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Analysis and comments on I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 17 of 107, added on March 29th, 2008 at 6:24 PM.

this poem fills me with fright; whatever its theme is: madness, death,
pain, it is pervaded by a gothic sense and is chilling to read. probably i
identify with the speaker in this poem but it renders a psychic state so
dramatically that it becomes chilling!

imen
Comment 16 of 107, added on April 28th, 2006 at 9:18 AM.

I am going to teach this poem next week and reading it proves to be an
endless experience of renewed pleasure, awe, and confusion (too much
certainty kills individuality and freedom of interpretation) I myself write
poetry and admire Dickinson's boldness

isis
Comment 15 of 107, added on February 20th, 2006 at 10:24 AM.

This poem is awesome! I read it like 10 times until i finally got my own
explanation out of it.

Anonymous from United States
Comment 14 of 107, added on January 17th, 2006 at 8:09 PM.

I think that this poem is about a descent into madness and therefore do not
agree with the final word being--nothing. From what I have learned about
Emily Dickinson, I know that she was infatuated with the thought of losing
consciousness of self. The "plank of reason" breaking is losing this
self-consciousness and as a result descending into madness. I love the
sounds of this poem how throughout it I can hear the treading and the
beating and the lead boots, and at the last stanza there is silence.

robert from United States
Comment 13 of 107, added on January 8th, 2006 at 11:18 AM.

I don't like transcendentalism or anti-transcendentalism and when Emily
Dickinson is added it is so much worse. I read I felt a Funeral, in my
Brain, and i understood it but i can not find any characteristics of
anti-transcendentalism.

Andrea from United States
Comment 12 of 107, added on December 11th, 2005 at 1:03 PM.

I don't understand this poem. What important sense in this poem is not
present in this poem? What finally happens to the speaker at the end? Does
she die, does she just pass out, does finally realize what is happening to
her?

Sicily from United Kingdom
Comment 11 of 107, added on December 8th, 2005 at 7:19 AM.

After reading this poem for my AP Lit class, i couldnt stop thinking about
it. One of the main things that puzzled me were to lead boots..

However, after thinking some more about the poem, I would have to agree
that it is speaking about several things. The brain washing was an
interesting idea, but i dont think she meant it to that extreme of a
position. It really warns about letting others destroy an image or hope
that you have in your mind. The funeral was of a strong belief/thought she
had that was ruined because of someone else attempting to force their
opinion onto her.

After this thought is ruined, she is completly confused and lost. The
silence is representative of her closing her mind off to all others in the
world, not allowing them to posion her mind. Instead, she opens up to
something bigger, something better than a mere mortal.

She becomes an ear to the heavens and looks for guidance from a heigher
being. She shows her weakness by opening up and allowing some heavenly
figure to speak the truth to her.

But again, if anyone could explain the lead boots to me, i would greatly
appreciate it.

Jordan from United States
Comment 10 of 107, added on December 6th, 2005 at 9:45 PM.

I think that this poem is her dealing with something... whether it be a
horrible past memory or something that is upsetting her, it's tormenting
her brain. The tolling bell hurts her mind, it shows her inability to
comprehend and figure out the situation. Then the bell stops, she's
realized something, and finally at the end, she has come to terms with this
thought or this memory, but doesn't share it with us.. It hits her and she
moves on.

Laura from Canada
Comment 9 of 107, added on November 25th, 2005 at 7:11 PM.

When I first read this poem I about screamed, becuase all of the metaphors
that Emily uses, until i analyzed it and realized how insightful she is in
this poem. In the last stanza,
And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And i dropped down, and down-
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing-then-

I thought of it as the "Plank in Reason" is the last stronghold to resist
its own dissolution, and then it "breaks". So Emily seems to start to go
unconcious, "And dropped down, and down-", from all the pain and agony.
"hit a World, at every plunge" might be talking about the different
stages/degrees of repression. And then the last line, "And Finished
knowing-then-" just says that she passed out.

Kara from United States
Comment 8 of 107, added on November 21st, 2005 at 7:31 PM.

I adore this poem. I think Emily Dickinson does such a wonderful job of
taking something so simple and making it up to be grand. This poem is an
excellent example. She uses her customary paradox in the beginning, and her
clarifying metaphors, all to express her feelings on an epiphany. It's
brilliant really.

Zee from United States

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Information about I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 280. I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 2740 times
Poem of the Day: Jan 24 2001


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