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"We Never Know How High We Are" -Emily Dickinson

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Zoe Rios

on 17 March 2014

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Transcript of "We Never Know How High We Are" -Emily Dickinson

"We Never Know How High We Are" -Emily Dickinson

She read a lot, and looked up to old English poets. The author also spent a lot of time with her family, and hardly got any visitors. Being in isolation led to her spending most of her time writing and reading.
After Reading
The meaning stays close to the same, you just get more of an idea about how "high" you might actually be without realizing it.
Emily Dickinson
-Born in 1830 and spent most of her life in Amherst, Massachusetts.
-Agoraphobic, which means she was afraid to leave her house.
-Wrote 1775 poems while locked in her room.
-Family found & published her poems after she died.
We never know how high we are
Till we are asked to rise
And then if we are true to plan
Our statures touch the skies-
The heroism we recite
Would be a normal thing
Did not ourselves the Cubits warps
For fear to be a king-
The poem is short and simple, with only two stanzas. This represents how the point is clearly made and easy to understand. She doesn't keep anything back, just says it like it is.
Poetic Devices
Mood: the picture with the story is inspiring and happy looking.
Symbolism: "asked to rise"
Imagery: "Our statures touch the sky-".
Metaphor: "how high we are"
End Rhymes: Rise and skies, and thing and king.
Theme: Never doubt yourself, because if you try you might be surprised by what you can do.
We thought the title meant that you don't know what you're capable of or what you can do, or how good you are until someone makes you realize it.
The speaker is the reader, because there isn't a narrator or any characters. At the beginning of the poem, the reader kind of doubts themselves, but when they try, they discover they can accomplish what ever it was that they were asked to do.
In the first stanza of the this poem,the speaker is basically saying that we all have potential for greatness, but we never know what we're capable of, until we are asked to do our best, and if we really try our hardest, then we can achieve anything. In the second stanza of the poem, she says "Did not ourselves the Cubits warp." which means that we diminish ourselves from our own greatness because we are scared. Dickinson also uses the line"for fear to be a king") which means that we would become and act in heroism more if we were not afraid to be in power.
Theme(s) of poem
The main theme of "We Never Know How High We Are" is that we don't ever realize how good we have it or how good we are until we do something we thought we couldn't.
Another could be to believe in yourself, because if you try your hardest you can accomplish whatever you want to do. This poem can be looked at as a sort of wake up call for some that doubt themselves still.
By: Danielle Whiting & Zoe Rios
Full transcript