'My life closed twice before its close;' by Emily Dickinson
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My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
Editor 1 Interpretation
My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close by Emily Dickinson
Have you ever experienced a profound sense of loss, a feeling that something important has ended or been taken away from you? If so, then you can relate to Emily Dickinson's poem "My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close." This powerful work of poetry explores themes of death, loss, and the struggle to find meaning in life.
Analysis of the Poem
The poem begins with the simple yet devastating line, "My life closed twice before its close." What does Dickinson mean by this? At first, it seems like a contradiction. How can a life close twice? But upon closer examination, we can see that the poet is referring to two distinct experiences of loss.
The first "close" refers to the death of someone close to the speaker. Perhaps it was a family member, friend, or lover. This loss is so profound that it feels like the end of the speaker's own life. Dickinson writes, "It yet remains to see / If Immortality unveil / A third event to me." Here, the speaker is acknowledging the possibility of an afterlife, but also the uncertainty of what lies beyond.
The second "close" refers to a more personal loss, perhaps the end of a relationship or a significant change in the speaker's life. Dickinson writes, "So huge, so hopeless to conceive / As these that twice befell." The loss is so overwhelming that it is difficult to even comprehend.
Throughout the poem, Dickinson uses vivid imagery to convey the sense of loss and despair that the speaker is feeling. She writes, "Parting is all we know of heaven, / And all we need of hell." Here, the poet is suggesting that the feeling of separation and loss is so intense that it is like experiencing a kind of hell on earth.
Interpretation of the Poem
So what is Dickinson trying to say with "My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close?" One interpretation is that the poem is a meditation on the inevitability of death and the fragility of human life. The speaker has experienced loss so profound that it feels like the end of their own life. But even in the face of this overwhelming loss, there is a sense of hope and uncertainty about what comes next.
Another interpretation is that the poem is a commentary on the human condition. We all experience loss and suffering at some point in our lives, and it can feel like our world is ending. But even in the face of this despair, there is a sense of resilience and the possibility of moving forward.
Ultimately, "My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close" is a powerful work of poetry that speaks to the human experience of loss and suffering. Through vivid imagery and powerful language, Dickinson conveys the sense of despair and uncertainty that comes with profound loss. But in the end, there is also a sense of hope and resilience, a reminder that even in the face of overwhelming adversity, we can find a way to keep moving forward.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Emily Dickinson is a celebrated American poet who is known for her unique style of writing. Her poems are often characterized by their unconventional use of punctuation, capitalization, and syntax. One of her most famous poems is "My life closed twice before its close," which was written in 1862. This poem is a powerful reflection on the theme of death and the impact it has on the living.
The poem begins with the line "My life closed twice before its close," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The use of the word "closed" suggests that something has come to an end, and the repetition of the word "close" emphasizes the finality of this ending. The speaker is reflecting on two moments in their life when they experienced a kind of death, even though they were still alive.
The first instance of this "closing" is described in the second stanza, where the speaker says, "It yet remains to see / If Immortality unveil / A third event to me." Here, the speaker is suggesting that they have already experienced two moments of death, but they are unsure if there will be a third. The use of the word "Immortality" suggests that the speaker is questioning whether or not they will live forever, or if there is some kind of afterlife waiting for them.
The third stanza of the poem is where the speaker begins to reflect on the impact that these two moments of death have had on their life. They say, "So huge, so hopeless to conceive / As these that twice befell." The use of the words "huge" and "hopeless" suggests that these moments were incredibly traumatic and difficult to process. The speaker is struggling to come to terms with what has happened to them, and they are finding it hard to move on.
The fourth stanza of the poem is where the speaker begins to explore the idea of closure. They say, "Parting is all we know of heaven, / And all we need of hell." Here, the speaker is suggesting that death is the ultimate form of closure, and that it is both heaven and hell at the same time. The use of the word "parting" suggests that the speaker is thinking about the people they have lost, and how difficult it is to say goodbye to them.
The fifth stanza of the poem is where the speaker begins to reflect on the idea of love. They say, "I was accustomed to the rose, / Before I knew the thorn." Here, the speaker is suggesting that they were used to the good things in life before they experienced the bad. The use of the metaphor of the rose and the thorn suggests that love is both beautiful and painful at the same time.
The final stanza of the poem is where the speaker comes to a realization about their life. They say, "This is the last / Of all the sounds I shall ever hear, / The last, strong tide / That will break against my ear." Here, the speaker is suggesting that they are at the end of their life, and that this is the last thing they will ever experience. The use of the metaphor of the tide suggests that life is like the ocean, and that it is constantly moving and changing.
In conclusion, "My life closed twice before its close" is a powerful reflection on the theme of death and the impact it has on the living. Emily Dickinson's use of language and metaphor creates a haunting and beautiful poem that explores the complexities of life and death. The poem is a reminder that life is fleeting, and that we should cherish every moment we have with the people we love.
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