Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Natural Imagery in Emily Dickinson's Poem 666 College

By looking at Emily Dickinson’s poem 666 “I cross till I am weary,” we can see the poet’s connections between the nature of life or spirituality and the subtleties of rhyme as well as meter; this link is important because it sets a tone for the reading of the poem. Dickinson’s natural imagery in this poem is important because it both defines and adds momentum to the narration. The rhyme scheme is staggered and alternates between true rhymes and slant rhymes. In many ways, the tone of the poem reads in much the same way we experience nature, with a lack of consistency and control.

Poem 666 opens, “I cross till I am weary/ A Mountain- in my mind-” (1-2). The speaker seems to be struggling with something, pushing herself over this hurdle until she is exhausted at the end of the day. The term “Mountain” is capitalized placing emphasis on a great and possibly insurmountable obstacle. The speaker continues, “More Mountains- then a Sea-/ More Seas- And then/ A Desert- find-,” (3-5) again capitalizing the names of these vast entities of nature: Mountain, Sea, Desert. The poet seems to realize that no matter how many obstacles she overcomes in life, and no matter how large, there will always be more. The first stanza consists of five...

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