sexta-feira, 1 de janeiro de 2016

Emily Dickinson, Success by Francisco Vaz Brasil

Emily Dickinson, Success
by Francisco Vaz Brasil

Short Biography

Born: December 10, 1830
Amherst, Massachusetts
Died: May 15, 1886
Cambridge, Massachusetts

American poet and author. One of the finest poets in the English language, the American poet Emily Dickinson was a keen observer of nature and a wise interpreter of human passion. In the privacy of her study, Dickinson developed her own forms of poetry and pursued her own visions, not paying attention to the fashions of literature of her day. Most of her work was published by her family and friends after her death.

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated--dying--
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break,  agonized and clear!


Emily Dickinson…! Success…  This poem is one of her best poems. It illustrates that the victory may not always have the sweetest of success.  She went straight to the point on this one and let us decide how to end this story. She describes that failures in life, lack of success, is what makes the actual success so sweet the lack of something to let it be found, just like saying if you have never lost hope how could you ever find it. She puts it very straight to the point separating the winners and losers each still complementing the other. The winner sits with his flag atop the mountain of success and the loser left dying, never leaving any stressed detail out, a short but strong poem.Different writing styles and various literary devices are used by  the author to distinguish the  themes in the poem. The first stanza is emphasized with punctuation and hyperboles. This stanza  is telling the reader general information about success which can be  applied to any context. The opening line used, “Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.”, gives the reader  the feeling that any person who is striving for a goal, desires it the  most. In the next two lines, the reader is asked to remember the sweetness of success and that it is only  obtained through the  “sorest need.” “Sweetest,” and “sorest,” are hyperboles which stress the personal desire for greatness. Success is pictured as nectar which represents immortality to live on and is the first clue that this poem is not just about the Civil War. There is no punctuation in the second stanza. This verse is the most significant of the poem. On face value, it is describing the futility of the Civil War since neither side wins when one country is at war with itself.

          “Not one of all,” tells the reader that neither side of this battle knew who the winner was.   However this stanza has three words capitalized and they are, “Host,” “Flag,” and “Victory.” Again if the poem is about the Civil War, the Host is the  image of the country, the Flag represents the battle and the Victory stands for the northern victor. If Dickinson is writing metaphorically, these three words have different meanings. The “Host,” may refer to God, the “Flag,” is your soul as it goes onto Heaven, and “Victory,” is the cry of angels that greet you. In the third stanza punctuation re- appears with the use of hyphens around the word dying and the exclamation mark at the end. The  use of hyphens is to make the reader pause at the end of an assonance phrase which emphasizes the idea of dying. This could be the “defeated,” death of a soldier on either side of the battle or your own death at the end of your life.

          The literary devices used in the last stanza are personification and irony. Personification is used to describe the “forbidden ear,” which prevents the dying soldier to hear who won. The cry of victory is describe ironically as “Break, agonized and clear!” since triumph in battle should be a happy event and not painful.

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