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One need not be a chamber to be haunted, Analysis



Author: Poetry of Emily Dickinson Type: Poetry Views: 1388





One need not be a chamber to be haunted,

One need not be a house;

The brain has corridors surpassing

Material place.



Far safer, of a midnight meeting

External ghost,

Than an interior confronting

That whiter host.



Far safer through an Abbey gallop,

The stones achase,

Than, moonless, one's own self encounter

In lonesome place.



Ourself, behind ourself concealed,

Should startle most;

Assassin, hid in our apartment,

Be horror's least.



The prudent carries a revolver,

He bolts the door,

O'erlooking a superior spectre

More near.








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

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A good American companion piece to this poem would be Robert Frost's "Desert Places", which also discusses the capacity for one to terrify themselves from the inside, rather than some external force causing that terror.

| Posted on 2013-09-08 | by a guest


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I think that it means that humans have nothing to fear but themselves really. We create terror. Everything believed fearful is what we percieve it to be. Its all in the eyes of the beholder;)

| Posted on 2012-05-24 | by a guest


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Besides one\'s own secrets are the hauntings of mental illness. Those are by far the most cruel and terrifying as they typically have nothing to do with reality. They aren\'t about mistakes but rather about mistaken interpretations, but that doesn\'t make them any less horrifying. Since most don\'t understand those mental distortions, when they happen their victims are truly alone.

| Posted on 2012-03-04 | by a guest


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'One's own self-encounter in lonesome place' - To come across the darker things in your mind you wish to conceal is far more terrifying than to come across a cause of fear in the material world.
For here you are never alone in facing the phobia, even if you are the sole person there; as there are always at least material objects, some glimmers of light through the darkness, to comfort you. In your mind, there is nothing, no one, to confront the shame, terror, pain you feel in returning to your darkest moments. No glimmers, no one to tell, the most lonesome place anywhere.

| Posted on 2008-09-14 | by a guest


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That's true! Emily Dickinson is saying that the ghosts inside of you, meaning to encounter yourself, is a much more haunting experience then to face an assassin in your house, or be chased down an alley at night, or even face a ghost! Because the scariest and most dramatic experiences are to face yourself, your fears of the past, your mistakes, to face and accept who you are is tougher then all the scary things listed in the poem!

| Posted on 2007-03-23 | by a guest


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This poem is very well written and one of my favorite by Emily Dickenson. She tells a story of how you don't have to be a chamber to be haunted meaning that your mind can be haunted. This could mean a lot of things such as; a bad past, dirty secrets, and quite possibly literal hauntings. A bad past can haunt you if you let it. Dirty secrets can haunt you also if you feel bad about them and keep them all locked away. And in a literal sence your mind can be haunted if you believe in things such as ghosts and demons that take possesion of humans. She tells that it's better for you to meet a real ghost as oposed to finding yourself alone in your head faceing your own ghosts for real horrors lerk in the mind of man.

| Posted on 2005-09-07 | by Raineyes




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