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Emily Dickinson - Higher Level, Essential Poetry Guide


How do I use these notes? 2

What is the poetry section all about? 2

Questions asked in previous years… 2

How do I approach it? 4

How do I structure my response? 4

What should to be in my answer? 5

Terms to remember 5

Emily Dickinson 7

“Hope” is the thing with feathers 7

There’s a certain Slant of light 8

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain 10

A Bird came down the Walk 11

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died 13

The Soul has Bandaged moments 14

I could bring You Jewels – had I a mind to 16

A narrow Fellow in the Grass 17

I taste a liquor never brewed 19

After great pain, a formal feeling comes 20

How do I use these notes?

  • These notes will serve as a companion to your studies on these poets and their poems. In each poet’s section you will find both background information on the poet and then analyses of their poems. The poem will also be presented (with line numbers for ease of use). The aspects of the poems that will be covered include:
    • Title: This will be a brief analysis of the title, prior to reading. The title often becomes clearer after a close reading and understanding of the poem.
    • Summary: Here we will briefly explain what the poem is actually saying.
    • Poetic Techniques: These are the figurative devices that you will find in “Terms to Remember” below. Here we have pointed out the main devices used and given a brief overview about how they are used.
    • Themes: Some of the major themes of the poem will be listed. This is not an all-encompassing list; there may be more themes that you feel are addressed in the poem.
    • Tone: Tone is also open to interpretation. While one reader may feel that the tone is apathetic, another reader might find it hopeless or sad. After reading the poem fully, write down your own list of adjectives that you feel describe the poem. These are the tone of the poem from your own perspective. Make sure, however, that you are able to back up your assigned tone with aspects from the poem, including literary devices.
    • Structure & Rhythm: The structure of the poem will be outli...

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