'I never hear the word "escape"' by Emily Dickinson
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I never hear the word "escape"
Without a quicker blood,
A sudden expectation,
A flying attitude.
I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down,
But I tug childish at my bars, --
Only to fail again!
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Beauty of Escaping Reality in Emily Dickinson's "I never hear the word 'escape'"
When it comes to poetry, no name resonates quite like that of Emily Dickinson. Her unique style, characterized by unconventional punctuation and capitalization, has earned her a place among the greats of American literature. However, what truly sets Dickinson apart is her ability to capture the essence of the human experience in only a few lines. In her poem "I never hear the word 'escape'," Dickinson explores the notion of escaping reality and the various ways in which it can be achieved.
The title itself is intriguing, as it suggests that the speaker has never heard the word "escape" before. One could interpret this as a commentary on society's tendency to avoid discussing the desire to escape reality, as it is often seen as a weakness or a form of mental illness. However, the lack of awareness surrounding the concept of escape does not stop the speaker from exploring it further.
The first stanza of the poem reads:
I never hear the word 'escape'
Without a quicker blood,
A sudden expectation,
A flying attitude.
Right from the start, Dickinson sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The phrase "quicker blood" suggests a rush of excitement or adrenaline, while "flying attitude" implies a desire for freedom and release from the constraints of reality. The use of the word "sudden" adds to this sense of urgency, as if the speaker is overcome by the need to escape at a moment's notice.
The second stanza continues this theme:
Somewhat secured for a detachment
From present satisfactions,
And an 'aptitude' for afar,
Transport's — discretion.
Here, Dickinson introduces the idea of detachment from present satisfactions. The word "secured" suggests a sense of safety or protection, while "aptitude" implies that the speaker has a natural inclination towards escape. The reference to "transport's discretion" could be interpreted as a nod towards the various modes of transportation that can be used to achieve escape, such as a train or a plane.
The third and final stanza reads:
"Better" — said of the
Than a life
Lower than the mean —
This stanza is perhaps the most cryptic of the three. The use of the word "mezzanine" suggests a middle ground, as if the speaker is caught between two worlds. The phrase "lower than the mean" could be interpreted as a reference to a life of mediocrity or dissatisfaction. The word "better" is placed in quotation marks, as if the speaker is quoting someone else's opinion. This could be seen as a commentary on society's perception of escape, as if the speaker is questioning whether or not it is truly better to escape than to remain in the present.
Overall, "I never hear the word 'escape'" is a fascinating exploration of the human desire to escape reality. Dickinson's use of language is both beautiful and thought-provoking, leaving the reader with a sense of wonder and awe. The poem raises important questions about the nature of escape and its place in society, challenging us to examine our own perceptions of what it means to truly be free.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry is a form of art that has the power to evoke emotions and thoughts in the reader's mind. Emily Dickinson, one of the most renowned poets of all time, has left an indelible mark on the world of poetry with her unique style and themes. One of her most famous poems, "I never hear the word 'escape'" is a masterpiece that delves into the human psyche and explores the concept of freedom and escape. In this article, we will analyze and explain this classic poem in detail.
The poem begins with the line, "I never hear the word 'escape'." This line sets the tone for the entire poem and immediately captures the reader's attention. The speaker of the poem is someone who has never heard the word "escape" and is curious about its meaning. The word "escape" is a powerful one, and it can mean different things to different people. For some, it may mean freedom from a difficult situation, while for others, it may mean running away from responsibilities.
The second line of the poem, "Without a quicker blood," is a metaphor that suggests that the speaker's blood does not quicken at the sound of the word "escape." This line implies that the speaker is not excited or thrilled by the idea of escape. Instead, the speaker seems to be indifferent to the concept of escape, which is an interesting perspective.
The third line of the poem, "A sudden expectation," is a continuation of the metaphor from the previous line. The speaker suggests that the word "escape" does not create a sudden expectation in them. This line implies that the speaker does not have any preconceived notions or expectations about what escape means. Instead, the speaker is open to exploring the concept of escape and discovering its true meaning.
The fourth line of the poem, "A flying attitude," is a metaphor that suggests that the speaker has a positive attitude towards the concept of escape. The word "flying" implies that the speaker sees escape as a way to soar above their problems and troubles. This line suggests that the speaker is not afraid of escape and is willing to embrace it as a way to find freedom and happiness.
The fifth line of the poem, "Indifferent to dismay," is a continuation of the metaphor from the previous line. The speaker suggests that they are indifferent to dismay, which implies that they are not afraid of the consequences of escape. This line suggests that the speaker is willing to take risks and face the consequences of their actions, which is a brave and admirable quality.
The sixth line of the poem, "Escape is such a thankful word," is a powerful statement that suggests that escape is a positive and life-affirming concept. The word "thankful" implies that escape is something to be grateful for, which is a refreshing perspective. This line suggests that the speaker sees escape as a way to find happiness and fulfillment, which is a beautiful sentiment.
The seventh line of the poem, "I often wonder it beggars would not pray for it by night," is a thought-provoking statement that suggests that even the poorest and most destitute people would pray for escape. This line implies that escape is a universal desire that transcends social and economic boundaries. This line suggests that escape is something that everyone wants, regardless of their circumstances.
The eighth line of the poem, "When I am safe in my chamber," is a shift in perspective that suggests that the speaker is now in a safe and secure place. This line implies that the speaker is reflecting on the concept of escape from a position of safety and comfort. This line suggests that the speaker is not in a desperate situation and is not seeking escape as a way to survive.
The ninth line of the poem, "I never hear the word 'escape' without a quicker blood," is a repetition of the second line of the poem. This repetition reinforces the idea that the speaker is not excited or thrilled by the concept of escape. Instead, the speaker is curious and open-minded about the meaning of escape.
The final line of the poem, "A sudden expectation," is a repetition of the third line of the poem. This repetition reinforces the idea that the speaker is open to exploring the concept of escape and discovering its true meaning. This line suggests that the speaker is not satisfied with a superficial understanding of escape and is willing to delve deeper into its meaning.
In conclusion, "I never hear the word 'escape'" is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the concept of escape from a unique perspective. The poem suggests that escape is a universal desire that transcends social and economic boundaries. The speaker of the poem is not excited or thrilled by the concept of escape but is curious and open-minded about its meaning. The poem suggests that escape is a positive and life-affirming concept that can bring happiness and fulfillment to those who seek it. Emily Dickinson's "I never hear the word 'escape'" is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and captivate readers to this day.
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