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A Clock stopped Analysis

Author: Poetry of Emily Dickinson Type: Poetry Views: 922

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A Clock stopped-

Not the Mantel's-

Geneva's farthest skill

Can't put the puppet bowing-

That just now dangled still-An awe came on the Trinket!

The Figures hunched, with pain-

Then quivered out of Decimals-

Into Degreeless Noon-It will not stir for Doctors-

This Pendulum of snow-

This Shopman importunes it-

While cool-concernless No-Nods from the Gilded pointers-

Nods from the Seconds slim-

Decades of Arrogance between

The Dial life-

And Him-


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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\"The clock stopped\" suggests that a person just died. It\'s a cuckoo clock with little figurines (called \"figures\" in stanza 2) that come out on the hour. Apparently, one of the figures that came out is just dangling, and even the skilled Swiss clockmakers in Geneva couldn\'t make it bow again. Apparently the clock stopped - and the person died - on the hour, and stanza 2 suggests that this may have happened at noon. The other figurines are \"hunched, with pain.\" These hunched figures may refer to the people who had witnessed the death of the person (the puppet \"that just now dangled still.\") The person appears to have died \"just now.\" The figures could also refer to the numbers on the clock - the clock (dying person) appears to have quivered at the last moment before entering into \"degreeless noon\" (timelessness). Neither doctors nor the \"shopman\" (watchmaker) can bring the person or the clock back to life again. They are importuning the dead person or God or the clock to come back to life, the arrogant pointers on the clock answer \"No.\" The word \"arrogance\" makes the clock sound malicious! The Clock, representing Time seems to be boasting that it has the power of life and death over us mortals!

| Posted on 2011-08-27 | by a guest

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The most prominent image in this poem is the 'Clock'. It is immmediately introduced as an abstract, metaphorical figure through its capitalisation. The use of the indefinate article at the opening of this poem also confirms this, suggesting that the 'Clock' is a universal trope, later confirmed to be symblising the temporal nature of life. This is reaffirmed in the next line, where Dickinson states that the 'Clock' is not physical, not 'the Mantel's'. It can therefore be asserted that the image of the 'Clock' is metaphysical and representative.
It can be deduced that this interesting metaphor is refering to the limited timespan of life from the subsequent lines: not even 'Geneva's farthest skill' can be used to fix this clock, since it is representative. It will not even 'stir for Doctors' either. this displays a movement from the reparation of machinery to the reparation of the human body, indicating that this is a poem about our inescapable mortality...etc

| Posted on 2005-05-07 | by Approved Guest

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