson added the last three lines in this stanza to emphasize the importance of the first line. She describes it as a "light" showing how death enlightened her and showed her the importance of the things she had overlooked before.
Imagery:

"By this great light upon our minds"

This is imagery because the line makes one picture a great light.
The End
Full transcript