Thursday, February 13, 2014

I felt a funeral, in my brain

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading–treading–till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through–

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum–
Kept beating–beating–till I thought
My Mind was going numb–

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space–began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race  
Wrecked, solitary, here–

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down–
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing–then–

-Emily Dickinson

This is one of Dickinson's darker poems. On the surface, the speaker seems to be attending a regular funeral, and is just describing everything. The weird part is that the funeral is taking place in the speaker's own mind. That's where the speculation comes in. Is the speaker, which may or may not be Dickinson, attending a real funeral or is she going crazy as many believe?  Since Dickinson did in fact spend most her life indoors, isolated from the world, this poem can be seen as one of the ways she expressed her sanity. I see this poem as speaking more than just the literal meaning. Dickinson uses this poem to touch on death, and possibility even life after death. When people die, there is a funeral for them, yet Dickinson also speaks on things associated with life after death, such as the soul and Heaven. There is also the question of the matter who is the funeral for? Dickinson did go through some traumatizing things in her life. This poem could symbolize Dickinson burying those memories, The funeral could be a metaphor for her suppressing those traumatizing memories, so in a sense it's not a real funeral at all.  A lot of Dickinson's poems seem to connect to her life, yet at the same time seem to have no relevance to her life at all even though see wrote it. This poem was written during the time of the Civil War, so maybe she had a love fighting and he has passed away. This poem is one of her darkest poems. It almost seems that by this point in time, Dickinson has literally gone insane.

No comments:

Post a Comment