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Analysis and comments on I would not paint -- a picture -- by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 5 of 65, added on November 16th, 2009 at 1:43 PM.
response to angie

when she says "what would the dower be" she is refering to when she did try
to get one of her poems published and they told her she would have to
change her style because she uses so many dashes and thats how she
expresses feeling into her poems so she is saying what would the price be
if she just turned her poems over and keep in mind she was self-concsious
about her poems to begin with. Changing her poems taking the dashes out and
replacing them with commas or not putting as many dashes would ruin the
message of the poem and how she felt when she wrote it. she is just
expressing that in this poem.

Anne from United States
Comment 4 of 65, added on January 29th, 2007 at 7:59 PM.

There are three perspectives involved here: artist, audience, and muse.
The speaker relates that the least desirable position is that of artist.
Of course, this is ironic because we associate the speaker with the artist
herself. I'm not sure if the speaker indicates WHY she would prefer to be
the inspiration or the audience rather than the artist. Any thoughts
here?

BTW, Dickinson DID publish a handful of poems during her lifetime. Since
the poems she published can be counted on one's hands, and the poems she
wrote number in the thousands, we can generally assume that she wrote
primarily for herself and not for a specific audience. Nevertheless, as a
writer, I have to say that I generally impose poetic form upon myself; I
don't feel it is something that society imposes upon me. When I break with
form, I am breaking with my own rules, not society's. I don't know if this
is how Dickinson felt. I do know that she made the choice to write in
ballad meter; it's not that the form was "all the rage" at the time. I'm
not sure that I would go so far as to scan the poem, but it is worth noting
that the work contains both approximate rhythm and slant rhyme. Nothing is
exact. Where do we go with this? I'm not sure. I think the answer to my
previous question may relate.



colleen from United States
Comment 3 of 65, added on January 15th, 2007 at 8:24 PM.

i need to analyze this poem and paraphrase it and then do an imaginary
dialogue and write an initial response to it and its due tomorrow.....
scary.!!! but it seems to me that she wouldnt care if it was published or
not cause she wrote so many that she knew eventually it would probably be
published so why are you commenting on the publishing when you should
really be commenting ont he poet or the poem. she is trying to say that she
wants to be dwelled on but she also says that she hates the poem the man or
women painting it or herself im not sure cause it says what would the
dower be? dower meaning the owner of something but the sentence before that
she says " A privilege so awful" my question is what is she talking about
here is she the dower or is someone else and is it the love or the
celestial feeling inside that makes her think its awful?

angie from Canada
Comment 2 of 65, added on June 14th, 2005 at 8:16 PM.

I completely disagree with the previous comment. Emily Dickinson did not
publish her work obviously, however it is her precise ability to be
ingeniously poetic that captures the reader. I wrote a 4 page paper
specifically analyzing this poem, and I was amazed at the deliberate word
choice, rythm, etc. that Dickinson used to convery her message.

annie from United States
Comment 1 of 65, added on November 14th, 2004 at 11:14 AM.

In my english lit class, we were discussing this poem and, as it is the
tendency of most people to beat sense out of a piece, the class was busy
scanning the poem. You have to concider the context in which Emily
dickinson wrote her poems- she was not writing for publication. She did not
feel the need to restrict herself in form or convention. Because of this,
you cannot apply certain types of convention to her work.

Lauren from United States

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Information about I would not paint -- a picture --

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 505. I would not paint -- a picture --
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 1095 times
Poem of the Day: Jan 25 2007


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