Unearthly Understanding Regarding Death

Apparently with no surprise
To any happy flower,
The frost beheads it at its play
In accidental power.
The blond assassin passes on,
The sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another day
For an approving God.

This is poem XXV from the Nature selection.

I gather form reading Emily's poetry that she has a very bizarre comfort when it comes to death. The problems I see here in this poem, and in others, is that she simply expresses that death is a part of life, yet given the idea that her only real audience for these words were herself, it is as though she is often trying to quell her own fears of death, and reassure that everything happens for a reason.

-Benjamin Davis


When I read this I focused on how nature is a cycle. This idea mainly come from "The frost beheads it at its play/ In accidental power." This to me shows how frost kills the flowers not because it wants to but because it is part of a life and death cycle that must be carried out. I like your look on how perhaps Dickinson is comforted in a way by death, but at the same time trying to convince herself that death must happen and it happens for a reason.

It is true that the poems in this section of the collection were chosen to be clumped together for a reason, and the majority of these pieces did show the cycle of life and death. Is it possible, Ben, that the reason she is trying to comfort herself about the certainty of death is because she has not had much reassurance in her lifetime with her being reclusive?

I liked the beginning of this poem - it made me laugh. Perhaps, because it is comical the first stanza - if you make it cartoon-like in your head...

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by BenjaminDavis published on September 20, 2010 2:41 PM.

How much was Lost through Publication was the previous entry in this blog.

Podcast 6 Response: Token of Hatred is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.