It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up Deck (12)
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"And all the dead lie down"

Faux naive statement- whilst the speaker is clearly utilising reason, it is in an ironic manner


It was not night for all the bells put out their tongues for noon

Sinister personification of bells. The speaker defamiliarises themselves from normal human routine (we are bound to the stages of day) -the fact that the bells are putting their tounges out is disturbing as the action is somehow childish but aggressive (odd that an inanimate object can be hostile)


It was not frost for on my flesh I felt siroccos crawl

Speaker is unwilling to describe anything expect extreme polar opposites. -implications = bipolar mental state, binary view of the world, unwilling to put self between extremes (in the grey area) about their condition.
Darwinian approach for wanting to classify


The figures I have seen

Dehumanises people and refers to them as solely unidentifiable objects


Set orderly for burial, reminded me of mine

Speaker feels similarity with their own body, recognising bodies that are prepared for burial as her. - maybe traumatic experience is separating herself from her own identity and body?


As if my life were shaven and fitted to a frame

Metaphorically conforming image of torture, repeated use of the word 'and' is an example of form mirroring context -connective drawing out lines in the way a frame would extend the body in a painful experience


When everything that ticked, has stopped

Time gives way to space and we see Dickinsons typical exploration of other dimensions. After this line no personal pronouns are used and this May be significant (the trauma may have finally stripped away the identity of the speaker)


But most like chaos, stop less, cool

Coinage of the word 'stopless' is idiosyncratic. Shows the pain and damage brought on by the trauma is unending and inescapable. The word 'chaos' highlights the mental torment and destruction brought on by experience


Without a chance or spar

Most shipwreck imagery - implies that after the trauma the speaker feels they lack direction and purpose


To justify despair

There is no concrete reason why speaker feels tormented and hopeless


How does the structure of the poem change

The precision of the speakers definition slips and by the end of the final stanza they are completely vague - as if given up hope of being able to understand or describe them for people to understand the sensations


Expl. "It was not death, for I stood up"

Definitive opening line , refusing to define the experience as such but explaining what it isn't. Clear this poem with be suggestive of transcendentalism, investigating a human circumstance