My Interpretation Of The Poem ' I Felt A Funeral Essay

1500 Words Nov 8th, 2016 6 Pages
The following assignment is my interpretation of the poem ‘I felt a funeral in my brain’ by Emily Dickinson, which was first published in 1896. Dickinson is an extremely well known American poet who has been described as ‘a nineteenth century mystic… recluse’ (Brooks Bouson, 2010:3), as well as a ‘great and original American poet whose enigmatic verse is a precursor to the experimental works of modernist and postmodernist writers.’ (Brooks Bouson, 2010:3). My interpretation and analysis of the poem will be based around the concept of sound patterning. The phrase sound patterning is best defined when broken down, as Gibbons and Whitely have done in their forthcoming work Style and Cognition; here they define phonetics as ‘the study of speech sounds’ and phonology a ‘the study of patterns of speech sounds’ (p11). Therefore, when stylisticians analyse texts due to their interest ‘in how writers might deliberately manipulate speech sounds for aesthetic effects’ (p11), they are examining the text for manipulated phonology and ‘the ways in which the sonic properties of a text contribute to the literary experience (p13).

One of the common techniques focused on when looking at sound patterning is the use of rhyme, rhythm and meter and the effect it can have on the reader. This poem makes obvious use of iambic tetrameter, with the only main irregularity being in line four of stanza four, where the word ‘wrecked’ breaks the pattern. This in itself mimics the meaning of the poem which…

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