'The Soul selects her own Society' by Emily Dickinson
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The Soul selects her own Society-
Then-shuts the Door-
To her divine Majority-
Present no more-Unmoved-she notes the Chariots-pausing-
At her low Gate-
Unmoved-an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat-I've known her-from an ample nation-
Then-close the Valves of her attention-
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Soul selects her own Society - An Analysis
Emily Dickinson's "The Soul selects her own Society" is a remarkable poem that speaks to the human experience on a deep and intimate level. This literary masterpiece examines a universal theme that is relevant to all of us - the power of choice. The poem explores the idea that we, as individuals, have the power to choose who we allow into our lives and who we exclude. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the poem's use of language, form and structure, as well as its themes and motifs.
The use of language in this poem is striking. Dickinson employs simple, yet powerful language that is highly evocative. The poem's opening line, "The Soul selects her own Society" sets the tone for the entire poem. The word "soul" immediately draws the reader's attention and suggests that this is a poem about something profound and deeply personal.
Throughout the poem, Dickinson uses rich, sensory language to create vivid images in the reader's mind. For example, in the second stanza, she writes, "Then — shuts the Door — / To her divine Majority," which creates a sense of finality and definitiveness. The image of a door closing is a powerful one, and it suggests that the soul is making a deliberate choice to exclude certain people or experiences from its life.
Another example of Dickinson's use of powerful imagery can be found in the third stanza, where she writes, "Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing — / At her low Gate —." The image of chariots pausing at a gate is a striking one, and it suggests that the soul is in a position of power and authority. This reinforces the idea that the soul is in control of its own destiny and that it has the power to choose who it allows into its life.
Form and Structure
The form and structure of this poem are also noteworthy. Dickinson employs a tight, concise structure that emphasizes the poem's central themes. The poem is composed of three stanzas, each containing four lines. The use of short, simple lines gives the poem a sense of urgency and immediacy.
Additionally, the poem's rhyme scheme is highly structured. Each stanza follows an ABAB rhyme scheme, with the second and fourth lines rhyming with each other. This rhyme scheme creates a sense of unity and symmetry, which reinforces the idea that the soul is making a deliberate and purposeful choice.
Themes and Motifs
The central theme of this poem is the power of choice. Dickinson explores the idea that we, as individuals, have the power to choose who we allow into our lives and who we exclude. The soul is presented as a powerful entity that is in control of its own destiny.
Another important theme in this poem is the idea of exclusivity. The soul selects only a chosen few to be a part of its society, and it excludes all others. This reinforces the idea that the soul is in control of its own destiny and that it has the power to determine who is worthy of its attention and affection.
The poem also explores the idea of divine choice. The soul is presented as a divine entity that is making a choice based on its own judgment and intuition. This reinforces the idea that the soul is in control of its own destiny and that it is guided by a higher power.
Emily Dickinson's "The Soul selects her own Society" is a powerful and evocative poem that explores the themes of choice, exclusivity, and divine intervention. Through her use of rich, sensory language, tight form and structure, and powerful themes and motifs, Dickinson creates a work of art that speaks to the human experience on a deep and intimate level. This poem is a testament to the power of language and poetry to capture the complexity of the human experience and to illuminate the universal truths that bind us all together.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry has always been a medium of expression for the human soul. It is a form of art that allows us to convey our deepest emotions, thoughts, and experiences in a way that is both beautiful and profound. Emily Dickinson, one of the greatest poets of all time, understood this better than anyone else. Her poem, "The Soul selects her own Society," is a masterpiece that captures the essence of poetry and its power to connect us with our inner selves.
At its core, "The Soul selects her own Society" is a poem about the power of choice. The soul, according to Dickinson, is a force that is independent and self-sufficient. It has the power to choose its own company, to select the people and things that it wants to be surrounded by. The poem begins with the line, "The Soul selects her own Society - / Then - shuts the Door -" which sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The soul is depicted as a decisive force that knows what it wants and is not afraid to go after it.
The second stanza of the poem further emphasizes the power of choice. Dickinson writes, "Unmoved - she notes the Chariots - pausing - / At her low Gate - / Unmoved - an Emperor be kneeling / Upon her Mat -" Here, the soul is shown as being indifferent to the external world. It is not swayed by the trappings of power or wealth. It is focused solely on its own desires and needs. The image of an emperor kneeling before the soul is particularly powerful, as it shows that even the most powerful people in the world are subject to the soul's authority.
The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most beautiful and poignant. Dickinson writes, "I've known her - from an ample nation - / Choose One - / Then - close the Valves of her attention - / Like Stone -" Here, the soul is shown as being selective in its choices. It does not want to be surrounded by a multitude of people or things. It wants only one thing, and it is willing to shut out everything else in order to have it. The image of the soul closing the valves of its attention like stone is particularly powerful, as it shows the finality of the soul's decision.
The fourth stanza of the poem is a continuation of the third. Dickinson writes, "And the Heavens - forbid me / Since I never saw them - / That I should interpose - / And slice Her - from Thee!" Here, the speaker is acknowledging the power of the soul's choice. She knows that she cannot interfere with the soul's decision, even if she wanted to. The image of the heavens forbidding her from interfering is particularly powerful, as it shows that the soul's choice is not just a personal one, but one that is sanctioned by a higher power.
The final stanza of the poem is a beautiful conclusion to the poem. Dickinson writes, "The Soul selects her own Society - / Then - shuts the Door - / To her divine Majority - / Present no more -" Here, the soul is shown as having made its choice and closed the door on everything else. It is content with its decision and does not want to be bothered by anything else. The image of the soul's divine majority being present no more is particularly powerful, as it shows that the soul is now in a state of complete isolation, surrounded only by the things that it has chosen.
In conclusion, "The Soul selects her own Society" is a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of the human soul and its power of choice. Emily Dickinson's use of imagery and language is masterful, and the poem is a testament to her skill as a poet. The poem is a reminder that we all have the power to choose our own path in life, and that our choices are what define us as individuals. It is a poem that speaks to the heart and soul of every human being, and it will continue to inspire and move people for generations to come.
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