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Success is Counted Sweetest Analysis



Author: Poetry of Emily Dickinson Type: Poetry Views: 5071





Success is counted sweetest

By those who ne'er succeed.

To comprehend a nectar

Requires sorest need.



Not one of all the purple Host

Who took the Flag today

Can tell the definition

So clear of Victory



As he defeated--dying--

On whose forbidden ear

The distant strains of triumph

Burst agonized and clear!





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

.: :.

This poem is simply saying that those who always win never know the true value of winning and those who never win long for the win all the time.

| Posted on 2013-10-23 | by a guest


.: :.

The speaker states that success is most valued by those who fail, just as victory in battle seems most precious to a soldier who is defeated and dying

| Posted on 2013-03-19 | by a guest


.: :.

i think that the one person who does not know how to spell needs a dictionary.

| Posted on 2013-02-20 | by a guest


.: :.

gurl needs to write some simple words and maybe that way we\'ll understand it!

| Posted on 2012-04-12 | by a guest


.: :.

Barnabas
we gain perfection through failures. likewise through defeat we try to appreciate the real value of success.

| Posted on 2011-11-30 | by a guest


.: :.

Barnabas
Those who are in love they can not understand the value of love . but those who have failed in love , know the real meaning of love . i can be reached at 8098150204

| Posted on 2011-11-30 | by a guest


.: :.

I agree with most of the other posts and add one little bit of possible insight. If it is true that the defeated can feel both victory and defeat, while the victorious can only feel the win, then we are stuck with the \"grass is always greener...\" clause. However, I believe that Emily was one step ahead of her poetry and silently tells the victorious(us) to be aware of the \'feelings\' (lack of a better word) of the defeated. If done with respect, only then can the winners actually be victorious. Therefore the onus is upon the victorious to rise above the win.
Cheers, outsidejay

| Posted on 2011-05-11 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is depressing. It expresses the idea that no one can ever fully appreciate victory because people either experience it or understand its value. Never both.

| Posted on 2011-05-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Is it possible for us to experience that which we never have?
If the answer is no, there is no yearning for, no hoping for, and no dreaming of heaven.
If the answer is yes, there is loss, and fear of dying
and this poem.

| Posted on 2011-03-15 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem proceeds from disappointment: many of the stories of ED\'s life might have a person thinks so, at least. Living with self-doubt is part of being human - many of us fear ending as failures - I love this poem and I hate how it skewers me, every time; the broken rhyme structure; it\'s agonized progress and deadly precision. God bless you Emily!

| Posted on 2010-10-21 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem rings truth. An agonizing defeat can bring a person to there knees. For victory, for the lose, is only heard, but not gained. For the victor Knows aboout success yet the defeated knows of it.

| Posted on 2010-04-02 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem implies that, in reality, it is losers that truly appreciate the glory of victory. “Success is counted sweetest/ By those who ne'er succeed.” In order to truly understand the importance of victory, one has to understand the pain of failure. The poem states, “Not one of all the purple host /Who took the flag to-day /Can tell the definition,/So clear, of victory…” This is referring to the victors, who won the battle and “took the flag.” However, none of them really appreciate their victory. It is the “defeated, dying” man who, as he listens to the winners celebrating, truly understands the glory of winning. Now that he knows he can never win, he craves victory even more. This is because he truthfully understands what failure is like. .

| Posted on 2010-03-23 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is just saying that the only people that know how sweet victoy is are the people that never win. Winners cannot truly appreciate victory becuase they do not know what its like to lose. You have to experience the pain of failure in oreder to feel the joy of succcess

| Posted on 2010-03-23 | by a guest


.: :.

this is probably the worst the worst poem ever if you think its good then text me at 770 853 4252

| Posted on 2010-03-01 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poemis about the New ENgland Patriots and how they won all the time. They never had to face defeat except on the biggest stage, the Superbowl against the New York Giants. The Patriots are incredible.

| Posted on 2010-02-12 | by a guest


.: :.

i liek red dis peom nd iz tink itz aboot jewsus becuz deefeeted dieing mplys jewsus

| Posted on 2010-01-29 | by a guest


.: :.

