Theres a Certain Slant of Light

Theres a Certain Slant of Light

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

Poem 303 – The Soul Selects her own Society
The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —

Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
At her low Gate —
Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat —

I’ve known her — from an ample nation —
Choose One —
Then — close the Valves of her attention —
Like Stone —

Poem 465 – I heard a Fly buzz – when I died
I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portions of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

Poem 754 – My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun
My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun –
In Corners — till a Day
The Owner passed — identified –
And carried Me away –

And now We roam in Sovereign Woods –
And now We hunt the Doe –
And every time I speak for Him –
The Mountains straight reply –

And do I smile, such cordial light
Upon the Valley glow –
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let its pleasure through –

And when at Night — Our good Day done –
I guard My Master’s Head –
‘Tis better than the Eider-Duck’s
Deep Pillow — to have shared –

To foe of His — I’m deadly foe –
None stir the second time –
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye –
Or an emphatic Thumb –

Though I than He — may longer live
He longer must — than I –
For I have but the power to kill,
Without — the power to die –

Poem 1129 – Tell all the Truth but tell it slant
Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind –
Instructions:

Using the 5 poems above, answer the following 2 questions with at least 5 sentences each

1. For many years, critics believed Emily Dickinson suffered from agoraphobia, a social disorder that makes one fearful of leaving his or her house (sometimes even one room!). However, her poetry could be interpreted in a way that suggests Dickinson, rather than being afraid of people, was contemptuous of people. Support this position by using examples from her poems.
2. Dickinson’s poems often engage, directly or subtly, with her own solitude and anonymity as an artist. Describe the variety of ways and moods in which this situation is addressed.

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