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The Truth—is stirless

Emily Dickinson

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-- dash -- dash --
2002-10-27
Added by: Samuel Biagetti
Though I'm not sure how much I agree with her, I love the images of the oak and the cedar that Dickinson uses here to illustrate the unsurpassed strength and longevity of the truth. I also think it's interesting that she characterizes this strong, unyielding force as feminine --"Her."

Can anyone tell me, though, what is the purpose and significance of all the dashes in Dickinson's work? I don't know how to read them, and they're really throwing me off. And when they appear at the end of a poem, does that mean she wasn't sure she was finished with it, that it may just have been a fragment?
2003-04-02
Added by: Rose
I recently read an article that explained that Dickinson applied Latin gramatical rules to her poetry. You should read it if you can find it (mine I recieved from my English teacher) here it is cited:

Cuddy, Lois S. "The Latin Imprint on Emily Dickinson's Poetry: Theory and
Practice." American Literature 50 (1978): 7484.
dashes
2003-08-06
Added by: Sylvia
"When they appear at the end of a poem, does that mean she wasn't sure she was finished with it, that it may just have been a fragment?"
I'm thinking something like this too. I mean, in life, how can we ever be finished with any thought completely? When we draw conclusions, aren't we just merely exhausting our attention spans and wanting to come to exact definitions and answers to ease our minds? Philosophical debate shows that even when we think we are right, there are always ways to show that maybe we aren't. So if a thought can never end, can a poem ever end, or the thoughts within it? Emily likely used dashes at the end to show that, yes, this is as far as the thought took her, but she knows it can be taken further.

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