Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One Word

The word "Breath" in Dickinson's poem 258 adds a very unusual element to her usual dark and death centered poems. In the poem, she uses the word "breath" to personify dark shadows as she describes them holding their breath. She brings life-like quality to an inanimate object. This word is rich in that it is surrounded by darker and lifeless words seen throughout the poem such as oppress, weight, hurt, despair, affliction, and death. It stands out and makes the darker words more intense by insinuating that this oppressive despair is so great that it has a life of its own.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


THERE’S a certain slant of light,   
this line brings up an image of sunlight that comes in from the windows, the kind you can see from inside a room that is darker than it is outside. 
maybe a slant of light that comes into a dark room from a crack in a door. On winter afternoons,   
dark, cold, gray.
That oppresses, like the weight   
a heavy burden, tension.
Of cathedral tunes.   
dramatic, epic, organs echoing of high ceilings.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;   
heavenly hurt could mean a divine pain, a pain so great it's pleasurable. a holy pain, a pain from  higher being. 
We can find no scar,   
no mark or disfigurement can be seen. no physical damage.
But internal difference   
mental, emotional, spiritual change
Where the meanings are.   
where significance lies.

None may teach it anything,   
this is confusing, it does not correspond directly to the previous stanzas. no one can teach it anything. what is it? why is it incapable of being taught?
’T is the seal, despair,—   
the apostrophe T is an abreviation for "it". "seal" could mean either something that is joined together or a wax seal on a letter. the dash is added for a pause at the end of the line.
An imperial affliction  
a royal or grand disorder. 
Sent us of the air.   
sent upward, to an atmosphere.  

When it comes, the landscape listens,  
what is "it"? it holds importance among the land and nature.  
Shadows hold their breath;  
darkness is afraid, anticipating, anxious.  
When it goes, ’t is like the distance   
when "it" leaves it is like a gap. On the look of death.   
death's gaze. the vision of darkness, or death.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm Michelle and I'm an English Education major. I hope to be a high school English teacher. I love the ocean and surfing and I work as a lifeguard in the Presidio. I'm super stoked to be in this American Literature course. Totally.