Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yesterday is History

Yesterday is History,
'Tis so far away
Yesterday is Poetry
'Tis Philosophy

Yesterday is mystery
Where it is Today
While we shrewdly speculate
Flutter both away

-Emily Dickinson

This is another simple poem by Emily Dickinson. This poem is very different from the usual theme of her poems. While Dickinson usually discusses death, and immortality, this is a positive poem that speaks about enjoying living. Yesterday is the main focus of the poem, and this poem seems to say that people shouldn't focus on the past and move forward. The first two lines compare yesterday to history. To me, this means that like history can't be changed, you can't change what happened to you yesterday. Whatever happens yesterday is like your own history. The whole first stanza basically speaks of yesterday being the past. Yesterday is beautiful, like poetry is. A philosophy is basically the pursuit of the meaning of something. In this case, people often pursue the meaning of their own life. They waste so much time thinking that life passes them by. Also people tend to base current things off of what has happened in the past. People base today off of what has happened yesterday instead of treating everyday like it is a new beginning.  Dickinson tells us that yesterday and today are both two things that we don't know, but if we waste too much time focusing on them, then they both will be gone. While a human life is long, or can be long, it doesn't last forever. People should cherish the time they have because they will never know when something may be ripped from them.  People waste so much time on pointless things that don't matter that they don't see the good things they have until they gone. The poem reminds me of that saying "You never know what you have until it is gone." This applies more than just to materialistic things. It goes for people too. I think that this poem can really open society's eyes about the value of life.

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