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Analysis and comments on There's a certain Slant of light, by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 28 of 228, added on February 22nd, 2008 at 1:35 PM.

To me, this poem is a look inside to depression. In Dickenson's day there
was very little facts known about the mental illness of depression, but its
affects are thusly noted. The cause of the speaker's sadness and pain, i
believe, was the death of someone very dear to them. Such a loss can result
in feelings of resentment and sorrow at things that were once normal and
pleasent to them, because the one they lost will never be with them to
enjoy those things again. "Winter Afternoons- That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes-" the light of a winter afternoon is normally a welcomed
break from the consant bleakness of the season, but the depressed
individual doesn't see it that way. To them the light mocks them and
delivers their "Heavenly Hurt" that leaves no evident "scar" but
internally, emotionally, the scars grow in number.

nikki cantrell from United States
Comment 27 of 228, added on February 22nd, 2008 at 5:52 AM.

In this poem, Dickinson is depresses due to a "Slant of light" in "winter
afternoon". She feels said because it it "oppresses" her, and internally
hurting her that why she "find no scar". Also, the dictions that she uses
makes it more unbearable for which she deeply in pain.

Hai from United States
Comment 26 of 228, added on February 22nd, 2008 at 2:42 AM.

Dickinson expresses that even though people may endure hardships and go
through troublesome times, there will always be a guiding light in the end.
This certain oppression results with no physical hurt or harm, but it
creates depression. It also sends a secluded feeling as its presence is
recognized. " When it comes, the Landscape listens- Shadows-hold their
breath- When it goes, 'tis like the Distance On the look of Death-." When
its presence is noticed, no action is made because it will soon pass, to
spread sadness somewhere else. This poem represents the times in our life,
where it seems like all hope is lost, but it will not last forever.

Lakiva S. from United States
Comment 25 of 228, added on February 21st, 2008 at 9:45 PM.

Originally, I assumed this poem was about a depressing feeling a few people
get during the bleak winter months. Unsurprisingly, my initial idea was
horribly off-mark. What this short poem is actually about is depression. To
fully convey this theme, Dickinson used winter imagery. An example of such
imagery would be the line “There's a certain Slant of light, Winter
Afternoons”. Because of my lack of a soul, I did not have any meaningful
emotional reaction to the poem.

Yaw A. from United States
Comment 24 of 228, added on February 21st, 2008 at 7:33 PM.

This poem was very confusing at first. Each word was getting me no where
near comprehending the poem. After I read some of the comments posted it
hit me and I realized that the "slant of light" is hope. I think everyone
fears death but the only thing that reassures them is hope. Its like a dark
room with a window cracked letting in hope. Dickinson says "None may teach
it-any" meaning hope is not taught but learned throughout living.

Amber C. from United States
Comment 23 of 228, added on February 21st, 2008 at 10:05 AM.

Emily Dickenson's poem "There's a Certain Slant of Light" is composed of
intense emotional words in her attempt to express the torrent of feelings
within her own mind. Ms. Dickinson was trying to shed some "light" on the
unknown illness where "we can find no scar, but internal difference."
"Theres a Certain Slant of Light" inspired feelings of sympathy and sorrow
within myself for the confusion that Emily was feeling. In our present time
there is hardly an illness, mental or physical, that cannot be diagnosed
and treated with some sort of medication. Yet Emily Dickenson speaks of "An
imperial affliction" that had no name or treatment.

Sammy Brown from United States
Comment 22 of 228, added on February 21st, 2008 at 9:55 AM.

I think the "Certain Slant of Light" is hope. Hope that one day we may see
or know something more of death than pain and loss of loved ones. I think
Dickinson belives that maybe one day we will lose someone and feel no pain
and have no scar whether it is visual or internal. I disagree with this
thought. I think that pain is a part of life and that the hope of death
without pain is lost along with the one who died.

Jacquie
Comment 21 of 228, added on February 20th, 2008 at 9:38 PM.

I believe that the theme of Dickinson's poem "There's a cetain Slant of
Light," is unexplainable depressing feelings. Except in this poem she is
making an attempt to bring a certain "Light" on the matter. This poem seems
so intense especially in her wording "An imperial affliction...". It makes
me think if what she was writing was what she was feeling herself. Was this
her secret "Seal of Despair"? If not herself than she was being so strongly
impacted by someone she loved who must have been dealing with these
emotions, and Emily just put them into phenominal words.

Kayla Evelyn from United States
Comment 20 of 228, added on February 20th, 2008 at 3:08 PM.

I think Emily Dickenson meant that the winter is a dark, depressing time
that opresses people. I can relate to this in that winter is a dark,
depressing time for me as well. "We can find no scar, but internal
difference" refers to emotional damage. She also compares the winter light
to death.

Kady B from United States
Comment 19 of 228, added on February 19th, 2008 at 9:03 AM.

Personally i believe that this poem's theme is hope. the way she describes
the slant of light, it gives me the impression of hope for a dead loved
one. for eaxample in the poem dickenson says,"There's a certain Slant of
light,
Winter Afternoons --
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes --". To me this means that there is always a silver
lining. no matter how grim our situations get, we always have that "slant
of light" or that burst of hope.

Also when the poems says"None may teach", it reminds me of one of the
comments given on this same site. one commenter said that hope is only
taught when we are deficients of it. i believe that is exactly what this
phrase drawn from the poem means. Hope is not something that is taught. we
aquire it.

When emily dickenson was writting, maybe she had just lost a dead loved
one. she may have been thinking about how that loss relates to the loss of
light on winter. but right when a slant or just a little bit of light come
it gives us hope. that was probably what she may have been feeling.

karen from United States

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Information about There's a certain Slant of light,

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 258. There's a certain Slant of light,
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 1739 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 4 2002


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