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Analysis and comments on I like a look of Agony, by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 9 of 29, added on January 26th, 2011 at 9:07 PM.
Reminds me

This poem reminds me of the song "Vicarious" by Tool. We as humans attempt
to experience death as we live vicariously through the deaths of others.
Death in actuality is unfathomable by the living.

My name is Sam I am from United States
Comment 8 of 29, added on June 21st, 2010 at 4:10 PM.

Death brings out true emotions.

frumpo from United States
Comment 7 of 29, added on December 8th, 2009 at 11:36 AM.

The "beads upon the forehead" refer to a few things. Literally, they are
the beads of sweat that form upon the brow when someone is convulsing in
agony. For example, when women give birth, they sweat from the intense
level of pain birth produces.

Additionally, the "beads upon the forehead/ by homely anguish strung" also
give a more visual message. Imagine a string of water droplets that
circles the forehead. The string of beads is like a halo, a more symbolic
representation that the person who is writhing in agony is truly in the
clutches of death.

melmal3 from United States
Comment 6 of 29, added on December 5th, 2009 at 6:05 PM.

What's up with the "beads upon the forehead/ by homely anguish strung"

jjosh from New Zealand

I'm guessing it refers to the sweat on your forehead when you're in intense

bob from United States
Comment 5 of 29, added on April 6th, 2009 at 10:16 PM.

What's up with the "beads upon the forehead/ by homely anguish strung"

jjosh from New Zealand
Comment 4 of 29, added on January 3rd, 2009 at 12:15 AM.

I find it to be fascinating. I opened my book of Dickinson's poems, and the
marker just happened to be set on the page where this pome was on. Once I
read it, her words were ingraved into my mind. Agony is real, it is not
something anyone can fake, not even men, who in her time were considered
superior. It makes everyone fragile, vulnerable, and makes it known that
not one person is perfect.

Karson from United States
Comment 3 of 29, added on May 12th, 2006 at 7:32 AM.

Dickinson often surprises the reader by shocking point of view on the
matters of dying. The speaker of the poem presents physical, naturalistic
and realistic description of the death. It differs from numerous spiritual
descriptions. The picture is really shocking, but present truthfulness of
the time of dying. The moment of the agony is the only one when the person
does not deceive the others.

Andrzej Samulak from Poland
Comment 2 of 29, added on November 13th, 2005 at 4:27 PM.

sandra, i completely agree with your statement... Also, an analogy can be
made with this poem & photographs- Dickinson seems to appreciate the
realistic portrayals of individuals (the candid shots) in comparison to the
posed (or pretentious/fake) pictures...

Comment 1 of 29, added on March 17th, 2005 at 9:23 PM.

"Auto Wreck" by Karl Shapiro is a more contemporary version of Dickinson's
poem. We are all familiar with how drivers rubberneck when passing an fatal
accident. Though we rarely admit it, we are fascinated by pain and death.
Partly it's the "there but for the grace of god, go I," sentiment. But
also, our present day society hides truth from us so often that we don't
know how to act appropriately. Death and mutilation are viewed by those who
work in an ER, but the rest of us watch television and imagine that we
really know what tragedy looks like. Learning has been defined as a change
in behavior. If we really learned the consequences of a car wreck, we'd
drive differently ever after rather than continuing to drive recklessly and
believing we are immortal. Dickinson tells us agony is true as opposed to
the social faces we wear most of the time. She prizes the authentic, not
the "Eleanor Rigby" faces that only pretend to care or pretend to be
communicating with us. Dickinson was a recluse, but no doubt in a crisis,
she would have been there to tend the sick or hold the hand of the dying.
She appreciated those moments because only then can we be sure something
authentic is being shared between people.

sandra from United States

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Information about I like a look of Agony,

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 241. I like a look of Agony,
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 2596 times

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