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An Interpretation Of Emily Dickinson's Poem #315 Essay


An Interpretation of Emily Dickinson's Poem #315

Emily Dickinson had an interesting life, and is a profound woman in the history of America and literature. Emily wrote many poems. Some are titled, and many are given chronological numbers instead of headlining the main theme. I am interpreting Poem #315.

I read the poem, and had to read it again and again. As with most poems, the meaning is always clouded from me and I need a little help to figure out the true meaning of the author's intentions. In this case, the outcome was not any different. The poem did not make much sense to me. Instead, I created my own meaning and it differed greatly from the others. However, I still like my interpretation and enjoy the final product that was created when I combined my ideas with the groups.


He fumbles at your Soul

As Players at the Keys

Before they drop full Music on--

He stuns you by degrees-

Prepares your brittle Nature

For the Etherial Blow

By fainter Hammers-further heard-

Then nearer-Then so slow

Your Breath has time to straighten-

Your Brain-t bubble cool-Deals-One-imperial-Thunderbolt

That scalps your naked Soul-

When winds take Forests in their Paws-

The Universe-is still-

The other members of my group saw this poem as a metaphor for some type of physical abuse. I saw it as a poem just describing a thunderstorm. Now, after incorporating in ideas from all in the group I describe the poem as a way of using a storms powerful force to describe physical abuse. Confused? Well, I'll walk you through this idea so at the end you won't be.

The first four lines of the poem describe a 'He'. It states, "He fumbles at your soul / As players on the Keys / Before they drop full music on-- / he stuns you by degrees-"

Before any great piano player plays a piece, he warms up. He practices. In a similar sense, so does a thunderstorm. A storm does not start out heavy and powerful; it starts out with a wind. And, the air gets a little cooler; the degrees go down on the thermometer. Powerful thunder vibrates the soul, and the earth is the piano for the persona of the storm.

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