Those who have not succeeded are the ones who crave it the most.
To a person who never wins, victory is sweet, but to a person who has always won they don’t understand the value of success. The poem describes a battle, the triumph over death. It mentions how some fail, but others succeed. For those who overcome the great battle, they can not measure the significance of victory compared to the losers. Those who lost the battle now understand the great importance of victory, by losing the battle and ultimately their life. It is in defeat that we truly learn to appreciate victory.
The poem is from the perspective of the loser in a battle. He describes the winners in the battle as the “purple Host.” Those “Who took the Flag today” cannot understand the meaning of victory. The speaker lays off dying, listening to the winners celebrate their victory. His ear is “forbidden,” since he will never achieve victory. He listens to the jubilation of the enemy, however “agonizing and clear.” The loser, by suffering defeat still has the deep desire to win, while the winners can merely wallow in the glow of victory.

| Posted on 2010-01-14 | by a guest


.: :.

Those who have not succeeded are the ones who crave it the most.
To a person who never wins, victory is sweet, but to a person who has always won they don’t understand the value of success. The poem describes a battle, the triumph over death. It mentions how some fail, but others succeed. For those who overcome the great battle, they can not measure the significance of victory compared to the losers. Those who lost the battle now understand the great importance of victory, by losing the battle and ultimately their life. It is in defeat that we truly learn to appreciate victory.
The poem is from the perspective of the loser in a battle. He describes the winners in the battle as the “purple Host.” Those “Who took the Flag today” cannot understand the meaning of victory. The speaker lays off dying, listening to the winners celebrate their victory. His ear is “forbidden,” since he will never achieve victory. He listens to the jubilation of the enemy, however “agonizing and clear.” The loser, by suffering defeat still has the deep desire to win, while the winners can merely wallow in the glow of victory.

| Posted on 2010-01-14 | by a guest


.: :.

What they heck is going on? why is everyone posting ridiculous analysis? It has NOTHING to do with Master chief from Halo, nothing to do with race or lack of marriage or lesbianism or whatever you fools are writing down.
It's a poem that is talking about how one who wins all the time truly cannot experience the excitement that is to win. and that sometimes even the loser feels a sense of winning for they have an emotion to reflect and gain upon.
It's not that hard to understand.

| Posted on 2010-01-06 | by a guest


.: :.

ghgh ghgjh jhgj jhg jh jhg hg jh jgjkh klhj k lkjhkjhg hg jhgjjhjh

| Posted on 2009-12-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Benjamin Bowes-
Success is counted sweetest is all about balance and dichotomies. Three stanzas, each perfectly balanced, talking about (one one side) defeat and understanding, while on the other side, we have victory coupled with ignorance. Through balance, Emily states that victory must take it's natural route and cannot be rushed. In other words, it must be fully appreciated through an initial, natural defeat before a more fullfiling victory can be realized. Victory could be realized sooner, but it would be neither sweet, nor appreciated.

| Posted on 2009-08-18 | by a guest


.: Anthonys Analysis :.

this was clearly neco bellic fight and stuggle to come to liberty city. This poems lies out all his stuggles and falls that lead to his finaly succes oh becoming a famous mob boss. this poem outlines his killings ans jacking cars, just to name a few. Maby some day you all will understand!

| Posted on 2008-05-21 | by a guest


.: MASTER CHIEF :.

This is clearly about how masterchief landed on the covenant homeworld and massacred them. but after bieng fataly wounded he is forced to set of the supernova nuke that he planted which would destroy both him and the covenant.

| Posted on 2008-05-13 | by a guest


.: -=Reader=- :.

I think that this poem reaches out to others because it states that in order to appreciate victory you must be a loser first. I think that if you win constantly as discribed in the poem that you don't understand the full pleasure of winning. The purple is about royalty because it has been since the passing of time because it was the most expensive to make. She is talking about a soldier fighting in battle for his country. The reason that she says it is better to lose than to lose than to win is because once you have, then when you try again you will understand and actually know the meaning of victory.

| Posted on 2008-01-31 | by a guest


.: :.

