Thursday, October 13, 2005

Week 3 Post 2

Part Four: Time and Eternity

DEATH is like the insect
Menacing the tree,
Competent to kill it,
But decoyed may be.

Bait it with the balsam,
Seek it with the knife,
Baffle, if it cost you
Everything in life.

Then, if it have burrowed
Out of reach of skill,
Ring the tree and leave it,--
'Tis the vermin's will.

Emily Dickinson writes poetry in a way that it sometimes does not make any sense. She picks subjects that are out of the ordinary and compares it to something extreme. In this case, she picked an insect and compared it to death. The first stanza, I feel says that here is this insect and it is flying around a tree. The insect has power to kill the tree but is distracted. Dickinson compares it to death, so she is trying to say that death is capable of killing us but is sometimes distracted. Like how some people escape death by a mere chance. The next stanza, talks about how trying to catch this insect maybe futile and it might cost you more than you bargained for. It is like saying that if you spend most of your life running from death, then you will lose things or expriences that might have made things worth while. At the end the poem ends with the insect burrowing and the tree will eventually die. I guess this is sort of saying that no matter how you try to run from death and no matter how many precautions you take, in the end, death will still come and get you.


Blogger Danny said...

This is a really dark poem. I interpreted the first stanza kinda different than you though, seeing the insect as decoyed not because it is distracted, but because it is seemingly so small and insignificant in relation to the tree. Interesting poem and analysis.

6:11 PM  

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