A Literary Examination of Deliberate Tact and Poetic Approach by Emily Dickinson

A Literary Examination of Deliberate Tact and Poetic Technique by Emily Dickinson

Anthony Hecht

Again, this poem has been read for example of Emily

Dickinson's deliberate tact and poetic approach "in a technology which did not permit

her, without the ambiguity of the riddle, to 'tell the real truth' . . . she early learned that

'success in circuit lies.'" I cannot disprove that notion, nor perform I feel obliged to;

but the poem seems to me to get a good deal of spiritual significance that such a

statement inclines altogether to flout:

And it found pass on the 3rd day each morning, that there have been thunders and

lightening and thick clouds after the mount. . . . And god, the father said unto Moses, Go down,

charge the persons, lest they break through unto god, the father to gaze, and several of them perish.

(Exodus 19:16-21)

The blinding effect of immediate access to the Godhead, which is definitely to state the Truth (except

in the case of chosen few, and Moses one of these), is a commonplace of religious

poetry from long before Emily Dickinson to your private century. And there can be what might be


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