I think what Emily is trying to say here that only the defeated would know the true meaning of success. The ones who succeed such as the soldiers after an important victory know less of success than the defeated dying men who hears the cheers from a victory. You will never understand the true meaning of victory before you have underwent a failure. Just like if you look at an white object... its just white. But when you place it next to something black it seems much whiter.

| Posted on 2007-12-23 | by a guest


.: Victory/Success&Defeat :.

I think Dickinson's poem must be about the realization of true victory in the midst of defeat.
For how can one truly understand happiness without the accompaniment of sadness? Or love without hate?
In the beginning of her poem, she talks about how success cannot be realized without at first knowing the desperation that comes along with losing. This supports the rest of the argument in her poem.
And as most people should know, the color purple has always been affiliated with royalty. Isn't it possible that this poem is about a soldier fighting for his kingdom/country? In this case, it is a soldier realizing success (think: line one) by the agonizing price of losing his life. Perhaps this poem does have a bitter tone to it, but it has more of a sadness and a truth being brought into the picture, as well. And that, to me, is the beauty of this poem.

| Posted on 2007-11-27 | by a guest


.: :.

I honestly disagree. This work was published two years after the Civil War. Therefore, I beseach you, is what she is trying to say. She knows that she loves both men and women and is trying to decide which she loves more in the poem. She cannot, and chooses to love both. This is why she is unmarried and her hairstyles are the way they are. One can only assume this is so. Her poem has a bitter tone to it. Very depressing, but common for her works. Well done Emily! Once again, your work puts me to sleep.

| Posted on 2007-10-14 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that Emily Dickinson is talking about a love affair with her many male/female lovers. Success is referring to marriage. She never got married, so she failed. "Defeated, dying." It is clear that it is about her romantic life, which was dead.

| Posted on 2007-10-14 | by a guest


.: Analysis. :.

{sophia's analysis}



I think that what she is trying to say here is that you have to be removed from the situation, the protagonist dies, as he hears triumph and so it is clear.

Losing eliminates hope, a factor that influences the way you perceive something so in a way it purifys your vision.

On the other hand, the concept which Emily does not address is that not succeeding can lead to idealization.

I think that it is better that the person failed because then at least they can idealize what they missed and there is still something good in the world. Even if they don't have it.

In some ways the victory itself is a construct of the protagonists mind, and that only by not having it can he construct it.

The best things are not to be touched.

| Posted on 2007-09-19 | by a guest


.: Success :.

I Think many people don't realize that this poem is about Jesus though emily was not very acceptant to the christian religion, or rather we know she had a "war with God" and we dont know whether she became a christian or not this poem is defintely about Jesus Christ. The First quatrain is one, an Intelligent saying about life, two a reference that Jesus's Sucess was counted sweetest because only he could make it a success The Purple Host are the other two parts of the Godhead and shes saying neither of them can tell victory like Jesus.... Now the Evidence that it refers to Jesus only becomes known in the final quatrain

As He Defeated Dying
On whos forbidden ear/ Jesus Defeated Dying, on whos FORBIDDEN EAR, the distant strains of triumph, break AGONIZED and Clear This is most certainly what she is referring to when she says As He Defeated Dying On whos forbidden Ear


| Posted on 2007-03-16 | by a guest


.: kate grube's analysis :.

In this poem, Emily’s tone seems to be generally bitter. She says essentially this: Only the losers and the less fortunate truly understand what it means to be fortunate. This knowledge is a very precious thing to have which not even the significantly blessed portion of the population, “the purple host”, but in the process of acquiring this, she discovers, the loser actually has to be...a loser, which seems to be even worse than ignorance. In short, even though the winner is less aware than the loser, both suffer some form of punishment in playing their role.

| Posted on 2005-01-17 | by Approved Guest




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