Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Nature in All Its Complexity: The Subtle Poetry of Emily Dickinson 11th Grade

To Emily Dickinson, a keen botanist, nature was a beautiful mystery, and throughout her life spent vast amount of time among plants, yet never felt connected to the natural world. Her writing reflects this lack of connection, and the inability to penetrate nature, when describing the grass that “closes at your feet” in ‘A narrow Fellow in the Grass’. This incapability to be a part of nature is further demonstrated in many of her other poems; in ‘A Bird came down the Walk’ she is unable to offer “a Crumb” to the bird, and she is unable to reach the “so far” water of ‘What mystery pervades a well!’ In ‘A narrow Fellow in the Grass’, Dickinson presents a paradox; man is distant from nature, yet in close proximity, to show man’s lack of understanding of nature. She describes nature in detail, displaying not only her passion for it, but her physical closeness, however uses the simile “divides as with a Comb” for the grass, which is a juxtaposition of the natural and unnatural, demonstrating her lack of understanding, and therefore emotional distance. This is further emphasised by the dash which ends this line, representing a barrier between man and nature, despite nature being “at your feet”.

Dickinson in this way mocks Romanticism...

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