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The Moon is distant from the Sea- (387)
Transcript of The Moon is distant from the Sea- (387)
Facts about Emily Dickinson
Her bedroom as a child looked upon a burial ground ("Emily Dickinson").
Although Dickinson isolated herself from the outside world,she kept in correspondence with people ("Emily Dickinson).
She died of bight's disease, caused by kidney degeneration (Pettinger).
What is the true meaning behind the poem "The Moon is distant from the sea"?
Does the relationship between men and women relate to the relationship between the moon and the sea?
Why were you so critical of your poems and never published them?
Four lines per stanza
65 words in total
First stanza: 22 words
Second stanza: 22 words
Third stanza: 21 words
Topic of the poem
The poem tells that
the moon and the sea
are in love. Dickinson is comparing a relationship with a man and a women to the relationship she describes between the moon and the sea.
The Moon is distant from the Sea –
And yet, with Amber Hands –
She leads Him – docile as a Boy –
Along appointed Sands –
He never misses a Degree –
Obedient to Her eye –
He comes just so far – toward the Town –
Just so far – goes away –
Oh, Signor, Thine, the Amber Hand –
And mine – the distant Sea –
Obedient to the least command
Thine eye impose on me –
The Moon is distant from the Sea- (387)
Theme of the poem
Type of poem:
Literary Devices and Effect
"Just so far," (Dickinson 7/8). The repetition allows the reader to notice that the Sea does not go past its appointed limit and therefore furthers the readers understanding of the poem.
"The Moon is distant from the Sea," (Dicksinson 1). The imagery allows the reader to picture the scene in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying meaning of the poem
"with Amber Hands- She leads Him," (Dickinson 2/3). The personification of the moon leading the waves strengthens the comparison between the relationship between the moon and sun, and a human relationship.
The lines are broken before a grammatical or logical completion of thought, allowing the poem to flow more easily from one line to the next.
"docile as a boy" (Dickinson 3). Allows a reader to have a better understanding of the relationship between the sea and the moon, and depicts the sea as being submissive.
The moon and the sea are metaphors for "Signor" and Dickinson. Throughout the poem the metaphor changes as the gender roles change. In the last stanza, the moon (Signor) controls the sea (Dickinson). This metaphor outlines the underlying theme to the poem (Dickinson 9-12).
It is ironic that the speaker of the poem goes from being a dominant female figure, the moon, which controls the sea, to a submissive one who does whatever a man tells her to.
"The Moon is distant from the Sea," (Dickinson 1). The moon is actually thousands of miles away from the sea, and by using the word "distant" the moon and the sea do not seem as far away as they truly are. The use of the understatement allows the reader to draw the conclusion that men and women are not as directly connected and influence each other as much as society wants to believe.
The relationship between the moon and the sea is a symbol for the relationship between man and woman; the moon controls the actions of the sea as a man controls the actions of a woman.
The poem appears to be about the moon's influence on the sea, and how it's tides are affected.
The Moon is Distant From the Sea
Written by Emily Dickinson
The mood of the poem is serene and the theme of nature regarding the ocean and the sky established this theme in the poem.
This poem is distinctive because it compares relationships in nature to gender relationships. One line that stands out is "She leads Him, docile as a boy"(Dickinson 3), because it shows the author was thinking about women's roles in relationships in a time not many people were.
Oh, Signor, Thine, the Amber Hand-
Here in the poem there is a gender reversal. Dickinson is now the Sea and is under the control of "Signor," the amber-handed moon (Kornfeld).
(adj.): Ready to accept control or instruction; submissive
(pronoun): Used to indicate the one or ones belonging to thee
(noun): A hard translucent yellow, orange or brownish yellow resin
The theme of this is the great sacrifice one makes for love and marriage. Dickinson is saying that without a man, women are independent and can do what they desire. When they get married, they give up control to the more masculine character in the relationship.
Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
"Amber." Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amber>.
"Docile." Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/docile>.
Kornfeld, Susan. "The Moon Is Distant From The Sea." The Prowling Bee. Blogger, 12 Dec. 2012. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://bloggingdickinson.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-moon-is-distant-from-sea-and-yet.html>.
"Thine." Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thine>.
"Emily Dickinson." Famous Authors. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://www.famousauthors.org/emily-dickinson>.
Pettinger, Tejvan. "Emily Dickinson Facts." Biography Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. <http://www.biographyonline.net/contact.html>.
ABCBDEFGBABA. The rhyme scheme allows the poem to gain a song-like quality and makes the reader able to remember the poem more easily. It also enhances the mood of the poem.
The meter of the poem is free verse.
Eye/away (Dickinson 6,8). Creates a subtle rhythm to the poem without distracting the reader from the underlying meaning of the poem.
"toward the Town—" (Dickinson 7). Draws attention to the fact that the moon draws the sea close to the shore, but the sea is obedient and draws back before the water gets too close to shore
Claudia, Johanna, Maddison, Carissa, Lucia, Jack, Trevor
Work of art similar to poem:
Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Night
When reading the poem there seems to be a song like quality to it