Many of Emily Dickinson’s poems are short. Similar to Faith, they are full of delightful surprises and thought provoking twists. Faith is more provocative than usual. The words are plain. Literally, it says that the gentlemen only believe what he can see; for those are hard to see by the naked eye, they rely on science which is symbolized by “Microscopes.”
“Faith” is a fine invention
when Gentlemen can see —
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency.
— by Emily Dickinson
As in all poems, the true meaning is always deeper than the meaning of the words. I try to grasp the poet’s intention by study the images conjured by the words. Every time I read this poem, I see a picture of a girl in her cheerful voice reading the words. The voice reminds me of her own words — “The old — old sophistries of June.” I carefully listen to every word and wrestle with every sound, but they all puzzle me. Is the “faith” an invention of man? Someone must have invented the word “faith” and associated a meaning to it. The Webster dictionary defines “faith” as a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” Did man invent the belief? Did he invent the objects of his belief? … I have many questions, where to look for answers? Following Dr. Johnson’s suggestion, I seek hints from other poems by Emily Dickinson.
She lived in a religious family according to her own letter to Thomas Higginson, the editor of her work, but she is not a religious person. In one poem, she wrote:
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And a Orchard, for a Dome.
In this poem, she compares nature with church. The bobolink and the orchard are her deities. Considering this information, I image there is a little bit of smirk in the girl’s voice. Maybe she is laughing at her church-goer parents as many teenagers do. When I was that age, I used to think that going to church is mere formality and took notice of all the inconsistencies between my parents’ words and their actions. Each time when I see an inconsistency, I say to myself “Talking about faith, the only thing they believe is what is in front of their eye.
Comparing Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson
Comparing Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson as Poets
Often, the poets Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson try to convey the themes of the meaning of nature, or that of death and loneliness. Although they were born more than fifty years apart their poetry is similar in many ways. Both poets talk about the power of nature, death and loneliness. However, Dickinson and Frost are not similar in all poetic aspects. In fact, they differ greatly in tone.
Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost both talk about the power of nature in their poetry. Dickinson uses this theme in her poem ” `Nature’ is what we see -.” The power of nature is strongly portrayed in this poem by Dickinson’s articulation of what the speaker see’s in nature. ” `Nature’ is what we see -… / Nature is what we hear -… / Nature is what we know -” (277 lines 1,5,9). Nature is everything to a person, it appeals to all senses. Dickinson also says in this poem, “So impotent Our Wisdom is / To her Simplicity” (277). The speaker is saying that nature has such great power that one can’t even comprehend her simplest ways.
In comparison …
… middle of paper …
—– “Birches.” American Literature. New York: Scribner Laidlaw. 1989. p472,473.
—– “Fire and Ice” American Literature. New York: Scribner Laidlaw. 1989. p466.
Freeman, Margaret. “Metaphor Making Meaning: Dickinson’s Conceptual Universe.” Journal of Pragmatics 24 (1995): 643-666.
Nesteruk, Peter. “The Many Deaths of Emily Dickinson.” Emily Dickinson journal 6.1 (1997): 25-44.
White, Fred D. “`Sweet Skepticism of the Heart’: Science in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson.” College Literature 19.1 (Feb 1992): 121-128.