Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

The Light of Darkness 11th Grade

The human experience demands pitfalls and darkness in order to grow and appreciate the light of life. Authors and poets control responsibility over recording these experiences that shape us and offering insight to the dark feeling that reside in all of us. Emily Dickinson saw darkness as a devouring force or a chance to learn in her poem “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark.” Robert Frost’s sonnet “Acquainted with the Night” explored walking through the darkness and accepting it as a part of life. Both Dickinson and Frost use imagery of a path to advise readers to face the dark, a message that comes across in different attitudes but ultimately teaches us that light will come eventually.

The symbolic image of a road used in both pieces allowed the poets to encourage facing the dark parts of life willingly. A road, in a broader sense, represents the path of life and how everyone has met the darkness in their journey on this path. Dickinson uses words filled with connotations of familiarity in lines 1and 3 including “accustomed,” and “Neighbor” throughout her poem as the reader walks along her on this path. This diction implies we know the darkness and Dickinson urges for us face this darkness, to “meet the road—erect,” in line 8....

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