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Analysis and comments on Least Rivers -- docile to some sea by Emily Dickinson

Comment 2 of 2, added on February 25th, 2007 at 4:47 PM.

Of the 1775 poems by Emily Dickinson in the Thomas H. Johnson edition, #212
is the most "compact"--and Thesus' comment on the "lunatic, the lover and
the poet" from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" avails here--of all her poems: a
mere nine words! Yet half the world and a rich and fundamental human
experience--being in love--is encompassed here. While fiercely proud and
protective of her own hard-won poetic authority during her lifetime
(ratified only after her death), Dickinson--woman in a man's
world--manifested a consistent humility; hence, the "least" rivers. But an
understood "Even" precedes the "least." The intensity of her passion--for
whom? Amazonian?--was very intense (as her letters and poems from the late
1850's, early 1860's evince), and her river spills into the Caspian, no
minimal body of water (and a lovely sound to its name.) Don't let the
"docile" fool you; that's understatement as well. The poem is a tightly
concentrated expression of ardent romantic love (which dozens of others of
her poems present as well.) The generality of "some" is undermined (if not
obliterated) by the arch specificity of "thee." Wouldn't you want to be
loved like that?

Steve Mann from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on April 18th, 2005 at 8:54 AM.

wow......if i had know that was a poem i would have done that for english
class. Also your poem moved me to a higher state of being i am now
enlightend.

Bob Ewell from Canada

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Information about Least Rivers -- docile to some sea

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 212. Least Rivers -- docile to some sea
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 5480 times


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