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Analysis and comments on I died for Beauty -- but was scarce by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 29 of 369, added on November 4th, 2009 at 6:35 PM.

I think this poem reveals Dickinsonís two contradicting personalities. She
explains to us how she feels about herself. She sets the scene in a
cemetery because she probably never reveals these feelings to others so she
buries them in herself. Dickinson explains to us that she cared about her
appearance (she speaks about beauty), but also wanted people to see the
real how she really is (she speaks about truth).

Marcos Gomez from United States
Comment 28 of 369, added on February 27th, 2008 at 6:02 PM.

In the second line, the word, "tomb" rhymes with "womb" and I believe this
is done purposely.

Dickinson wanted to bring together these two words to express that fact
that she greatly enjoyed being penetrated rectally.

This may very possibly be true.

Mallory Smith from Andorra
Comment 27 of 369, added on February 21st, 2008 at 12:08 PM.

if you like this poem and the imagery you will also enjoy "A Boy and a
Girl" by Octavio Paz! Enjoy

Jim from United States
Comment 26 of 369, added on November 14th, 2007 at 11:05 AM.

I believe that when she refers to "bretheren" and "kinsmen" she is
referring to truth and beauty, and not to the characters themselves
(although, I would argue that they embody beauty and truth respectively).
By saying "We bretheren are" she is speaking of the purposes of mardyrdom,
and that truth and beauty are synonymous. However, the ultimate message in
this poem is that mardyrdom is useless, and fails the mardyr, because
eventually the message is lost as the moss "covered up- our names-"

Anna
Comment 25 of 369, added on May 3rd, 2007 at 10:28 AM.

this poem is a direct reference to John Keats Ode to a Grecian Urn written
about 60 years before this poem was written. The obvious meaning is that
Keats is the man who died for Truth and Dickinson died for Beauty, however,
time eventually destroys them both, refering to the fact that Keats died
before his poems became famous, and Dickinson felt that the same would
happen to her.

Paul from United States
Comment 24 of 369, added on April 17th, 2007 at 7:59 PM.

In analyzing this poem for my english class, I have come to several
conclusions. Dickenson is using "Beauty" and "Truth" to represent the goals
we all strive for throughout our lives. It is not possible to achieve these
goals, however, (who can achieve complete beauty or truth?) but
nonetheless, we strive for them, and in the end, fail. In my opinion, the
speaker is a woman, and is laid next to a man after death. They converse,
sharing their lives and goals, and share solidarity with one another and
every other being who strives for goals in life. The moss covering up the
lips and the names of the speaker and her companion is very significant. It
represents the memories being forgotten, and the lives of the speaker and
companion not being remembered. They were unable to make themselves
remembered through beauty and truth, and so failed.

Kiley from United States
Comment 23 of 369, added on March 23rd, 2007 at 6:52 AM.

when i read this poem like most of you all i was deeply entranced in
emily's use of language to express her uttermost inner perception on death
and failure. if i was skeptical id say she was insane, but as morbid as
this poem seems i see reason to it. and it was clarified to me the first
time i read it too; death is the altimate removal of personality and i
dentity (i would say another factor is time). no matter what circumstances
under which you die or how renown you were in life or what dictated the
passion of your life be it aspiration for beauty or belief in truth Death
is our altimatum.

asha from Australia
Comment 22 of 369, added on April 10th, 2006 at 11:03 AM.

I am researching this poem for a project and I have interpreted it this
way: This poem is basically about two men who have died each for one reason
(truth, beauty). They were not particularly punished through death for
their truth and beauty, but died unhappy because they were always thriving
for these qualities and never achieved them. They call eachother brethren,
not because they were particularly related, but because they both "failed"
for similar reasons and were forgotten. This is just my interpretation of
this poem.

sofia from United States
Comment 21 of 369, added on March 23rd, 2006 at 4:55 PM.

There is ofcourse many interpretations to this poem and not one can be the
right one, unless one has talked to Emily Dickinson herself then ofcourse
one can enlighten everyone else because her poems are quite hard to
understand. Well I believe the poem itself is two martyrs talking to
eachother. They have both lived and protested in what they believed in
(beauty and truth) and in doing so they were killed therefore they failed
and eventually they were forgotten. Thats what I think.

Angeren from United States
Comment 20 of 369, added on March 21st, 2006 at 7:02 PM.

I wrote my thoughts about this poem in a paper. The first time I read it I
thought it was a woman who died for beauty, in her tomb, she met a guy who
died for truth and they fall in love. But I was like..there has to be
something deeper to this.
I read it a second time and thought it was about how people are always
concerned about how they look so much that ''theycovered'' themselves to
the point where tehyre not themselves anymore..and that theyre conceited
and stuff..and when she says that she died for beauty..i thought it mean
that she was so conceited and thought herself beutiful even when she died,
but in reality, she wasnt.
Th third time I read it i thought it was about someone that didn't think
she was beautifel ('but was scarce') But she died accepting that..and
theyre..both one,
I dont really know how to explain it, I may be completely worng, but
everyone has different opinions and takes in stuff differently.
But now I read someone's comment and it may be about self conflict....

n0Rmie from United States

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Information about I died for Beauty -- but was scarce

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 449. I died for Beauty -- but was scarce
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 45379 times
Poem of the Day: Feb 6 2004


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