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  • Nuance - There is no mystery In an onion—tear away All the tissue-thin Layers one by one. You’ll find Nothing irreducible.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Emily At Large

Brenda Schmidt links to this essay by Kamilla Denman on Emily D.'s poetry (focused on her idiosyncratic punctuation). I haven't really had time to read the whole thing thoroughly, it's quite long. Here is some of what Denman has to say about poem 341 (which appears in the comments to the last Emily post here).
The poem begins with words conventionally grouped (though the punctuation marks Dickinson used were not conventional), but by the third line, the grammar of the poem begins to disintegrate with the introduction of an additional comma, leaving only the iambic pentameter as a stabilizing if relentless rhythmic force throughout the first stanza.16 The first line describes the psychological state philosophically, the second describes it imagistically, and the two make an impressive epigram. But Dickinson is not content to end the poem here: she must explore the state from a more intimate and vulnerable standpoint. She is not content to recollect emotion in tranquillity, nor to describe it in eloquent, complete sentences...
I am writing this from a public machine at a coffee shop in Charlottetown, so I don't really have time to give the essay my full attention or put down my impressions of it right now. Hopefully, I can get back to this tomorrow.

Previous Emily posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


Brenda Schmidt said...

John, John, where are you? I'm beginning to wonder if The Great Baseball In The Sky's stitches finally ripped, if John has been wound into its holy core...

MackJohnny said...

I'm here. Yesterday I woke very late and had a huge fantasy draft to prepare for.