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Poetry Analysis Sample
Transcript of Poetry Analysis Sample
by Ms. Smoragiewicz
This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,--
The simple news that nature told,
With tender majesty.
Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!
-- Emily Dickinson
rhyme scheme- the pattern of rhyming sounds at the ends of lines within a stanza.
Although I enjoyed reading "Prelude" because of the sing-songy rhyme scheme, I found it difficult to analyze because it is not direct in its meaning. I liked Dickinson's personification of nature, by calling nature "her", because it made it a bit easier to understand, since it made me think of "Mother Nature". It also made me think that Dickinson was mad at this "Mother Nature" for making her the way that she was. It was also easier for me to analyze once I read a little bit about Emily's Dickinson's life and the time period that she lived in. Once I found out that she lived in a world where women often did not write poetry, it made sense to me that Dickinson might have been frustrated with the fact that Mother Nature had made her the way that she was.
The poem "Prelude", by Emily Dickinson, seems to be a plea for understanding from her "fellow countrymen". It seems that Dickinson is frustrated at the world because in the second line, Dickinson mentions that the world had "never wrote to me". She then goes on to talk about nature, and the "simple news that nature told". This makes me think that Dickinson is mad at something that nature gave her. The lines "Her message is committed/ To hands I cannot see" makes me think that whatever nature has "told", Dickinson cannot change it, since nature has "hands I cannot see". My interpretation of these lines is that Dickinson is frustrated with being a woman (something that nature has given her) and hoping that her "countrymen" will be understanding. Because Dickinson lived during a time period where women were treated like second class citizens, I can assume that she might have had these frustrated feelings about being a woman.
The Theme of "Prelude"
personification- giving human characteristics to non-human things or animals
"The simple news that nature told, With tender majesty.
Her message is committed"
Dickinson refers to nature has "her", even though nature does not have a gender. Also, the line "The simple news that nature told" shows personification because nature cannot tell anyone anything, as it does not have a mouth to speak. So, Dickinson is giving human characteristics (the ability to speak and be female) to a non-human thing (nature). This affects the poem by making the reader regard nature as a powerful being, able to "tell" us something.
This is my letter to the world, a
That never wrote to me,-- b
The simple news that nature told, c
With tender majesty. b
Her message is committed d
To hands I cannot see; b
For love of her, sweet countrymen, e
Judge tenderly of me! b
The rhyme scheme in the poem helps it sound enjoyable and catchy. The repetition of the long "e" sound happens multiple times in the poem, which makes it quite ear-catching for the reader. Finally, I think that the rhyme scheme here makes the poem sound a little bit like a nursery rhyme, giving it a playful sort of mood.
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10th, 1830. She lived a quiet life, and almost never left her home. Over the course of her life, she wrote almost 1,800 poems, but did not attempt to have them published. Her poems focused on themes of pain, joy, sadness, and nature. Emily Dickinson was not famous for her poetry until after her death, in 1886.