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A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’

On one of Emily Dickinson’s most curious poems

We often talk of being ‘drunk on love’ or ‘drunk on excitement’ or other such things. Here, in ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’, Emily Dickinson takes such an everyday expression and makes it concrete, using the metaphor of drunkenness to describe her heady intoxication with nature.

I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When ‘Landlords’ turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door – Read the rest of this entry

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A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘I started Early – Took my Dog’

‘I started Early – Took my Dog’ is one of those Emily Dickinson poems that repay careful consideration of not only its literal meaning but the symbolic, other meaning which its images and double meanings appear to gesture towards. The poem requires a bit of close analysis to tease out this other interpretation, however, so here goes…

I started Early – Took my Dog –
And visited the Sea –
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me –

And Frigates – in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands –
Presuming Me to be a Mouse –
Aground – upon the Sands –

But no Man moved Me – till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe –
And past my Apron – and my Belt
And past my Bodice – too – Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Summer Shower’

On Dickinson’s wonderful summer poem

‘A drop fell on the apple tree’ is sometimes known by the title ‘Summer Shower’, although Dickinson (1830-86), famously, didn’t give titles to most of her poems. (It was Dickinson’s original editors, Mabel Loomis Todd and T. W. Higginson, who gave the poem the title by which it has become most familiar.)

A Drop fell on the Apple Tree –
Another – on the Roof –
A Half a Dozen kissed the Eaves –
And made the Gables laugh –

A few went out to help the Brook,
That went to help the Sea –
Myself Conjectured were they Pearls –
What Necklaces could be – Read the rest of this entry