Monday, February 4, 2013
Poetry Analysis: This World is Not Conclusion, by Emily Dickinson
by M. J. Joachim
This World is not Conclusion, by Emily Dickinson
This world is not Conclusion.
A Species stands beyond—
Invisible, as Music—
But positive, as Sound—
It beckons, and it baffles—
And through a Riddle, at the last—
Sagacity, must go—
To guess it, puzzles scholars—
To gain it, Men have borne
Contempt of Generations
And Crucifixion, shown—
Faith slips—and laughs, and rallies—
Blushes, if any see—
Plucks at a twig of Evidence—
And asks a Vane, the way—
Much Gesture, from the Pulpit—
Strong Hallelujahs roll—
Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul—
Emily Dickinson speaks eloquently about the absolutes of faith in her poem This World is not Conclusion. She speaks of angels and spirits that can’t be seen, but are clearly heard, perhaps by the heart. This World is not Conclusion is a poem about the challenges people of faith deal with on earth.
Dickinson relates that faith makes no sense as it beckons, and even baffles, the person who accepts it. She is certain that philosophers are ignorant about faith, because they exercise too much common sense. Scholars don’t understand faith either. Yet, the average person will willingly suffer for it, despite the pain or embarrassment it may cause him.
Dickinson speaks of how generations have suffered ill treatment because they have faith in Christ and His saving crucifixion. Sometimes their faith fails them, other times they laugh about it. She also speaks of how people of faith come together and rally. Some of them even hold their crosses as proof, or evidence of faith.
Dickinson refers to religious men who preach with such emotion, as they inspire us to praise God. Then, almost too suddenly, she mentions how we try to hide from Him with drugs. Without hesitation, Dickinson notes that we can’t escape, because faith keeps nibbling at the soul.
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Photo credit: Jastrow, Triumph of Faith Over Idolatry, by Jean Baptiste Théodon (French 1646 – 1713)
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