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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

THERE'S A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"There's a Certain Slant of Light" is a poem by Emily Dickinson, an American poet who lived from 1830 to 1886. The poem was first published posthumously in 1890.

The poem describes the experience of a certain slant of light on winter afternoons, which creates a feeling of oppression and heaviness similar to the weight of cathedral tunes. The speaker describes this experience as a "heavenly hurt" that is felt internally, even though there is no outward physical scar.The poem suggests that this feeling is a universal experience that cannot be taught or explained to others. The slant of light is described as an "imperial affliction" sent to us from the air, suggesting a sense of inevitability and powerlessness.

The poem also explores the impact of this experience on the landscape and surroundings. When the slant of light arrives, the landscape seems to listen, and shadows hold their breath. When it goes, it leaves behind a sense of distance and finality, like the look of death.

The poem is often interpreted as an exploration of the human experience of suffering and the sense of isolation that can come from it. The slant of light is a metaphor for the internal struggle and pain that people may experience, and the poem suggests that this is a universal experience that is difficult to fully understand or explain to others.

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