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Poem #640: interpretation

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 03, 2000

I cannot live with You— It would be Life— And Life is over there__ Behind the Shelf The Sexton keeps the Key to— Putting up Our life—His Porcelain— Like a Cup— Discarded of the Housewife— Quaint—or Broke— A newer Sevres pleases— Old Ones crack— I could not die—with You— For One must wait To shut the Other’s Gaze down— You—could not— And I—Could I stand by And see You—freeze— Without my Right of Frost— Death’s privilege? Nor could I rise—with You— Because Your Face Would put out Jesus’— That New Grace Glow plain—and foreign On my homesick Eye— Except that You than He Shone closer by— They’d judge Us—How— For You—served Heaven—You know, Or sought to— I could not— Because You saturated Sight— And I had no more Eyes For sordid excellence As Paradise And were You lost, I would be— Though My Name Rang loudest On the Heavenly fame— And were You—saved— And I—condemned to be Where You were not— That self—were Hell to Me— So We must meet apart— You there—I—here— With just the Door ajar That Oceans are—and Prayer— And that White Sustenance— Despair— "I cannot live with You", by Emily Dickinson, is an emotional poem in which she shares her experiences and thoughts on death and love. Some critics believe that she has written about her struggle with death and her desire to have a relationship with a man whose vocation was ministerial, Reverend Charles Wadsworth. She considers suicide as an option for relieving the pain she endures, but decides against it. The narrator, more than likely Emily herself, realizes that death will leave her even further away from the one that she loves. There is a possibility that they will never be together again. "Arguing with herself, Dickinson considers three major resolutions for the frustrations she is seeking to define and to resolve. Each of these resolutions is expressed in negative form: living wither her lover, dying with him, and discovering a world beyond nature. Building on this series of negations, Dickinson advances a catalogue of reasons for her covenant with despair, which are both final and insufficient. Throughout, she excoriates the social and religious authorities that impede her union, but she remains emotionally unconvinced that she has correctly identified her antagonists." (Pollack, 182) Dickinson begins her poem by saying that she cannot live with her lover because their life together is an object that can only be opened with a key. The Sexton, or church officer in charge of the maintenance of church property, keeps the key. The reverend’s involvement with God and with a woman at the same time is like a porcelain cup that is easily broken. This is an example of...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/03/2000

Category:   Poetry

Length:   5 pages (1,059 words)

Views:   1673

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