What are the distinctive features of the Poetic Style/Diction/Techniques of Emily Dickinson

Mofizur Rahman

What are the distinctive features of the poetic Style/Diction of Emily Dickinson - Write an essay on Emily Dickinson's poetic style

What are the distinctive features of the poetic Style/Diction/Techniques of Emily Dickinson

Write an essay on Emily Dickinson's poetic style. Or, What are the distinctive features of the poetic diction of Emily Dickinson? Or, Write a note on Emily Dickinson's poetic style. Analyse Emily Dickinson's poetic style. Or, What ideas have you formed about the poetic techniques of Emily Dickinson?

 Poetic Style/Diction/Techniques of Emily Dickinson

Answer. Emily Dickinson's poetry demonstrates special poetic techniques. Her poetic diction is of distinctive features. Her use of words is bold, and original, with astonishing brevity and economy, her imagery and figures of speech are very apt and suggestive, and her metrical devices and rhyme are novel.

Dickinson was an innovator in metrical pattern and rhyme. She was a great prosodist who went on experimenting in metre, rhyme and rhythm. The use of capital letters and novelty in grammar and punctuation also came under her experiment. She derived her metres from the hymn book measures of her day, adapted to her own requirements of suppleness and variety. To her use of the eye rhymes and exact and normal rhymes she added the constant use of identical rhymes, for example, "stone": "stone", or "moan": "moan". She also used imperfect rhymes and suspended rhymes.

Her joy and awe in the use of words is rarely found in any other poet. She mostly uses common words, but they are of a very great range. She, of course, also uses rare words and words of her own coinage. Words like "plashness", "omni fold", "prancing" are rarely found in any other poet. She has thus the power to use familiar words in unfamiliar collocations. Her poetry breathes and is alive because of her extraordinary power to use them in a specially effective way. She herself says:

A word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die

She has also the gift of using words with utmost precision. Each word come to the reader with all the intensity of the poet's experience. She turns words and phrases with the care of a jeweller and "that in the processes of cutting, shaping and holding facets up to the light, she was no less meticulous and adept."

Most of Dickinson's poems are miniatures -microscopic structures that can accommodate into them the whole range of microscopic experience in the life of the poet. Most of her poetry is confined to the hymn metres which she knew since her childhood days in school. The metres that she frequently used are:

(1) metre consisting of eight-syllabled iambic line followed by a six-syllabled one;

(2) an eight-syllabled iambic line followed by one of eight syllables, known as short metre. She also used lines consisting of trochaic and dactylic metres. The simplicity and rigidity of the design of her stanza form is remarkable. Her poetry exhibits supreme felicity of phrase and dramatic economy of expression.

Paradox is a favourite device with Dickinson. She used it to communicate the disharmonies of life.

She drew her metaphors from any source that she considered suitable, like the neo-Platonists, the New Testament missionaries, Jaw, agriculture, and science.

Symbolism is another important quality of Dickinson's style. The poems like "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain" and "After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Came" are excellent examples of Dickinson's symbolic style.

Her imagery is vivid and realistic The image created by "umbrella quaintly halved" in her poem on bat is very impressive and novel.

Dickinson's unique personal style is pre-eminently suited to her themes which are her personal obsessions. In her work, style is the measure of content and both are of prime importance to the way of life which she adopted.

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