You are watching: Emily dickinson a word is dead
But“Some say” that once the word is spoken this life (in a offered situation) isover: the word is “dead” and lies inert where it has actually been rendered, havingcoughed up its meaning. Like a pinned butterfly it have the right to be it was observed anddescribed or categorized however it will certainly no longer fly. This reminds me that (whatlittle I know of) quantum mechanics wherein in the collapse of the probabilitywave several various possibilities are lessened to one opportunity as seen byan observer.
|Like aMandelbrot set fractal, periodically a person"s wordstake ~ above a life of their own|
Dickinson,however, takes the poet’s view: a word traction from that shadow human being oflimitless possibilities is only truly alive once it is birthed by articulation.It demands the irradiate of day to breathe. What makes it breathe and also live? The veryambiguity in ~ the heart of language and communication. Playwright George BernardShaw when said something to the impact of “The main difficulty with communicationis the perception the it has actually occurred.” periodically we replay and replay in ourminds what someone has actually written or claimed to us. The words have a life far beyondwhat the speak or writer had actually in mind. And how frequently do we shot to explainourselves to who who construed what we stated in a method contrary to what wemeant? Or take, because that example, the word “love.” together a dictionary word that is meaningis relatively clear. But when someone states it to united state it concerns life and resonateswith real feeling and real consequence.
Thereis a comparable life-giving procedure for native in literature: stories, poems, playsand movies. The very same words talked by one actor in one director’s vision willmean miscellaneous entirely different in one more movie. One version could beheroic, an additional ironic, an additional manipulative.
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Dickinsonherself as soon as asked a writer and also mentor if her verse were “alive.” ns think shewanted this richness and diversity in interpretation. She walk not desire to it is in apoet who words were dead ~ above arrival: flatly literal or spouting airygeneralities. The entire reason I’m going through each of her poems on thisblog is since she thrived in making not just her poems live but the phrasesand even many of the really words. As an example, I just selected, with very small searching, the phrase “miles the stare.” This is what the city says stays after Heaven, choose acircus, packs up that silken tents and disappears. The “stare” resides in ourstartled an answer to this poem, enlivening both our expertise of the word and also our knowledge of what lack is. Over there is a an enig at that heart and so it proceeds to live.