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Analysis and comments on I started Early -- Took my Dog -- by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 34 of 404, added on October 14th, 2005 at 7:36 AM.

In this poem Emily Dickinson is setting out to commit suicide.

The mermaids in the basement were some people living in the damp basement
watching her go.

The frigates were big important people living on the top floor. They too
watched her go in an unfriendly (hempen hands) disdainful way, making her
feel like a little mouse.

She uses the analogies "mermaids" and "frigates" because the sea is on her

No man stopped her, so she wades into the sea.

God was in the power of the sea, and it looked as though He was going to
devour her, but He decides to save her instead. He follows her, she felt
Him in the waves lapping round her ankles that reminded her of pearls, and
God's "silver heel"

She was washed back up on the shore "solid town" then God gave her a mighty
look and departed in the form of the sea.

This poem is about redemption, she sets out to commit suicide but is saved
to live another day. Emily Dickinson was depressed, she had Bright's
disease, she clearly fantasized about suicide all alone in her room dressed
in white, and that is what this poem is about.

Comment 33 of 404, added on April 14th, 2005 at 8:00 PM.

i liked it and its was good!!!!!!!

joycelyne from United States
Comment 32 of 404, added on March 16th, 2005 at 9:48 AM.

i didn't read the poem so i'm not sure what to say about it except i dont
like poems cause they suck!

kit kat from United Kingdom
Comment 31 of 404, added on March 7th, 2005 at 11:50 PM.

To understand this poem, you must read every word out loud, and word by
word, like piece by piece, will you understand it. As poems use precise
words, it is very helpful if you think about why Emily used some of the

My opinion of this poem is that it is very emotional, and the point she
talks about it is very creative...

Nancy from United States
Comment 30 of 404, added on March 2nd, 2005 at 11:16 AM.

this poem clearly shows the difference between morbidosity and ones ability
to feel. If one could summarize this poem in one word it would be, "holy
wowzers." i can relate... this is how i roll. one time i took these wierd
pills and had an experience similar to this morbid poem i read here.
straight out of compton

nat and ken
Comment 29 of 404, added on February 25th, 2005 at 8:55 AM.

WOW i like your poem its one of a kind.its realy funny
she should be very proud

nikki ainsworth from United States
Comment 28 of 404, added on February 20th, 2005 at 3:23 PM.

This is a good poem by Emily Dickinson...
she shows great mood and feeling ,

Emily from United States
Comment 27 of 404, added on December 1st, 2004 at 1:20 PM.

I think this poem was a great poem lots of love in it

ariel long from United States
Comment 26 of 404, added on November 18th, 2004 at 3:44 PM.

I feel this poem is about depression. As we all know Dickinson suffered
from depression and perhaps agoraphonia. The journey she takes in the poem
is not a one-day journey but a long searching and life changing one. She
starts out early (young) with her dog (a tie to earthly things) sees
Mermaids in the basement (depression), Grigates in the upper floor (others
who are not experiencing depression) and she feels like a mouse stuck in
the sand (little, insignificant, unable to move forward). No man (nothing)
could change her mood until the Tide came up and enveloped her (swallowed
her up - deeper and deeper into depression) as dew on a dandelions sleeve
(again insignificant, small, unable to fight) and she started to go with
the flow (death) but she didn't. The HE must be God since it is
capitalized. Thus God was the one that called her to a final rest-death.
She turned from "death" and walked away but the thought of death was still
on her mind (close behind on her heels). The shoes overflowing with pearls
could be like the parable of the oyster that had a grain of sand in his
shell that gave him much discomfort but over time turned into a pearl thus
her depression and whatever was the root of it caused her pain and
discomfort but she held on and finally the depression got better (on Solid
Town). God saw she was okay and bowed to her and left her alone.

sherry from United States
Comment 25 of 404, added on November 15th, 2004 at 1:30 PM.

This poem is great, but it is about Emily Dickinson having an orgasim. We
have spoken about this poem in my literature class and my professor as well
as the entire class agreed upon that what is happening to Dickinson in this
poem is that she is having an organism. But she does not know how to
explain it.

Evy from United States

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Information about I started Early -- Took my Dog --

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 520. I started Early -- Took my Dog --
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 1918 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 15 2007

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