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I taste a liquor never brewed Analysis



Author: Poetry of Emily Dickinson Type: Poetry Views: 4729

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I taste a liquor never brewed,

From tankards scooped in pearl;

Not all the vats upon the Rhine

Yield such an alcohol!



Inebriate of air am I,

And debauchee of dew,

Reeling, through endless summer days,

From inns of molten blue.



When the landlord turn the drunken bee

Out of the foxglove's door,

When butterflies renounce their drams,

I shall but drink the more!



Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,

And saints to windows run,

To see the little tippler

Leaning against the sun!








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

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Set your own life time more simple take the mortgage loans and all you want.

| Posted on 2012-07-11 | by a guest


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There\'s a literal reading of this poem that I seldom, if ever, have seen. I offer it not to be reductive, because so much else is happening in this beautiful poem, but to see if others tilt toward my reading.
\"I\" here is a hummingbird, this \"inebriate of air\". Its buzzing, darting, reeling flight, and its sipping at the \"tankards\" of flowers, is the source of the central metaphor of drunkenness. Stanza 3 simply points out that the hummingbird doesn\'t leave the scene as early in the fall as the bee and butterfly do, and stanza 4 that even when snow sets in people rush to their windows to see those little guys buzzin\' around.
Again, that literal level is just the beginning of the poem. The use of I, (instead of 3rd person as in \"narrow fellow\") shows the speaker and poet\'s identification with the feeling of drunkenness recognized in the hummingbird. And this intoxication is surely the intoxication of poetry, the speaker and Emily herself dipping (perhaps a little too much) into the flagons of verse.
But like most of her poems, this starts in a little bit of the real world before the metaphorical possibilities take over.
BTW I love the \"make fun of Emerson\" reading. This tippler could be Thoreau, traipsing through the woods around Walden, with his nose stuck in flowers.

| Posted on 2012-02-10 | by a guest


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Emily never intended for her poems to be brought to the public, they didn\'t come out until after she died. Most all of her poems were written about her, for herself. This was during the transidentalist period, which means these people were all about god, but not just about following the church. They felt that each person should seak for there own way to god. They also thought that god was in all living things and that being close with nature is being close with god. So i think this poem is about her loving nature and taking it all in at one time \"getting drunk\" off of nature.

| Posted on 2012-01-09 | by a guest


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Actually she is making fun of Ralph Waldo Emerson. She is trying to be humorous here. Read Emerson\'s poem \"Bacchus.\" She is making fun of his seriousness.

| Posted on 2011-12-05 | by a guest


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wow its just a crazy lady who likes to get drunk yall have to try to make things complicated and she was drunk when she wrote it hahaha jk

| Posted on 2011-10-24 | by a guest


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This poem is challenging Calvinism and its beliefs. Or thats what my professor taught our class.

| Posted on 2011-10-05 | by a guest


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Emily is trying to show us how the life of the imagination is superior to the physical world.\"not all the vats upon the rhine yield such an alcohol\". Her liquor was never brewed because it was imaginary the best wine in the world was produced along the rhine.
the \"drunken bee\" has drunk its fill as have the \"butterflies\" who are renouncing their drams. There iss no limit to the amount that emily can drink/no limit to the amount of life she can embrace

| Posted on 2011-06-01 | by a guest


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how funny this is about Suzanne her sister-in-law. In the 1800\'s women were not allowed to express such relionships so Emily poured it out in her poems and letters to Suzanne who was the liquor or alcohol and Austen was the landlord when he released the drunken bee Emily would drink her fill.

| Posted on 2011-03-12 | by a guest


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After reading all of the post only a few of you ACTUALLY got part of it right...
it is about her indulging herself in God.. not nature, like before she is a crazy woman who is in love with God. And meaning that the alcohol is symbolic to the spirit that runs through her veins

| Posted on 2011-02-13 | by a guest


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I\'m not sure if she loves life. Remember that she withdrew from society. Maybe she means that she loves nature considering that her school had emphasis on science.
I agree that this is a confusing poem, I cannot \'decipher\' what she is trying to say.

| Posted on 2011-01-16 | by a guest


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I think that the poem is about a summer rainstorm. The speaker is the earth who is drinking a liquor never brewed which is water. She is intoxicated on air and needs it to be filled with water to relieve her. She cannot restrain herself from the dew. And the inns of molten blue would be the summer rainstorms because molten blue means melting sky which is rain. The landlord is the wind which forces the clouds away so that the earth cannot drink(the bee metaphor) and when she has had so much she doesn\'t want anymore(the butterfly metaphor) and the seraphs swinging their snowy hat would mean that the clouds are blowing away because the hats were described as being snowy and seraphs are in the sky and the hats are swinging. The tippler is the earth depending,or leaning, on the sun because the earth is drunk on the water and needs help to get rid of all the excess water by having the sun evaporate it.

