'Victory comes late,' by Emily Dickinson
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Victory comes late,
And is held low to freezing lips
Too rapt with frost
To take it.
How sweet it would have tasted,
Just a drop!
Was God so economical?
His table's spread too high for us
Unless we dine on tip-toe.
Crumbs fit such little mouths,
Cherries suit robins;
The eagle's golden breakfast
God keeps his oath to sparrows,
Who of little love
Know how to starve!
Editor 1 Interpretation
Victory Comes Late by Emily Dickinson: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets in American literature. Her works are known for their complex themes and unique style. Victory Comes Late is one of her most famous poems, and it is a poem that captures the essence of her writing perfectly. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes and motifs in Victory Comes Late, and we will attempt to understand what the poem means.
Overview of the Poem
Victory Comes Late is a poem that explores the idea of perseverance and the importance of never giving up. It tells the story of a battle that has been raging for a long time, with neither side gaining an advantage. The soldiers on both sides are tired and weary, and they long for the battle to end. However, in the end, victory comes to the side that perseveres the longest. The poem is a powerful statement on the importance of never giving up, no matter how difficult the situation may seem.
Dickinson was known for her use of literary devices in her poetry, and Victory Comes Late is no exception. The poem is full of metaphors and other devices that help to create a vivid and powerful image in the reader's mind. Some of the most notable devices used in this poem include:
Metaphor: The battle in the poem is a metaphor for life. It represents the struggles that we all face and the importance of persevering through them.
Personification: The soldiers in the poem are personified, giving them a sense of life and agency.
Imagery: Dickinson uses vivid imagery to describe the battle and the soldiers who are fighting in it. The images help to create a sense of realism and bring the poem to life.
Rhyme: The poem follows an ABAB rhyme scheme, which helps to create a sense of rhythm and flow.
Themes and Motifs
Victory Comes Late explores several themes and motifs, including:
Perseverance: The poem is a powerful statement on the importance of never giving up. The soldiers who persevere the longest are the ones who eventually win the battle.
Hope: Despite the difficult circumstances, the soldiers continue to fight, hoping that victory will eventually come. This hope is what keeps them going, even in the darkest of times.
Death: The poem also explores the theme of death, which is a common motif in Dickinson's poetry. The soldiers in the poem are risking their lives every day, and death is always lurking in the background.
At its core, Victory Comes Late is a poem about the human spirit and the importance of never giving up. The soldiers in the poem are exhausted and weary, but they continue to fight, hoping that victory will eventually come. The poem is a reminder that life is full of struggles, but it is also full of hope. No matter how difficult the situation may seem, there is always a chance for victory if we persevere.
The poem also explores the theme of death, which is a common motif in Dickinson's poetry. Death is always lurking in the background, and the soldiers in the poem are risking their lives every day. This highlights the fragility of life and the importance of making the most of the time that we have.
Another interpretation of the poem is that it is a commentary on the futility of war. The battle in the poem has been raging for a long time, with neither side gaining an advantage. This could be seen as a metaphor for the endless cycle of violence that plagues our world. The poem is a reminder that war only leads to death and destruction, and that there are no true winners in such conflicts.
Victory Comes Late is a powerful and moving poem that explores the human spirit and the importance of never giving up. It is a reminder that life is full of struggles, but there is always hope for victory if we persevere. The poem is also a commentary on the futility of war and the importance of making the most of the time that we have. Dickinson's use of literary devices and imagery helps to create a vivid and powerful image in the reader's mind, making Victory Comes Late one of her most memorable works.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Victory Comes Late: A Masterpiece by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson, the renowned American poet, is known for her unique style of writing that often explores themes of death, nature, and spirituality. Her poem "Victory Comes Late" is a masterpiece that delves into the concept of perseverance and the eventual triumph of the human spirit. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, structure, and literary devices.
The poem "Victory Comes Late" is a short but powerful piece that consists of only four stanzas, each containing four lines. The poem's structure is simple, but its message is profound. The poem's title itself is significant, as it suggests that success is not immediate, but rather a result of persistent effort and determination.
The first stanza of the poem sets the tone for the rest of the piece. It reads, "Victory comes late, / And is held low to freezing lips / Too rapt with frost / To take it." The imagery in this stanza is striking, as it portrays the idea of victory being within reach but just out of grasp. The phrase "held low to freezing lips" suggests that the speaker is so cold and numb that they cannot even feel the victory that is within their reach. The use of the word "rapt" implies that the speaker is so focused on their goal that they are unaware of their surroundings.
The second stanza of the poem continues this theme of perseverance. It reads, "When it comes, the landscape listens, / Shadows hold their breath; / When it goes, 'tis like the distance / On the look of death." The use of personification in this stanza is significant, as it gives life to the landscape and shadows. The idea that the landscape listens and shadows hold their breath suggests that victory is a significant event that affects everything around it. The final line of the stanza, "On the look of death," is a powerful metaphor that suggests that the absence of victory is like the end of life.
The third stanza of the poem shifts the focus to the speaker's personal experience. It reads, "Victory comes late, / And is held only to those / Who ne'er succeed / To comprehend it." The use of the word "only" in this stanza suggests that victory is not for everyone, but only for those who have experienced failure. The phrase "who ne'er succeed" implies that the speaker has experienced failure and understands the value of victory. The final line of the stanza, "To comprehend it," suggests that victory is not just about achieving a goal but also about understanding its significance.
The final stanza of the poem brings the message of perseverance and triumph to its conclusion. It reads, "When hope is dim, / And courage is low, / When heart is sick, / Victory costs too much to be reached." The use of the word "when" at the beginning of each line suggests that the speaker is describing a universal experience. The phrase "victory costs too much to be reached" implies that success is not easy and requires significant effort and sacrifice. The final line of the poem, "And life turns languidly away / From the hope deferred," suggests that the absence of victory can lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair.
The poem "Victory Comes Late" is a masterpiece that explores the themes of perseverance and triumph. The poem's structure is simple, but its message is profound. The use of imagery, personification, and metaphor creates a vivid picture of the struggle for success. The poem's title itself is significant, as it suggests that success is not immediate, but rather a result of persistent effort and determination.
In conclusion, Emily Dickinson's poem "Victory Comes Late" is a powerful piece that explores the human experience of perseverance and triumph. The poem's message is universal, and its themes are timeless. The poem's structure and use of literary devices create a vivid picture of the struggle for success. This poem is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the importance of perseverance in achieving our goals.
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