Friday, February 14, 2014

A coffin is a small domain

A Coffin—is a small Domain,         
Yet able to contain
A Citizen of Paradise
In it diminished Plane.

A Grave—is a restricted Breadth— 
Yet ampler than the Sun—
And all the Seas He populates
And Lands He looks upon

To Him who on its small Repose
Bestows a single Friend—
Circumference without Relief—
Or Estimate—or End—       

-Emily Dickinson

Another poem written by Emily Dickinson that reflects her darker side. While this poem speaks of death, it also speaks on the possibility of life after death. In the first stanza it speaks of a coffin as a small place, yet it is able to hold so much. This can be interpreted as the fact that a coffin does hold a body, yet at the same it is a one's own personal heaven. The same thing goes for a grave. It is where the coffin is held, yet it is large. The first two stanzas do more than talk about death. It speaks the afterlife and how life continues even after death. Dickinson has often spoke of the afterlife or some form of life after death in many of her darker poems that speak about it. Another topic in this poem is the existence of God. Dickinson mentions "He" twice and says that "he" populates the seas and looks upon all the lands. This goes back to religious part of Dickinson, and along with the belief of God as the creator. He is looking upon everything that he has created. "Circumference without Relief" could be seen as a metaphor for the Circle of Life. The Circle of life basically means that everyone is born, everyone lives, and that everyone dies. This is a repeating cycle that never ends. Dickinson's poem speaks with of the ending point in the circle, the death. Death is something that everyone will go through and it can't be avoided. The poem flows in a reverse kind of way. It starts with the death and goes backwards to the point of dying. In a way the poem mentions the whole Circle of Life. It mentions God, who is the creator, life, and then finally death. It just introduces a new point in the circle: life after death.

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