| Posted on 2010-10-06 | by a guest


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this poem is absolutely touched with divine feelings.poetess feels the nature as the most itoxicating since it makes everybody sober and ineplicable..

| Posted on 2010-08-25 | by a guest


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this poem is absolutely touched with divine feelings.poetess feels the nature as the most itoxicating since it makes everybody sober and ineplicable..

| Posted on 2010-08-25 | by a guest


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Emily is not talking about being drunk nor is she drunk. She loved writing about nature. Emily is once again speaking of nature. She is not drunk because she says "I taste a liquor never brewed" that means that it is not alcohol since it has not been brewed or distilled. She is talking about being "drunk" on nature. she is drunk on air and water and the sky. Emily loves nature and is expressing her love for it in this poem.

| Posted on 2010-04-28 | by a guest


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i think that the poem is shitty crazy... wow. i Love emily!!!

| Posted on 2010-02-01 | by a guest


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i would have to say that this poem is about emily (assuming the speaker is emily since most of her poems are autobiographical) wanting to shed her insecurities and basically get out there and meet new people. why did she choose to taste "liquor" as opposed to say... tea? liquor makes one lose inhibitions and gain confidence, which is what emily wants to do. there's a contrast between the fact that she wants to be an overindulged tippler vs. a pure angel or saint. she comments that the angels/saint stand outside to watch her while she foolishly tries to become less of an introvert. the tippler leans against the sun --> alcohol = flammable --> says that excessivve desire for excitement or freedom comes at a price, in this case, herself

| Posted on 2010-01-18 | by a guest


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The fact that the seraphs were "snowy" merely meant that they were a white color, not that they were cold.

| Posted on 2009-12-16 | by a guest


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I'm almost positive this poem is about how the narrator can be high on life and on cloud nine.

| Posted on 2009-12-16 | by a guest


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I feel the ending stanza illustrates Emily finding almost a religion through nature. It shows widows running towards the church, while the angels "seraphs" are swinging there snowy hats, depicting a colder feel to the angels which are looking down onto Emily while she basks merrily immersed leaning drunkenly against the warm sun.

| Posted on 2009-11-22 | by a guest


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Hi, i just did a project on this for english, it means, i think that she can get high off of life, and find a love of life without liquor or drugs. She is simple. She loves life.

| Posted on 2009-10-21 | by a guest


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This is a very confusing poem. I would love to understand what Emily is trying to say. This poem has a meaning and the reason why I can tell that it does is because she is talking bout herself and nature.

| Posted on 2009-10-05 | by a guest


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"From inns of molten blue sky" means that the sky is her bar, people drink for their bar, but she breaths from the sky.

| Posted on 2009-09-14 | by a guest


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I and a small group had to analyze this poem.
What we understood is that she is 'drunk' offof life and nature.
the tankards are large mugs with lids and they are made of pearl. In refrence to the Rhine, a river in Germany, and Germany is known for their alcohol she is saying that what she is drunk of, is better than anything from Germany.
Then in the next stanza she is saying she is drunk from air and dew, meaning of nature.
She is living in what summer days are, warm and easy going. We thought that the line 'From inns of Molten Blue' refers to comming out of a sadder emotion, a depresstion of sorts but now she is happy.
Then unlike the bees and butterflies that have a limit on how much they drink from foxgloves, she does not.
The last stanza refers to that she will not stop drinking until she dies and does not need to drink anymore.


| Posted on 2007-12-04 | by a guest


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The summary given below sucks. I'm sorry but what i got out of it was totally different. She's not drunk. She's drunk off of life. Maybe your teacher interpreted it wrong, i dont know, but it's not right. the tankard isn't filled with flowers, it's a pearl mug but it's a symbol of the story. there's no indian summer. nothing came to an end. i did lots of research and the below is just not right. sorry.

| Posted on 2007-03-27 | by a guest


.: Unknown :.

This is a nice brief summary of this poem, I taste a Liquor Never Brewed...although, it can be explained a bit more in detail for the people who are for instance, researching on this author and/or their poetry. Otherwise, this was pretty well explained summary. Thanks...it helped me a bit as well! A few other people have visited this site and reviewed this summary and found it very helpful. When i mentioned it should contain more details, i meant that it should explain more parts of this poem instead of what lines meant what and where they were mentioned. The whole object should be explained in full detail.

| Posted on 2006-05-10 | by Approved Guest


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This is what i got from my lit class..
This poem is a reaction to "indian Summer" and it coming to an end.
The first line is a paradox so you know she (Emily Dickonson) is not talking about alcohol because it is not possible.
The second line form "tankards" is a beer mug full of "Pearls" which are really nice smelling flowers.

The 5th line is telling us that she is drunk off the air "inebriate" and that she has no restraint on her self "Debauche"
The last two line in this stanza she is telling us how she goes through the long summer days in "inns of molten blue" the sky molten gives a very vivid colour

| Posted on 2005-12-11 | by Approved Guest




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