Analysis My Life Had Stood a Loaded Gun

2510 words 11 pages
Emily Dickinson is a poet known for her cryptic, confusing language. Words are often put together in an unusual way and create deciphering difficulties for the reader. But behind all the confusion is a hidden meaning that becomes clear, and one realizes that all the odd word choices were chosen for a specific reason. The poem I will try to analyze is My Life Had Stood—A Loaded Gun, or number 754. I find this to be one of her most difficult poems to decode. However, I find the images fascinating and the last stanza very confusing but intriguing. What I first thought the poem was about and what I finally came to a conclusion on are two completely different thoughts. Through answering questions on the poem’s literary elements, thorough …show more content…

We also studied Emily Dickinson’s use of rhythm. Dickinson employs a very strict type of rhythm in her poems: Iambs—a series of stress-unstressed syllables, similar to regular speech. In a stanza, the number of iambs is as follows: four iambs on the first line, three on the second, four on the third, three on the fourth. This kind of regular rhythm gets the reader into a steady beat and gives the feeling of ‘poetry,’ though the words may not always rhyme and the subject may not be the typical flowery ideas. While the four, three, four, three iamb beat is effective throughout the poem, I find the rhythm is most effective in the last stanza. I find it makes the stanza powerful, because each line stands on its own, but the words also seem to assist in the flowing, rhythmic nature and provide a structure not quite reached in others. Now let us go inside the poem and try to take it apart. When I paraphrased the poem, I found that it became a muddled, confused series of sentences. The poem has an artistic quality about it, which helps the garbled syntax makes sense, the obscure references become relevant, and the general oddness of the poem seem more tangible. The poem will be taken apart by stanza, and then


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