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Analysis and comments on Apparently with no surprise by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 21 of 351, added on March 27th, 2009 at 11:26 PM.

this is a great poem. short but full of meaning as it some how resembles
our cycle of life as human on Earth..

miti from Malaysia
Comment 20 of 351, added on February 28th, 2009 at 10:31 AM.

In Emily Dickinson's poem 'Apparently With No Surprise', the author tells
the reader a story of nature acting out its part. A late frost settles on
newly bloomed flowers and kills them while the sun passes on unaffected by
this event. Dickinson uses this example of nature as a metaphor of life.
Just as nature must do what nature does without regard to the outcome, so
must God let life go on without interruption or favoritism. The forces of
nature were set in motion long ago, and God does not change those things.
Similarly, man was given his agency, of choice, long ago, and God also will
not change that; man must undergo whatever circumstances his choice brings

Brittany from United States
Comment 19 of 351, added on February 24th, 2009 at 4:49 PM.

I for sure agree!!!!!!! this is just the dumbest poem ever.. my english
teacher is making us do a paper on it!! its just a bunch of BLAH BLAH
BLAH...ZZZZZZ what was hse on when she wrote this??? lol

post a comment on apparently with no surprise!!!!!!

Comment 18 of 351, added on February 24th, 2009 at 4:21 PM.

I agreeeeeeeee!! stupid poem and stupid work!!!!!!

Comment 17 of 351, added on February 24th, 2009 at 11:06 AM.

this poem is the biggest piece of crap i have ever read it is so stupid and
dumb idk why anyone would ever read it in there right mind please for any
comments i live in boulder city,NV.

Nakia from Guatemala
Comment 16 of 351, added on February 24th, 2009 at 11:08 AM.

this poem is probably the most touching poem i have ever read. it brought
tears to my eyes when reading it, just the warm feeling that spread through
out my body while readinig this it felt so good. it sent a tingling
sensation down my spine when she talked about the flowers; and when the
flower passed away "died" i could't help but be an emotional reck. i love
this poem

jack from Mexico
Comment 15 of 351, added on January 29th, 2009 at 6:22 PM.

i am a junior in highschool carrying a 5.0 gpa, which by the way is the
highest u can possibly have, and i want everyone to know tht this so called
"analysis" isnt very accurate. for one, if the person who did the analysis
did their research on emily dickinson, they would know that she only wrote
about nature as a cover up for her feelings about the government and
politics. most all of her poems are like this. in this poem the "blonde
assassin" does not stand for the sun, because that wouldn't make any sense,
since she talks about the sun in the next line, the word blonde doesnt just
mean yellow, in this case it means white, and is refering to the frost that
is passing on, or melting.
the government or the higher power is shown here as the frost, that beheads
or kills whoever or whatever it wants to, and for no apparent reason, and
because they can say that it was an accident, it makes everything all
right. and the day still continues on, hence "the sun proceeds unmoved",
because the rest of the world doesn't know what is happening on behind the
scenes. and the last to lines are just saying that everything that happened
that day is just no big deal in the big picture of things.
i hope that this explanation would make more sense than what everyone else
is saying, because everyone else's statements are quite idiotic and make no

Garrett Morgan from United States
Comment 14 of 351, added on January 27th, 2008 at 3:33 PM.

i like this poem, it illustrates rather well, we had to make this poem into
comic strips for little kids to understand the poem.

Amelia from Australia
Comment 13 of 351, added on April 6th, 2007 at 6:33 PM.

In the poem Apparently with no surprise, Emily Dickinson writes on
nature’s cycle of death and it’s indifference to it. Each of the three
objects in the poem are personified and attached to words with specific
connotations. These objects and their meanings contribute to the poem’s
theme. The poem also employs several other literary devices with hidden
symbolic meanings.
The flower in Dickinson’s poem is “happy” (line 2) and “at its play”
(line3). With this choice of words, the flower becomes the embodiment of
childish innocence. The flower is made even more human-like when Dickinson
has it “beheaded” (line 3), which symbolizes the death of the flower.
Choosing to capitalize the word flower in the poem also gives the object a
name, further personifying it.
The second object identified in the poem is frost. Frost is also
capitalized, giving the force a name, making it seem human. The frost is
responsible for the death of the flower, as the frost “beheads” (line 3) it
with “accidental power” (line 4). The word “beheads” (line3) implies a
sense of vicious malevolence, while the words “accidental power” (line 4)
contrast the previous connotation with an idea of the unconsciousness with
which this action is pursued.
The last personified object in the poem is the sun. The sun is referred to
as a “blonde Assassin” (line 5). The word “blonde” (line5) is used to
reflect the color yellow, while both “blonde” (line 5) and “Assassin” (line
5) makes the object lifelike. The word “Assassin” (line 5) has a negative
connotation suggestive of cruelty and violence. The sun is “unmoved” (line
6), making it indifferent to killing the human-like frost. This vicious act
is contrasted and rectified by an “Approving God” (line 8), which signifies
the sun was simply doing what it was created to do. The sun was serving its
purpose, just as the frost did that for which it was created.
Dickinson chooses with this poem to write only eight lines. She chooses to
do so because eight is the symbol for infinity, which is the “the endless
knot or mystic diagram [that] symbolizes the endless cycle of
rebirth”(Khandro.net). It is suggestive of the circular and never ending
cycle of nature. With each ending comes a new beginning, and with each
death comes a life. This is in direct correlation with the central idea of
the poem.
The poem is also very transcendentalist in nature. It embodies
transcendentalism ideals. Transcendentalism teaches that everything and
everyone is connected. This idea resonates with her ideas of cyclic
mindless murder in nature that is in place simply to “measure off another
day” (line 7). The idea of another day symbolizes a new beginning, despite
the losses of that day, namely, the frost ‘beheading’ (line 3) the flower
and in turn the “blonde Assassin”(line 5) slaying the frost.
In conclusion, the symbolism and connotation attached to each object, the
ideals, and other literary devices embedded in the poem relate back to the
theme of the work. Everything in creation serves a purpose, and nothing is
to blame for death in nature. Death occurs in cycles as God intended.

Mario Andretti from United States
Comment 12 of 351, added on April 1st, 2007 at 7:23 PM.

JB, thank you.

Helena from United States

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Information about Apparently with no surprise

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 1624. Apparently with no surprise
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 1238 times
Poem of the Day: May 30 2012

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By: Emily Dickinson

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