Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Subtleties of the Perfect Word

With a few straight lines, perhaps a dot, and an occasional squiggle, Word is born. Despite its humble beginnings, Word holds the possibility of greatness: the ability to cause war, to make peace, to express love, to describe fear. While many others are easily accessible, wrangling Perfect Word requires patience, scrupulousness, and wit. In spite of having properly hogtied it, the actual "perfection" of Word relies on its relationship with Other Words.

Emily Dickinson possesses an uncanny ability to wrestle down the perfect diction, thus creating worlds of hope, despair, faith, and endless questioning. Through her use of the word Goblin, its role, its impact on the understanding of the poem, and its relationship to other imagery, Dickinson displays her linguistic prowess and the intricacies of language. Each of the six poems (356, 360, 388, 425 619, and 757) that include goblin imagery does so in an entirely distinct manner; nevertheless, as the goblin's part of speech is more substantial, so too does its degree of evil and its role in the poem intensify. Via subtle manipulations of language, Dickinson deepends her poetry and opens it to many layers of interpretation and connectedness.

#757 I think to Live - may...

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