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Thread: There Is A Word by Emily Dickinson

  1. #1
    SVZ is offline
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    Oct 2005

    Default There Is A Word by Emily Dickinson

    There is a word
    Which bears a sword
    can pierce an armed man.

    It hurls its barbed syllables, --
    At once is mute again.
    But where it fell
    The saved will tell
    On patriotic day,
    Some epauletted brother
    Gave his breath away.

    Wherever runs the breathless sun,
    Wherever roams the day,
    There is its victory!
    Behold the keenest marksman!
    Time's sublimest target
    Is a soul "forgot"!

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005

    Default Re: There Is A Word by Emily Dickinson

    I guess it's not surprising that, as a poet, Dickinson would write about the power of words. As she notes, a word can be a weapon as deadly as a sword.

    The specific word Dickinson focuses on in this poem is "forgot." Whether you be a fallen soldier, as Dickinson seems to envision based on the military imagery and diction in this poem, or a regular person, to be forgotten is a kind of death--if you are forgotten, it's as if you never existed. Unfortunately, the ultimate result of the passage of time is the tendency for all of us to be forgotten.

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