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Comment 6 of 56, added on September 23rd, 2010 at 9:44 AM.
Surgeons must be very careful
One of the keys to understanding this poem is asking WHY surgeons "take the
knife". The answer is that they are trying to cure an illness, to remove
or repair some element which is causing pain, illness, or debilitation. Yet
Dickinson points out the irony that the "culprit" which is causing the
malady is, in fact, a part of life itself. "The surgeon must be very
careful" not to be too aggressive in his efforts to fix the problem, lest
he kill the patient. By extension, we arrive at the universal truth that,
while it is fine to try to remove problems from our lives, we must realize
that life is not perfect and that struggle and adversity are an integral
part of it. Life itself is, therefore, the "culprit" and we must learn to
accept it's impediments.
Tadapocus from United States
Comment 5 of 56, added on June 15th, 2010 at 6:43 PM.
Sharp critics can kill shy poets (under a great critique of Western
frumpo from United States
Comment 4 of 56, added on March 8th, 2009 at 12:45 PM.
Reading more into a poem than is really there. When she wrote she released
her lonesome feelings..She is saying just what the poems says that a
surgeon should be careful...As life is so important....Simple as
that..Maybe she encountered someone in her life who was or about to have
surgery maybe even herself...does anyone know if it was ever documented of
her having sergury? I haven't seen that any where.
linda from United States
Comment 3 of 56, added on January 26th, 2009 at 8:46 PM.
I love this poem. It is my favorite of all of them. It is short and to the
point. I think it means that everyone has life inside of them and we all
just need to let it out, but be carful not to mess up when you do. Don't be
someone you're not, be who you really are and if there are good people out
there they will accept you for just that. I don't know if that is right or
not I could be totally wrong.
cutie from United States
Comment 2 of 56, added on June 18th, 2005 at 1:17 PM.
I think she's talking here about how poets (and writers in general) are
baring their soul in their writing so people should not be too harsh in
criticism because under their "incisions" is the "life" of the writer.
Comment 1 of 56, added on October 24th, 2004 at 2:38 PM.
This is the best depiction of Miss E's ability to
compress a complete thought into a quatrain.
Reader's are trained to read seeking a beginning, middle and end.
Miss E's brain-to-brain quatrains could not have
retained there power had she accepted the critical
comments of Higginson, Hunt or Sue... Her ability was developed in her
isolation, a total refusal (inability ?) to alter or edit one word, unless
the idea orginated from the writer and none other.
(Going back to the time of their creation, we cannot
define E's as an author, author is defined as one who has published.) E'
was a writter, the lack of publication in her lifetime preserved her
(I am reluctant to state E' had unique properties;
Hardy, had some of the attributes of E', but his is a
much darker poetry.
Other poets, on occasion, touch on this brain-to-brain
communication, but rarely. E' attempted it consistently, and was often
I am attempting to withhold my own interpretation
on how she was able to achieve this plateau consistently; however, The key
is isolation, and each
reader, according to his interest, must either ignore
this ,almost, unique communication or arrive at his own
Her works (thanks to Johnson, T.) are as she wrote them, good, bad,
indifferent or great, and as she intended them to be read.
Today, we retian her brain-to-brain communiques, her
'pure thought,' poems.
I have read E' for a number of years, and am still
subject to an: Icy intrusion within my brain, that smoothers all analysis,
carried alone by her thoughts,
thinking i am able to see and feel the thoughts as they develope.
E' only had a pen to link these portals, but the words
are beyound the description of the pen.
The reader is observing the creation of a thought,having access into E's
AS THEY OCCUR-TIME MEANS NOTHING, YOU, THE READER, ARE
THERE, WATCHING THE THOUGHT (WORDS) DEVELOPE.
The words are all that remains, but the thoughts are
This is the reason previous generations, and the readers today report:
"I feel like she is talking directly to me."
from United States
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