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Emily Dickinson, Leaving Cert Complete Poetry Notes

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Table of Contents

“Hope” is the thing with feathers 5

Summary 6

Annotation 7

There’s a certain Slant of light 8

Summary 9

Annotation 10

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain 11

Summary 12

Annotation 13

A Bird came down the Walk 14

Summary 15

Annotation 16

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died 17

Summary 18

Annotation 19

The Soul has Bandaged moments 20

Summary 21

Annotation 22

I could bring You Jewels – had I a mind to 24

Summary 25

Annotation 26

A narrow Fellow in the Grass 28

Summary 29

Annotation 30

I taste a liquor never brewed 31

Summary 32

Annotation 33

After great pain, a formal feeling comes 34

Summary 35

Annotation 36

Sample Answers 37

2005 37

What impact did the poetry of Emily Dickinson make on you as a reader? Your answer should deal with the following: 37

(a) Your overall sense of the personality of the poet, 37

(b) The poet’s use of language/imagery. 37

Refer to the poems by Emily Dickinson that you have studied. 37

Far from being old-fashioned and irrelevant, Emily Dickinson’s unique poetic language continues to have both an enduring appeal and universal relevance. Discuss. 39

Reading Dickinson’s poetry: A Personal Response 42

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.


Our speaker begins by talking about hope. She wants us to know that it's got feathers, it hangs out in the soul, and never stops singing its wordless song. Its song sounds the sweetest when the weather is at its worst, in fact. It would have to be a really bad storm to lessen the effects of this bird, which has kept so many people warm. Our speaker has heard this bird singing in the coldest land...

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